The Connection Between Parent's Lifestyles and Child Obesity

Parents always want the best for their children. Whether it comes to healthy diets, team sports or certain school districts, parents are going to choose the best of the best to ensure that their child is taken care of to the best of their ability. However, as parents, did you know that your lifestyle habits also have an impact on your child’s health?

Some research studies have shown that the mother’s lifestyle habits play a significant role in childhood obesity.

This recent study, published in The BMJ, reviewed health information from 24,289 children aged 9 to 14 and found a connection between mothers who followed healthy diets, worked out regularly, maintained a normal BMI, drank alcohol in moderation and did not smoke were 75 percent less likely to be obese than mothers who lived unhealthy lifestyles.

Looking at mothers and children who followed these five healthy habits together were 82 percent less likely to suffer from obesity.

5 Lifestyle Habits Linked to Child Obesity

Qi Sun, M.D., a researcher and associate professor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, shared his knowledge on how these five habits impact your child’s health.

1. Regular Exercise

Active mothers often set an example for their kids to be active as well. Mothers who engage in beneficial physical activities such as cycling, running and swimming, spend their time doing these activities with their children.

Additionally, mothers who are more regular with their workout routines are more likely to sign their kids up for team sports such as basketball or baseball.

2. Nutritional Diet

Moms who follow healthy diets will be more mindful of the snacks they give their children and encourage them to eat healthier foods. By engaging their kids in healthy eating habits at an early age, they are able to keep their child’s weight at a healthy level.

When children see their mother snacking on fruits and veggies, they are more likely to snack on these foods rather than unhealthy ones.

3. Body Mass Index (BMI)

A study that included 215 mother-son and 212 mother-daughter pairs showed a strong correlation between maternal BMI and the risk of childhood obesity. These findings were linked to a combination of the home environment and genetics.

BMI is a good indication of physical activity and diet and a strong factor for predicting childhood obesity.

4. Alcohol in Moderation

Drinking alcohol in moderation lowers the risk of many health issues such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension and certain heart disease. The BMJ research found that children of parents who drank in moderation were less likely to be obese.

5. Smoking

Some research has shown that children who are exposed to parents who smoke are more likely to follow in their parent’s footsteps and pick up a cigarette.

While second-hand smoke causes harmful health problems in children, it has also shown that children have a higher risk of becoming obese when their parents smoke. Staying away from tobacco can go a long way in helping your child live a healthier lifestyle and reduce their risk of obesity.

Take a Healthy Step Forward

It’s never too late to incorporate a healthier lifestyle in your household. By making small changes such as reducing alcohol consumption or adding more veggies to your diet can go a long way in keeping your child and the whole family healthy and happy.

The content of this Website is for informational purposes only, is general in nature and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, and does not constitute professional advice. The information on this Website should not be considered as complete and does not cover all diseases, ailments, physical conditions, or their treatment. You should consult with your physician before beginning any exercise, weight loss, or health care program and/or any of the beauty treatments. 


5 Surprising Ways Parents’ Lifestyles Impact Childhood Obesity | MyFitnessPal. (2018, September 04). Retrieved from