Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(7), 2800-2810; doi:10.3390/ijerph7072800
Article

Parenthood—A Contributing Factor to Childhood Obesity

Department of Dietetics and Nutrition, Robert Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work, Florida International University, 11200 SW 8th St., HLS1-435, Miami, FL 33199, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 14 May 2010; in revised form: 17 June 2010 / Accepted: 28 June 2010 / Published: 30 June 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Obesity and Public Health)
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Abstract: Prevalence of childhood obesity and its complications have increased world-wide. Parental status may be associated with children’s health outcomes including their eating habits, body weight and blood cholesterol. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) for the years 1988–1994, provided a unique opportunity for matching parents to children enabling analyses of joint demographics, racial differences and health indicators. Specifically, the NHANES III data, 1988–1994, of 219 households with single-parents and 780 dual-parent households were analyzed as predictors for primary outcome variables of children’s Body Mass Index (BMI), dietary nutrient intakes and blood cholesterol. Children of single-parent households were significantly (p < 0.01) more overweight than children of dual-parent households. Total calorie and saturated fatty acid intakes were higher among children of single-parent households than dual-parent households (p < 0.05). On average, Black children were more overweight (p < 0.04) than children of other races. The study results implied a strong relationship between single-parent status and excess weight in children. Further studies are needed to explore the dynamics of single-parent households and its influence on childhood diet and obesity. Parental involvement in the development of school- and community-based obesity prevention programs are suggested for effective health initiatives. Economic constraints and cultural preferences may be communicated directly by family involvement in these much needed public health programs.
Keywords: children’s diet; childhood obesity; NHANES; single-parent households; BMI; blood-cholesterol

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MDPI and ACS Style

Huffman, F.G.; Kanikireddy, S.; Patel, M. Parenthood—A Contributing Factor to Childhood Obesity. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7, 2800-2810.

AMA Style

Huffman FG, Kanikireddy S, Patel M. Parenthood—A Contributing Factor to Childhood Obesity. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2010; 7(7):2800-2810.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Huffman, Fatma G.; Kanikireddy, Sankarabharan; Patel, Manthan. 2010. "Parenthood—A Contributing Factor to Childhood Obesity." Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 7, no. 7: 2800-2810.

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