Obese children more likely to have obese parents according to new survey

A child who has parents that are both obese has a heightened risk of becoming obese themselves, with the mother’s weight in particular playing a large role in their future weight gain, according to a new research study.

A team of researchers in the UK discovered that out of 7,000 children that were between the ages of two and 15 those who had a set of parents that were both obese were 12 times more likely to become obese or already be obese versus children that had parents that were a normal weight. The numbers took into account differences such as ethnicity and socioeconomic status.

The researchers also discovered that there was a strong association between the weight of a child and the weight of his or her mother. This was not the first study to link the weight of a child with the weight of their parents, but it was the first study that did not rely solely on self-reporting practices, making it a much stronger study in terms of information.

Out of 38% of the families that were observed, at least one of the parents was classified as obese and 8% of the families had two parents classified as obese. Only 14% of the families included in the study were classified as normal weight and it was observed that in these families childhood obesity was rare with only a 2% occurrence rate.

When statistics were used that accounted for the weights of parents separately, it was discovered that the weight of the mother played a larger role in the weight of a child than the weight of the father. This may be due to the fact that diet and weight during pregnancy can have a strong impact on the weight of a child since this period of time is thought to be responsible for a child’s future weight and appetite.

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