Mother’s lifestyle choices linked to obesity risk in adolescents: Know detail

05 Juillet, 2018, 20:29 | Auteur: Yves Courtet
  • New Zealand needs to start taking high obesity rates 'seriously', as nearly half of Kiwis predicted to be clinically obese in two decades' time

But researchers were surprised to find a mother's diet alone wasn't linked with obesity in children.

A University of Otago report published today in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health showed the average body mass index (BMI) of New Zealanders increased from 26.4kg/m2 in 1997 to 28.3kg/m2 in 2015.

"Our study was the first to demonstrate that an overall healthy lifestyle really outweighs any individual healthy lifestyle factors followed by mothers when it comes to lowering the risk of obesity in their children", said Qi Sun, assistant professor in the Department of Nutrition and senior author of the study.

Results from an annual Ministry of Health survey late past year showed that 1.2 million adults and 99,000 children aged between two to 14 were dangerously overweight.

Mothers can significantly cut the risk of their children becoming obese if they themselves follow five healthy habits, according to a study.

To arrive at their findings, researchers assessed data from nearly 17,000 women and their 24,000+ children aged between nine to 18 years of age who were taking part in a separate study.

The researchers found that 1,282 of the children, or 5.3 percent, developed obesity during a median five-year follow-up period.

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Greater availability of high energy, low nutrient food, as well as a drop in physical activity, had all contributed to the rise in obesity, he said.

The findings also suggested that children of women who maintained a healthy body weight and did not smoke had 56 per cent and 31 per cent lower risk of obesity respectively.

While the greatest drop in obesity risk was seen when mothers and children followed healthy lifestyle habits, numerous healthy habits had a noticeable impact on the risk of childhood obesity when assessed individually.

Harvard University researchers believe a mother's behavior can affect her child's risk of developing obesity.

Further, mothers' dietary patterns were not associated with obesity in their children, possibly because children's diets are influenced by many factors, including school lunches and available food options in their neighbourhoods.

Funding for this study came from grants UM1-CA176726, P30-DK046200, U54-CA155626, T32-DK007703-16, HD066963, HL096905, DK084001, OH009803, and MH087786 from the National Institutes of Health.

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