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For Once, It's the Father's Fault

By Madeline Holler |

childhood obesity, family health

Dad's weight is a predictor for his kids' weight.

Have a seat, Moms. A new study has found that for once, it might not be your fault. Or at least not entirely. Instead, researchers are pointing their fingers at dads.

A child obesity study, published this month in the International Journal of Obesity, concluded that children of men who are overweight might be at higher risk for obesity themselves. In fact, even if mom was obese, there was no increased risk of obesity for the child so long as dad was normal weight.

Well now!

Researchers noted back in 2004 the height and weight of the four- and five-year-olds in 3,285 Australian families.  In 2008, they noted height and weight increases. Parents recorded their own size stats and were grouped into three categories: healthy, overweight and obese.

The LA Times Booster Shots blog breaks the study down:

Having an overweight father and a healthy-weight mother increased the odds of the child becoming obese four years later by 318%. Having a father who was obese increased the odds to 1,388%. But having a healthy-weight father and an overweight or obese mother did not significantly predict that the child would be obese.

Having two overweight or obese parents also increased the risk for overweight or obese children.


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About Madeline Holler


Madeline Holler

Madeline Holler is a writer, journalist, and blogger. She has written for Babble since the site launched in 2006. Her writing has appeared in various other publications both online and in print, including Salon and True/Slant (now Forbes). A native of the Midwest, Madeline lives, writes, and parents in Southern California, where she's raising two daughters and a son. Read bio and latest posts → Read Madeline's latest posts →

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5 thoughts on “For Once, It's the Father's Fault

  1. arthurmitchel says:

    Companies give out samples of their products all the time, it’s a very effective marketing strategy. Best place online is “Get Official Samples” find online

  2. CW says:

    Great- I’m relatively thin but my DH is about 25 or 30 lbs. overweight. My older two kids are thin like my side of the family but my little one has gotten a bit chubby since we took her off gluten & dairy. She went from being below the 3rd percentile for both height & weight to 5th percentile for height and 25th for weight. The pediatrician did tell me that kids who go off gluten do often gain weight quickly while it takes some time for the height to catch up. I really hope that is the case because it’s hard enough for women to deal with body issues even when they’re at a healthy weight.

  3. KM says:

    Great… a survey dedicated to finding someone to blame. How about a survey on learning on how to be rid of childhood obesity instead?

  4. Jennifer says:

    Well I guess that explains why my kids eat all day long, even finish all their dinner and are thin little things. I’m obese….their dad is 6 ft and 140lbs…..I should print this and take it into their ped. Maybe then she’ll realize that yeah they are skinny. like. their. dad.

  5. Samira says:

    I’m overweight my daughter’s father is underweight my daughter is on the slender side, however my mom is overweight my dad is healthy weight and I am overweight what gives?

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