Single Fathers Have Slimmer Kids?

Every day I discover more information proving that the choice of single motherhood is a really bad and incredibly selfish idea. I’m going to keep giving out information to hopefully change a few minds. I can only do but so much but, it makes perfect sense to raise children with their biological mother and father in the same home. If that cannot happen, the next best option is to have two homes with as much contact with both the mother and father as possible.

Here is a very interesting report that was just released:


Researchers from Rice University in Houston have found that children living in homes with both parents are less likely to become obese than their peers who live with divorced or separated parents.

Following a 12-year study, the researchers say the data suggests children who grow up in a “traditional” home with married parents are at a lower risk of becoming obese. Interestingly, however, their data also suggests that children living with a single father ran an even lower risk of becoming obese.

The study, led by Rachel Kimbro, associate professor of sociology at Rice and director of Rice’s University’s Kinder Institute Urban Health Program, and co-author Jennifer Augustine, also found that even married stepparents were beneficial in reducing the likelihood of children becoming obese.

Given the obesity epidemic in America, Kimbro says she was surprised that so little research had been done to investigate the role played by the family in a child’s weight issues. Augustine and Kimbro’s study is now available in the latest edition of the Journal of Applied Research on Children: Informing Policy for Children at Risk.

Kimbro and her colleagues began collecting data for this study in 2001, conducting in-home interviews with primary caregivers when their children were nine months old. The researchers then gathered subsequent data when the children were two years old, when they entered preschool, and when they were in kindergarten. Kimbro and crew included a diverse group of families in their study, including families from various ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds.

The data concluded that children who lived with married parents in what they called a “traditional” two-parent household had a 17 percent chance of becoming obese. The only group they studied that had a lower percentage of becoming obese were children raised by single fathers or married stepparents.

With 31 percent obesity rate, children who lived with cohabitating, non-married parents were almost twice as likely to become obese as those living with married parents. Children living with an adult relative had a 29 percent obesity rate according to this study, while cohabitating stepparents led to a 23 percent obesity rate. The researchers say they controlled for other factors which have previously been found to lead to childhood obesity, including activity, diet and socioeconomic status.

In a statement, Kimbro suggested why children raised by single fathers were even less likely to become obese than those raised in a home with two married parents.

“Previous research has shown that single-father households tend to have more socio-economic resources than single-mother households,” said Kimbro. “And since socioeconomic status is the single greatest predictor of health, it serves to explain why children in single-father households may be less likely to be obese.”


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