A mother’s diet can affect her child’s weight?
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
A mother’s fruit and vegetable intake can affect her child’s diet and weight status.
WHAT WE KNOW
Today, obesity is a national epidemic. Even more unnerving, childhood obesity is on the rise and is now a huge concern among health professionals, educators, and even the First Lady of the United States. The risks of developing certain diseases and conditions increases as body weight increases and reaches the levels considered overweight or obese.¹ Those diseases and conditions include, but are not limited to:
- coronary heart disease
- type 2 diabetes
- certain cancers
Research has shown that there are maternal influences on a child’s eating behavior. For example, mothers often decide what foods are available or served in the home and how often, or a child may model her/his mother’s eating habits. It is therefore conceivable that a mother’s behavior could have an effect on a child’s weight status, as a new study shows.
HOW DO WE KNOW THIS?
A recent study shows that a mother’s fruit and vegetable intake can affect her child’s fruit and vegetable intake and eventually the child’s weight status. The mothers participating in the study were asked to fill out a diet history questionnaire for themselves, as well as their 5 to 6 year old children, assessing their fruit and vegetable intakes. The children’s heights and weights were measured as well. Researchers concluded that there is a positive correlation between a mother’s fruit and vegetable intake and her child’s fruit and vegetable intake and that those children who were overweight or obese ate fewer fruits and vegetables than normal weight children.²
Moms, eat your fruits and veggies! Research shows if you’re focused on eating them, your children eat more fruits and veggies too, which can help prevent overweightness and obesity among them. So chalk this up as yet another benefit to eating a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables!
How Fruits & Vegetables Help Maintain Weight
- Low in Calories. Compared to other foods, most fruits and vegetables are low in calories.
- Help You Feel Full. Fruits and vegetables are full of water and fiber which help to keep you feeling satisfied between meals.
- Help You De-Stress & Eat Less. Eating raw or crisp-tender vegetables requires more chewing which may help you to eat less. Also, eating crunchy foods may help you to de-stress.
Fruits and vegetables also reduce the risk of developing certain chronic diseases. Don’t forget to engage in daily physical activity and encourage your family to join you. You can be a healthy role model for your kids by leading a healthy lifestyle!
¹ “The Effects of Overweight and Obesity.” Healthy Weight-It’s Not a Diet It’s a Lifestyle!
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 17 Aug. 2011. Web. 4 Dec. 2012. View Article
² Miller, Paige, Reneé H. Moore, and Tanja V.E. Kral. “Children’s Daily Fruit and Vegetable Intake: Associations with Maternal Intake and Child Weight Status.” Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior 43.5 (2011): 396-400. Print.