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A Temple University study, funded by the National Institutes of Health and published online in Social Science and Medicine, focused on the eating habits of the children when their parents are dealing with work and life stresses. The first part of the study showed that families with mothers who work full time had fewer family meals, ate fast food more often, and had a lower fruit and vegetable intake than part-time or unemployed mothers. Fully employed fathers spent less time in food preparation than those working part-time or not at all. Similarly, mothers and fathers who were experiencing significant work or life stress translated into one and a half fewer family meals every week.
Our Take: It stands to reason that parental work habits affect every part of their lives and that of their children too. Many parents have no choice but to work harder, especially in today’s economy. However it is important to place an emphasis on nutrition – avoiding fast foods and processed foods – to ensure that parents and their kids are eating healthily. There are of course many factors that affect excess weight and obesity. This is just one of them. It must be made clear however that even a few unhealthy meals each week can have a long term detrimental effect on our kids’ weight.
Temple University. “Healthy Eating Hindered By Parents’ Work-Life Stress.” Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 25 Jun. 2012. Web. 15 Jan. 2013. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/246989.php