Children-only children are more likely to be obese up to SEVEN TIMES because their parents spoil them with fast food and unhealthy drinks, finds study
- American researchers looked at the BMI, 68 food intake and eating habits of 68 young people
- 37% of the single children were obese compared to 5% in the group with siblings
- Scientists say that families with several children eat out less and plan meals in advance
Children alone are considerably more likely to be overweight by the time they turn seven, a study has warned.
Researchers discovered that obesity occurs seven times more often in young people who have no brothers or sisters.
This is because families with several children eat out less and are forced to plan meals in advance to feed more mouths, scientists believe.
Young people with a brother or sister are up to seven times less likely to be seriously overweight by the age of seven, research suggests (file)
One in five British children is overweight when they go to primary school, while that figure rises to one in three when they go to high school.
In the US, almost a third of children and teenagers are overweight or obese, with one in five obese.
The Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health estimates that half of all children will be overweight or obese by 2020.
Obesity can cause a number of potentially fatal health problems later in life, including heart disease and stroke, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and cancer.
In the new study, researchers from the University of Oklahoma looked at the eating habits of 68 young people during a week.
Twenty-seven children-only were divided into one group, with the remaining 41 with brothers and sisters in another.
Of the only children, 37 percent were obese compared to five percent in the group of siblings.
There was also a big BMI difference between the two groups. Children alone had a BMI percentile of approximately 72, compared to 53 in the brother / sister group.
The scientists, led by Chelsea Kracht, a professor of childhood obesity and health behaviors, also measured the eating habits of young people and their families.
Data were themselves reported in daily food logs kept by their mothers during the week.
WHAT IS Obesity? AND WHAT ARE HEALTH RISKS?
Obesity is defined as and adult with a BMI of 30 or higher.
The BMI of a healthy person – calculated by dividing the weight in kg by the height in meters and the answer again by the length – is between 18.5 and 24.9.
Among children, obesity is defined as being in the 95th percentile.
Percentiles compare young people with others of the same age.
For example, if a three-month-old is in the 40th percentile for weight, it means that 40 percent of the three-month-old children weigh the same or less than that baby.
About 58 percent of women and 68 percent of men in the UK are overweight or obese.
Obesity can lead to conditions such as type 2 diabetes, which can cause kidney disease, blindness and even limb amputations.
Carrying dangerous amounts of weight is also linked to 12 different types of cancer.
This includes breast, which affects one in eight women at some point in its life.
Among children, research suggests that 70 percent of obese young people have high blood pressure or increased cholesterol, putting them at risk for heart disease.
Obese children are also considerably more likely to become obese adults.
And if children are overweight, their obesity is often more severe in adulthood.
Teachers completed meal diaries for children while they ate at school, which noted the type of food and portion size.
Mothers also completed a questionnaire that looked at the typical eating habits of the family, the food intake and physical activity.
This included choices for food and drinks, as well as whether they ate at a table or in front of the TV.
Each question had four answer options – almost never, sometimes, usually and almost always.
The healthier practice achieved the highest score of four points per question, with a maximum score of 80 points in general.
Children alone reported lower scores on family habits, drink choices, food intake and physical activity.
Regarding maternal weight, a larger number of singleton mothers were overweight or obese compared to mothers with multiple children.
More singleton mothers were also employed full time, which was associated with weight gain of children before the age of five.
Researchers say the findings point to unhealthy habits of parents being transferred to their children.
Dr. Strength said: & # 39; Nutritionists should consider the influence of family and siblings to provide appropriate and tailored nutrition education for families of young children.
& # 39; Healthier eating habits and patterns can be the result of changes at household level rather than peers 'exposure, as peers' exposure is also present in home care.
& # 39; Efforts to help all children and families to develop healthy eating habits and practices should be encouraged. & # 39;
These findings contradict a popular theory that only children should have lower obesity rates because they have less competition for parental care and a higher family income.
A study by the University of Buffalo has shown that babies whose mothers are warm and affectionate run less risk of becoming obese in their first months of life.
Babies whose mothers are "warm and sensitive" while playing with their babies are less likely to arrive
Babies whose mothers are warm and affectionate have a lower risk of becoming obese in their first months of life, a new study shows.
Risk factors for obesity are numerous and diverse and already play before we are born.
The silver lining of their diffuse nature is that it suggests that there are also many ways to reduce obesity risk.
Among these risk factors are stress and poverty, so researchers at the University of Buffalo investigated whether a mother's behavior could compensate for her baby's risk of obesity.
When mothers spoke positively and warmly to their babies while playing, those weight gain patterns indicated that they would be less susceptible to obesity.
On the contrary, babies, whose mothers spoke loudly and acted hostile, showed signs that they would arrive unhealthy, the study found.
& # 39; The prenatal period is a sensitive period of health and disease development & # 39; Kai Ling Kong.
& # 39; Insults that take place in the womb have lifelong consequences.
& # 39; But despite disruptions in fetal development, our research shows that it is possible to reduce the effect of these exposures during early childhood through warmth, responsive and sensitive parenting in someone's home environment, especially in active play. & # 39;
About 18.5 percent of children in the US are obese and about 80 percent of obese or overweight children will become adults.
A mother who is overweight or obese during her pregnancy is more likely to have a child who becomes obese, but this also applies to less obvious risk factors, such as smoking during pregnancy (which is also related to a low birth weight) and stress.
The low socio-economic position of a mother is even a strong predictor that her child will become obese.
But compensating for that risk factor is particularly difficult. For example, a better diet in childhood can help in theory, but foods with a healthy diet – whole fruits and vegetables – are more expensive than heavily processed foods that cause obesity.
The researchers at the University of Buffalo wondered whether simpler behavioral differences among parents could have protective effects for infants, even if the family were to live in financial stress.
WHAT WOULD A BALANCED DIET LOOK LIKE?
Meals should be based on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates, ideally whole grain, according to the NHS
• Eat at least 5 servings of a variety of fruits and vegetables every day. All fresh, frozen, dried and canned fruit and vegetables count
• Basic meals on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates, ideally whole grain
• 30 grams of fiber per day: this is the same as eating all of the following: 5 servings of fruit and vegetables, 2 whole-grain cereal cookies, 2 thick slices of whole-grain bread and a large baked potato with the skin on it
• Provide some alternatives to dairy or dairy products (such as soy drinks) with options for less fat and less sugar
• Eat some beans, legumes, fish, eggs, meat and other proteins (including 2 portions of fish every week, one of which must be fatty)
• Choose unsaturated oils and spreads and consume in small quantities
• Drink 6-8 cups / glasses of water per day
• Adults must have less than 6 g of salt and 20 g of saturated fat for women or 30 g for men per day
Source: NHS Eatwell guide
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