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Lone children 'more likely' to be obese

7th December 2010

According to research by the University of London, lone children have a higher chance of being obese than children who have a brother or sister.

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The study, headed by the Institute of Education, showed that only children had 25% more likelihood of being overweight than children with one sibling.

The researchers suggested that children with siblings took more exercise and that only children are more often over-indulged by their parents.

The study analysed over 11,000 children who were born between 2000-2002. The researchers are examining child health and other developmental factors as part of the  Millennium Cohort Study, which is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council.

The researchers found there was a strong connection between how a parent behaved and their child's weight.

Parents who were smokers or overweight were more likely to have a child who had weight issues.

The report said: "The importance of parents’, and especially mothers’ BMI, suggests that overweight is a family problem, and health messages need to be targeted at mothers in particular."

"Childhood overweight appears to be primarily due to an obesogenic home environment rather than individual child level factors."

 

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