In a study conducted on young parents and their childless counterparts, those with small children are more likely to follow unhealthy eating and exercise behaviors.
The study, conducted on young men and women living in Minnesota, showed that those who have toddlers less than five years of age tend to eat a less healthy diet than those with no children. The men in the study group, however, did not show as dramatic a difference in weight as did the young mothers. Both moms and dads spent less time in physical activities than the childless men and women in the study.
The results are compiled from surveys given in 1998 to over 1,500 people in their last 2 years of high school. The respondents were surveyed again in 2009 showing that around 10 percent had one or more children.
The survey showed that both groups ate similar amounts of healthy foods but moms tended to drink larger quantities of sugary drinks and eat larger quantities of fatty foods. The moms also tended to have a higher body mass index than the women with no children.
The concern is that the parent’s behavior will be passed on to their children leading to poor eating and exercise habits and higher rates of obesity.