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Obesity link to wealthy families

24th July 2007

A new study has revealed that the children of wealthier parents are more likely to be obese or overweight.

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And researchers at the Institute of Child Health in London, who followed 13,000 children to the age of three, found that was particularly the case for children of working mothers.

For every 10 hours worked, the risk of being overweight rose once household income topped £11,000, say the research group.

Writing in the International Journal of Obesity, the experts said the findings were a “wake-up call? for the middle classes after finding that 23% of the children in the study were overweight or obese by the age of three. A clear link between obesity and income earned was also highlighted.

The researchers said: “Long hours of maternal employment, rather than lack of money, may impede young children’s access to healthy foods and physical activity. For example, parental time constraints could increase a child's consumption of snack foods and/or increase television use.?

They said working mothers were also less likely to breastfeed for the recommended amount of time and those with higher incomes were more likely to have demanding jobs. They were also more likely to be in a position to afford convenience food and increase the risk.

Dr Susan Jebb, head of nutrition and health at the Medical Research Council, said: “Obesity is something that affects middle-class families as well, and that's important because many people take it to be an issue which only affects low income groups and it is absolutely not the case.?

 

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Article Information

Title: Obesity link to wealthy families
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 3547
Date Added: 24th Jul 2007

Sources

BBC News

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