Study: Moms' Stress Tied to Kids' Overweight

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The Checkup
Copyright 2008
Tuesday, September 2, 2008; 8:11 AM

Yeah, that's what stressed-out moms needed: someone telling them that their stress may be helping make their kids fat. A study published in today's issue of the journal Pediatrics looked at the relationships in low-income families between kids' weight (as expressed via BMI, or body mass index), the availability of ample food in their homes, and their moms' stress. Using data from the federal National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), researchers led by Craig Gundersen, associate professor in the department of agricultural and consumer economics at the University of Illinois, found that kids ages 3-10 who lived in "food secure" homes (more on that in a moment) and whose mothers reported feeling stressed were more likely to be overweight than kids living in "food insecure" homes with similarly stressed-out mothers. "Increases in maternal stressors increased the probability of being overweight or obese for children in food secure households but


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