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Overprotective mums may increase child obesity

According to a recent study, children who have extremely protective mothers are more likely to be affected by obesity around the age of 10 or 11 years old.

The research also revealed that mums from disadvantaged families who had a lower level of maternal education and income would be more likely to be overprotective.

The study, which was published on PLOS ONE, analysed data that had been taken from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children. The research revealed a link between the levels of child obesity and parents who were overprotective.

The researchers, from the Telethon Kids Institute, had also recognised that the pattern became obvious when children are aged 10 to 11 years old. Kirsten Hancock, the lead author said:

“We found that kids had up to a 13% higher risk of being overweight or obese if their mum had above-average protectiveness, but the pattern only emerged when kids were about 10 or 11 years old.”

Hancock confirmed that there was no clear reason for why children of that age were most affected, although independence was thought to be a factor. Hancock explained that children of that age would normally be allowed to become more mobile and enjoy becoming independent, including riding their bike or walking to school.

Although being mobile is one factor of child obesity, an unhealthy diet is another and UK schools are playing an active role in encouraging nutritious eating habits, especially through the school tuckshop. Teesside schools are amongst those only providing healthy options, while limiting sugary food and drink.

Posted by Susan
July 7, 2014
Research

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