Obesity In Children Linked To Parental Divorce

Attorney Matthew R. Arnold answering the question: “Do I need an attorney to get a Divorce in North Carolina?”


In a surprising study out of Norway, researchers say they have found a possible link between divorce and childhood obesity. Interestingly, researchers say that the link appears mainly to impact boys, rather than affecting children across the board.


Apple with Ruler Charlotte Family Lawyer North Carolina Divorce AttorneyThe research began by examining health data from school nurses of more than 1,000 children in third grade. More than 20 percent of those children qualified as either overweight or obese. Though weight problems impacted children of all walks of life, scientists were surprised to see how much divorce correlated with increased weight gain.


Specifically, the study found that children whose parents were divorced were 50 percent more likely to be obese than other kids. Among this group, the kids were 90 percent more likely to be abdominally obese, meaning that the majority of their weight was stored in their midsection, a type of obesity that has been linked to numerous health problems.


The children of divorce were not only more likely to be obese than kids whose parents remained married, but also kids whose parents were never married. Researchers say that even when considering other factors, such as wealth and parental education, the divorce-obesity link held true.


Among the biggest surprises was how divorce impacted children differently based on their gender. The study found that boys were 63 percent more likely to be overweight or obese than those with married parents. Additionally, they were 104 percent more likely to be abdominally obese. Girls were shown to have much smaller likelihood of obesity, regardless of their family circumstances.


Though researchers were interested in discovering the link, they were not nearly as interested in offering possible explanations for the data. Some experts have come forward to speculate that children of divorce may be at risk for obesity because parents usually take a big financial hit when divorced, especially women who are left raising children. Since poverty has also been shown to dramatically impact obesity rates, it is possible that children staying with less wealthy mothers face increased risk of gaining weight. This could be because the mothers have less time to cook at home and less money to buy healthy foods, relying more on prepared meals or fast food.


If you find yourself facing a complicated family matter then you need the help of experienced family law attorneys in Charlotte, North Carolina who can help guide you through the often confusing process of divorce, please contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC today at (704) 370-2828 or find additional resources here.



About the Author

ARNOLD&SMITH_243 3.jpgMatthew Arnold is a Managing Member of Arnold & Smith, PLLC, where he focuses on the areas of family law, divorce, child custody, child support, alimony and equitable distribution.

Mr. Arnold was raised in Charlotte, where he graduated from Providence Senior High School. He attended Belmont Abbey College, where he graduated cum laude, before attending law school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on a full academic scholarship.

In his free time, Mr. Arnold enjoys golfing and spending time with his wife and three children.




“Boys of Divorced Parents Twice as Likely to Be Obese,” by Belinda Luscombe, published at Time.com.



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