New study blames dads for childhood obesity

Fat children are more likely to have their father to blame for their weight problem than their mother, a new study shows.

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Research by Australian child health experts has revealed that fathers who are disengaged or do not set clear limits for their kids are more likely to have heavier children.

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The study of almost 5,000 youngsters found that dads who did lay down boundaries generally had children with a lower body mass index (BMI).

Surprisingly, a mother’s parenting behaviour or style apparently had no impact on whether a child was overweight or obese.

The research by Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and The Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne, compared the BMIs of 4 and 5 year olds with their parents’ parenting styles.

The specialists said it was vital to study early parenting because home life often established patterns for life-long obesity.

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Extra weight is a precursor to serious childhood and adult diseases like asthma, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer.

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