GSU: Strain on parents’ time linked to childhood obesity

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GSU: Strain on parents’ time linked to childhood obesity

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Making sure kids get healthy food takes time. Georgia State University researchers suspect the strain on parents’ time especially in dual-income households is contributing to childhood obesity. (Contributed photo/Shefaly Ravula)

New research by Georgia State University economists found a link between dual-income households and having children that are overweight and obese.

But not just any households: the phenomenon was concentrated with highly educated, married white couples.

It didn’t change the outcome which gender worked, a mom or a dad. The researchers concluded that if a dad spent time with the kids and made healthy meals, kept them from raiding the cupboard and kept them active, that would help.

“Two working parents create a strain on time,” GSU economist Charles Courtemanche said in a statement. “When time gets tight, it changes both the nature of family meals and the question of who’s supervising, two common reasons to think there’s a causal link.” Courtemanche wrote the papery with Rusty Tchernis and Xilin Zhou.

Obesity damages children’s health in many ways, including in affecting their development.

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