Question: When kids turn out overweight or obese, who gets the blame, Mom or Dad? According to a new Australian study we read about, you can point the finger at Dad! The study comes from the International Journal of Obesity, and it involved more than 3,000 families - where kids were at least 8 years old, and only one parent was overweight or obese.
Researchers found that in general, when kids had an overweight Mom, they had the same odds of struggling with weight as children with healthy-weight Moms. But when kids had an overweight Dad, they were more likely to be heavy themselves! Or, to put that another way: Researchers say if you want to predict whether a baby is going to have a weight problem, look at their Dad.
Why would this happen? Emily Freeman is a psychologist who led this new study. She says it boils down to the fact that Dad tends to be the “role model” in the family. Her thinking is that even though kids spend more time with Mom, they usually look to Dad for cues on how to live their lives! In other words: Freeman says Dads need to do a better job of setting a good example for their kids by eating more fruits and vegetables, and by going outside to actually play sports – instead of just watch them on TV.