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Children With Stressed Parents More Likely to Become Obese in Adolescent Years, Finds Study

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Last Updated: May 23, 2021, 16:59 IST

Image Credits: Shutterstock/Representational

Image Credits: Shutterstock/Representational

The study underlines that overeating could also be a result of teenagers not getting enough social interaction or other known reasons.

It is no surprise that the lifestyle of the parents is often reflected upon on the children. In a recent study, it has been suggested that children with stressed parents are more likely to gain unhealthy weight during adolescent age, thus linking parents’ depression to the overeating of their kids.

Researchers at University College London found that fathers who suffer from depression after the birth of their children may overfeed them, and it could lead to the kids getting obese between the age of 5 and 14, as reported by Daily Mail quoting the study.

Mothers, too, may unknowingly affect the diet of their kids. However, the impact was not visible on boys, and researchers are looking for more data to find out why. But the children themselves can turn to comfort eating as a coping mechanism of living in a stressed environment.

The study underlines that overeating could also be a result of teenagers not getting enough social interaction or other known reasons. Psychologist Kristiane Tommerup studied data on over 6000 kids who were born in the UK between 2000 and 2002.

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Parents were asked about their mental health when their child was nine months old and again when they turned three. Researchers also noted the weight of their children from five to 14 years. Nearly 10 percent of mothers complained of depression when their child was nine months and three years. The figure for fathers swung from 6 percent at nine months to 10 percent at three years.

Through her research, Kristaine highlighted the importance of providing parents with “social, mental health and socioeconomic support", as these factors impact the growth of their children and the wellbeing of a family as whole.

Several other findings have associated physical health with mental health, calling for a balanced approach to tackle the problem.

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first published:May 23, 2021, 16:59 IST
last updated:May 23, 2021, 16:59 IST