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Ear to the Ground

Study: Working Moms Making Kids Fatter

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Posted on Feb 4, 2011
flickr /Oberazzi (CC-BY-SA)

Oh good, here’s another sciencey reason for working moms to fret. Researchers from three big U.S. universities teamed up to come to the dispiriting conclusion that there could well be a correlation between the amount of time mothers work and how much their kids weigh.  —KA

HealthDay in U.S. News:

Researchers at American University, Cornell University and the University of Chicago analyzed data on 900 school-aged children, and found that the cumulative time that a child’s mother worked was associated with a small but measurable increase in the child’s body mass index (BMI), a measurement that takes into account height and weight.

... “It’s important to emphasize that it seems to be the environmental factors associated with the total time that moms work, and not maternal employment per se, that contributes to an increase in children’s BMI,” said study author Taryn W. Morrissey, an assistant professor of public administration and policy at American University.

Surprisingly, there was no evidence that the increase in BMI was linked to more TV viewing, a decrease in physical activity, or more time spent unsupervised.

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By freikish, February 8, 2011 at 7:14 pm Link to this comment

Here, let me spell this out for the researchers who can’t figure this out on their own:  working moms == more takeout or fast food == fatter kids (fatter adults, too).

Second supporting formula:
stay at home dad != less takeout or fast food.  Because stay at home dads do, in general, less housework/cooking/chores than stay at home moms.  Hell, half the stay-at-home dads I know (that’s 3 of 6) do less housework than their gainfully employed spouse.

All this is generality - I’m not impugning on anyone’s amazing working/stay-at-home spouse…

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By billiam, February 6, 2011 at 11:58 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’m waiting to hear from female boomers in nursing homes (should I live so long) concerning their choices, disappointments, bitternesses, etc.

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By AnnaCatherine, February 5, 2011 at 2:28 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

These people have money to burn. Information is useless and unimportant. Kids are fat because they don’t “go out and run around” the way they once did. Time spent with TV, video games, texting, etc. has made it impossible for kids to get any exercise. Their days are not designed to include any free time. Everything is programmed and structured. The Northeast has been covered with snow for weeks and I have yet to see kids sleigh riding. That’s so sad.

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, February 5, 2011 at 12:40 pm Link to this comment

Who finances these studies? 

Have we as a species run out of important things to study like pollution, alternate energy, recycling than investigate fast corporate food and the fatness which results.

Talk about maligned priorities.

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winsome1's avatar

By winsome1, February 5, 2011 at 11:25 am Link to this comment

Yes, and who financed these studies and toward what end?  This is “scienciness,”
to extrapolate Stephen Colbert, and is not worthy of Truthdig’s attention.  What
gives, Truthdig?  Feel the need for human interest stories?  Resist!

And dump Ruth Marcus.

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