New Study Shows Divorce May Cause Obesity in Children
The International Obesity Task Force (IOTF) estimates that there are more than 300 million obese people in the world. The organization defines obesity as 'a BMI - 30 kg/m2, but can be further divided on the bases of the severity of the obesity. In the past 30 years the percentage of American children between the ages of 5 to 14 years old who are overweight has doubled, rising from 15 percent to 32 percent.
Researchers studied the health data from 3166 third grade students from 127 schools in Norway. The gender breakdown of the students was 1537 girls and 1629 boys.
School nurses were trained in obtaining the children's height and weight while they were dressed in light clothing and wearing no shoes. BMI was calculated by using the age and gender-specific guidelines established by IOTF.
Researchers obtained parental marriage information from the National Population Registry and categorized into three groups: married, never married (this includes cohabiting, single and separated parents) and divorced.
The study concluded that: 'Children of divorced parents had a 54 percent higher prevalence of general overweight (including obesity) and 89 percent higher prevalence of abdominal obesity compared to children of married parents.'
The researchers point out that just because this study, as well as several other studies, shows the same results between children's weight and divorce, does not mean that there cannot be other factors that are causing this correlation. 'A consequence [of divorce] might be less time for domestic tasks such as cooking and reliance on more convenient, ready-to-eat foods.'
They also point to possible other factors, such as fewer economic resources which could lead to less healthy food choices. The emotional impact divorce has on children was also cited as a possible reason, 'Such emotional stress may impact on eating behavior and physical activity level.'If you are considering divorce, contact an experienced'Kane County family law attorney today to help you decide what the best options for you and your family are.