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Child obesity may be linked to parents’ divorce

People who are getting divorced in Florida are often well aware that their split-up may have a negative impact on the kids. This is particularly true if the two individuals can’t agree on how to handle child custody and visitation rights. One of the negative effects of divorce on kids is a tendency for a child to be obese or overweight, according to new research.

The new study indicates that those who get divorced tend to have kids who are heavier than those of parents who remain married. In addition, the research revealed that boys seem to be most at risk of becoming obese or overweight, particularly in the waist area, after their parents call it quits. This is concerning because having extra fat in one’s belly can boost one’s risk of heart disease, as well as diabetes. It thus can shorten a person’s life span.

Boys who were in families where the parents never married or had separated had obesity rates that were similar to those of boys with parents who were married. The same was true for boys with single parents, according to the study. One reason boys of divorced parents may struggle more with being overweight is that their parents have less money to buy and prepare healthy foods. Emotional stress at home can also impact a child’s eating habits.

When two people decide to dissolve their marriage, they may be consumed with making sure that their custody wishes are met. In Florida, a judge presiding over the case may look at the child’s wishes and the parents’ wishes before making a decision that typically focuses on the best interests of the child. However, if the parents can amicably come up with a reasonable custody agreement on their own, they can avoid court intrusion and increase their children’s chances of better coping with a divorce.

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