Washington, May 23 (ANI): Children living in households where the parents are married are less likely to become obese than their peers who live with divorced or separated parents, according to new research from Rice University and the University of Houston.
Research by Rachel Kimbro, study co-author, associate professor of sociology at Rice, and colleagues has shown that children living in a traditional two-parent married household are less likely to be obese (17 percent obesity rate) than children living with cohabitating parents, who have a 31 percent obesity rate.
The obesity rate is even higher for children living with an adult relative (29 percent), single mother (23 percent) and cohabitating stepparent family (23 percent). The study did not evaluate children of same-sex couples, due to lack of available data. The higher rates for nontraditional parent families were observed even after the researchers accounted for factors associated with childhood obesity, including diet, physical activity and socio-economic status.
The exception to this finding was children living with single fathers or in married stepparent households, who had an obesity rate of 15 percent.
"Previous research has shown that single-father households tend to have more socio-economic resources than single-mother households," Kimbro said. "And since socio-economic status is the single greatest predictor of health, it serves to explain why children in single-father households may be less likely to be obese."
The study was recently published in the Journal of Applied Research on Children. (ANI)