Children of divorced parents are prone to gaining weight says a study conducted by researchers from the London School of Economics and Political Science. The findings of the study were printed in the journal, ‘Demography’.
The research included information gathered by the UK Millennium Cohort Study on 7,574 children with birth dates falling within 2000-2002. This data was analyzed by researchers from London School of Economics and Political Science with the kids being followed during their nine month, third, fifth, seventh, eleventh and fourteenth year of age. However, analysis was done before the fourteenth year crept in. They were analyzed for gain in their weight after the separation of their parents. Besides weight, the height, gender and age were some other factors considered to ascertain their body mass index (BMI). This was necessary for categorizing them as obese, overweight or a healthy weight.
About 1,573 of the children involved in the study had witnessed the separation of their parents when they were around 11 years of age. Weight gain resulted in kids during the first two years from the separation of their parents with chances of them becoming obese or overweight increasing in about three years of the separation. The weight gain was more noticeable in kids who witnessed the divorce of their parents before they turned six.
The study emphasized the fact of parental separation having a long lasting impact on the children and focused on the importance of early intervention to reduce the chances of weight gain in them. Effective support was needed to be given to families undergoing a break-up.
The study also notified several reasons attributing to the weight gain among children of separated parents. The major ones pertained to availability of lesser time, energy and resources to provide nutritious food, extra-curricular activities etc. to the kids.
The factor of socio-economic drawback was a controlled variable.