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