Study finds link between divorce and childhood obesity in boys

Many people find the throes of divorce a particularly difficult place to be in, especially if you have children. That’s because you not only worry about your own well-being but you may be constantly wondering how a separation will affect your child as well.

As some of our Arizona readers know from doing their own research, there is a lot of literature on the Internet about the effect divorce can have on a child’s mental health. A change in family structure and emotional stresses can change how a child interacts with other people and can even affect how they behave as well. But what about their physical health? Is this something parents should also consider when it comes to divorce?

According to one Norwegian study the answer to this question is yes. After looking at the height and weight measurements of about 3,100 third graders, which was compared to their parents’ marital status, researchers determined that “boys with divorced parents were 63 percent more likely to be overweight or obese […] than boys whose parents stayed married.” Researchers did not find the same to be true for girls though. Their weight did not seem dependent upon their parents’ marital status.

Although the study does appear to show a strong link between obesity and divorce, researchers point out that they were unable to prove that divorce was the only reason for weight gain. As we mentioned above though, divorce can affect how a child behaves in certain situations. It may not be such a stretch to say that divorce could affect their eating and exercising habits as well.

Naturally, in order to prove this true, more research will need to be conducted in the future.

Source: Fox News, “Children of divorce may be more likely to be overweight,” Cari Nierenberg, June 5, 2014

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