Children learn their first lessons of life at home and have a tendency to ape their parents. That’s why moms and dads are told to be at their best behaviour around children, lest they learn something wrong. Moms have a greater responsibility to set an example because new research that was published in the British Medical Journal on July 4, 2018, says that mothers who follow five healthy habits will reduce their children’s obesity rate by 75 percent.
In a paper titled Association between maternal adherence to healthy lifestyle practices and risk of obesity in offspring, researchers examined the connection between overall maternal lifestyle and the risk of obesity in children. The paper says that the children of moms who followed an overall healthy lifestyle had a lower risk of obesity than mothers who didn’t practice these lifestyle choices.
They were able to zero down to five important habits of moms that will cut the risk of obesity in their children. What are these five habits?
Eating a Healthy Diet
According to the study, mothers who ate a healthy diet, comprising higher intake of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, polyunsaturated fatty acids, long chain omega 3 fatty acids and had a lower intake of red meat, sugar, sweetened beverages, transfats and sodium were less likely to have obese children.
The study found out that mothers who engaged in 150-299 minutes per week in exercises of either moderate or vigorous intensity were less likely to have obese kids than mothers who did not perform any exercise.
Keeping a Healthy Body Weight
The Body Mass (BMI) is a way to gauge a person’s overall health, with respect to the body weight. It helps determine whether the person has excessive or too little body fat. Normal BMI for a woman is anywhere between 18.5 and 24.9. The study found out that maintaining a BMI between these two figures is a factor in determining the child’s obesity risk.
Drinking Alcohol in Moderation
Indiscriminate alcohol consumption is bad for overall health. But should be fine in moderate amounts, according to the study. The researchers note that moms who indulge in light to moderate alcohol consumption also help reduce their children’s BMI.
The smoking status of the mother determines the overall health of the child. The study also found out that mothers who stay away from the cancer stick also have children who are less prone to be obese.
But surprisingly, the researchers found that while diet played a big role, the dietary patterns of the mother didn’t impact the child’s obesity. The scientists believe that this could probably be because children’s diet choices are influenced by multiple factors, including school lunches and food options available in their neighbourhood.