Obesity is more common among children of divorced parents.
Research has found that children of divorced parents are 54% more likely to be overweight or obese, and 89% more likely to have abdominal obesity (excess fat around the waist) than children from families with married parents.
The study analyzed data from more than 3,000 Norwegian students whose weight, height and waist circumference were measured, with which the body mass index and waist-height index were calculated. Data was also collected on the marital status of the children's parents.
It was found that between 8 and 9 years of age, there are more overweight girls than boys, regardless of the marital status of their parents.
But while no evidence was found that boys are more likely than girls to have weight problems after their parents' divorce, the data showed that boys with divorced parents were 63% more likely to be overweight or obese, and 104 % more likely to have abdominal obesity, than children whose parents remained married. While girls with divorced parents were 34% more likely to be overweight than girls whose parents were still married.
The results show how the change in daily structure that occurs during a divorce can affect a child's eating behavior and levels of physical activity.
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