Working Mothers Children More Prone to Obesity

fat boy

A recent research has shown that there is an interesting correlation between working mom’s employment years and weight gain in their kids. Thus if a child is growing up without constant monitoring by his or her mother, there are greater chances of obesity for the children. It is not so surprising however as there have been similar findings before also, stated a researcher Taryn Morrissey, who teaches public administration and policy at an American University.


The study involved calculation of the proportionate relationship between total working hours of an employed mother verses a child’s weight. However it does not necessarily mean that a mother should leave her job to take care of the child for 24 hours. The findings also did not draw any difference in the conclusion for the fact whether a mother is working in regular work hours or irregular shifts.

Morrissey further elaborates that no mother should feel guilty and blame herself or her job for her child’s obesity. There are many other factors associated with the atmosphere and environment, a child is exposed to, that affect his or her health.

Morrissey’s research was published in journal Child Development. The findings were based on a survey and observation of 990 children that studied in the Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development, in 10 cities of the United States.

Data about children’s mothers and their working status were collected along with Children’s Body Mass Index [BMI] in different years. The survey ignored the type of working hours, traditional schedules or irregular shifts and number of working hours per day for the mothers. Thus the result of the study only showed correlation between number of years for which mothers worked and their cumulative impact on children’s BMI.

During the research a mother with smallest period of employment that was only 3.5 months saw only a slight increase in her child’s BMI and that was considered as normal course of weight gain for the child of that age.

Morrissey clarifies this fact saying that an average normal weight gain for a child of average height is 1 pound in every five months. The proportionate correlation between the two values was found more prominent in higher age group children. I might be due to the fact that children studying in fifth and sixth grade choose food of their choices in their mothers’ absence. This gradually leads to food habits that lead to obesity and other problems culminating from high sugar and fat intake.

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