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Parental Stress Affects Fast Food Consumption and Childhood Obesity

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Today, nearly 1 in 3 children nationwide is overweight or obese. Studying how and what the children eat today can shed some light on the causes of this epidemic.

Researchers supported by the Pediatric Growth and Nutrition Branch conducted a survey of more than 2,000 parents in Pennsylvania to find out about children’s eating patterns. Parents who reported that they were under more stress had children with increased consumption of fast food. Moreover, parents with a greater number of difficulties (such as poor health or financial worries) were more likely to have children that were overweight or obese. 

These types of studies illustrate the complexity of the causes of obesity and provide possible ways to mediate the outcomes (PMID: 23090343).

Last Reviewed: 05/01/2014
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