Obesity in children linked to parents’ marital status

Washington, May 23 (IANS) A new study by US researchers shows that children living with married parents are less likely to be obese.

“Childhood obesity is a significant public health issue in our country with nearly one-third of all US children aged 2-17 overweight or obese,” said Rachel Kimbro, study co-author and associate professor of sociology at the Rice university.

“Despite this, very little research has been conducted to explore the impact of family structure on this epidemic,” said Kimbro, who is also and director of Rice’s Kinder Institute Urban Health Programme.

In a recent edition of the Journal of Applied Research on Children: Informing Policy for Children at Risk, the study by Kimbro and colleagues shows that children living in a traditional two-parent married household are less likely to be obese (with 17 percent obesity rate) than children living with cohabiting parents, who have a 31 percent obesity rate, reports Science Daily.

“For reasons we cannot fully measure, there appears to be something about people who marry and have a child that is fundamentally different than the other groups, and these factors are also linked to children’s weight,” Kimbro said.

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