Moms that work, children that are overweight

Youth obesity has tripled over the last 30 years, claim numerous studies. Based on a brand new research by an American University professor, a common theme among obese children is working moms who are often away from home. Families with moms who worked more hours had children with a higher body mass index (BMI) over their lifetimes, the research found. This is even without people getting payday loans to buy their food.

The obesity link

The January/February issue of the Child Development journal published the childhood weight problems study. There were 990 children from 10 cities in the United States in grades 3, 5, and 6 looked at. There was a small however cumulative effect on the BMIs of children that came from the total number of years of employment for working moms which was discovered by research founder Prof. Taryn Morrissey from American University’s Public Administration and Policy department. Over time, higher Body Mass Index can increase the chances of being overweight.

The connection between employment of a mother and a children’s Body Mass Index was not explained by the children’s physical activity levels or even Television time. Researchers were confused when even the time of day a mother worked did not make a difference in the Body Mass Index level.

Food cooking uncommon

Morrissey and team noticed that working parents do not shop or prepare food because of time constrictions. Eating out or consuming more pre-prepared foods - which tend to be higher in obese and calories - was a frequent thread.

How to fix it

Behavior problems and weight problems related illnesses like high cholesterol, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes, along with lesser life expectancy which the Children’s Hospital in Boston concluded can be as much as five years, are all what youth obesity can cause which is why Prof. Morrissey thinks something needs to be done. If society is to get healthier, there has to be more healthy and affordable food available.

“Community- and school-based programs offer promise for promoting healthy weight by providing information to children and their families about nutrition and exercise, as well as how to make quick, healthy meals,” Morrissey said.

Articles cited

American University


USA Today

Mom, get your kids on the juice. Jack LaLanne would approve.