Did Your Father’s Waistline Influence Your Own?

Fathers' Influence on Child's Obesity Risk

Photo Credit:Sukanto Debnath

Growing up, most people can’t help but look to their parents’ physiology as a contributor of their current as well as a possible future physique. But, it seems that parents, specifically the father’s waistline, may influence a child’s risk of obesity beyond genetic inheritance.

A study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics investigated the relationship of body mass index (BMI), diet quality and physical activity level between 150 fathers and their preschool-aged children (3 to 5 years of age).

To be eligible, the biological fathers had to eat at least one meal per week with their child. Research dietitians interviewed the fathers and assessed their dietary and physical activity. The researchers also measured the height and weight of both the father and child and calculated BMIs, adjusting the children’s BMIs for age.

The study results showed a positive relationship between father-child weight status, overall diet quality and physical activity. These results suggest that fathers may have an influential role in preventing obesity and helping form healthy lifestyle habits very early in the lives of their children.

Source: Investigating the Relationship of Body Mass Index, Diet Quality, and Physical Activity Level between Fathers and Their Preschool-Aged Children R. Vollmer, K. Adamson, A. Gorin, J. Foster, A. Mobley