Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Is your child ruining your health?

You might think running around after children would leave you in good shape, but a new study suggests mothers and fathers of toddlers are unhealthier than their childless piers.

Women of young children are heavier and consume more calories, fatty foods and fizzy drinks than those who don’t have kids, according to research from the University of Minnesota.

‘This isn’t a study about blame, this is about identifying a very high-risk time period for parents,’ says co-author Dr Jerica Berge. Doctors should be aware of the risks and be able to offer solutions such as diet advice and parent-child activities, say the researchers.

It is understandable that with a houseful of young children, parents opt for quick and easy meal options, but the study shows mothers with young children eat about 368 more calories than women without. Fathers ate about the same as childless men but got about two hours less physical activity.

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