Fathers' involvement may help prevent childhood obesity

June 21, 2017, Wiley
This is an image of a weight scale. Credit: CDC/Debora Cartagena

Fathers are becoming more involved with raising children, but limited research has examined their association with childhood obesity. In a recent study, fathers' increased involvement with child caregiving was linked with a decreased likelihood that their children would become obese from age 2 to 4.

In the study, which used data from a survey conducted in a nationally representative sample of children in the United States, increases in ' participation in physical child care (such as bathing and dressing children) and the frequency that they took children outside for walks and playtime were linked with a decreased likelihood of obesity in their young children.

The findings suggest that encouraging fathers to increase their involvement with raising children and including fathers in prevention efforts may help reduce obesity risk among .

"There is growing evidence of the importance of fathers' involvement in raising children in other areas of 's development, and our study suggests that there may be benefits to child health as well," said Dr. Michelle Wong, lead author of the Obesity study. "While due to data limitations we could only consider the involvement of fathers, it is also important to understand the relative caregiving involvement of both mothers and fathers."

Explore further: Father involvement lacking in pediatric obesity programs

More information: Obesity, DOI: 10.1002/oby.21902

Related Stories

Father involvement lacking in pediatric obesity programs

January 30, 2017
(HealthDay)—Fathers are not adequately engaged in pediatric obesity treatment or prevention programs with parent involvement, according to a review published online Jan. 27 in Pediatrics.

Gender inequalities exist for fathers in the Swedish child health field

May 4, 2015
Fathers in Sweden are not provided with the same opportunities as mothers when it comes to learning about how to take care and raise their children.

Fathers who sleep closer to children have lower testosterone levels

September 5, 2012
Closer sleeping proximity between fathers and children is associated with a greater decrease in the father's testosterone level, with possible implications for parenting behavior. The full report is published Sep. 5 in the ...

Dad's involvement with baby early on associated with boost in mental development

May 9, 2017
Fathers who interact more with their children in their first few months of life could have a positive impact on their baby's cognitive development.

Recommended for you

Where you live may influence whether you are overweight, study finds

January 23, 2018
The old real estate adage of "location, location, location" may also apply to obesity.

Evening hours may pose higher risk for overeating, especially when under stress, study finds

January 16, 2018
Experiments with a small group of overweight men and women have added to evidence that "hunger hormone" levels rise and "satiety (or fullness) hormone" levels decrease in the evening. The findings also suggest that stress ...

Bariatric surgery prolongs lifespan in obese

January 16, 2018
Obese, middle-age men and women who had bariatric surgery have half the death rate of those who had traditional medical treatment over a 10-year period, reports a study that answers questions about the long-term risk of the ...

Sugar-sweetened drinks linked to overweight and obesity in children, adults: Analysis of new studies

December 23, 2017
A new review of the latest evidence on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs)- which includes 30 new studies published between 2013 and 2015 (and none of them industry sponsored) - concludes that SSB consumption is associated with ...

As income rises, women get slimmer—but not men

December 21, 2017
(HealthDay)—A comprehensive survey on the widening American waistline finds that as paychecks get bigger, women's average weight tends to drop.

Policy and early intervention can curb obesity rates

December 18, 2017
More information and emphasis on dietary lifestyle changes that prevent obesity, and its comorbidities, have not reduced the rise in obesity in U.S. adults and adolescents, according to a recent study in the New England Journal ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.