Children of Divorce May Face Higher Risk of Obesity

Orange County Divorce Firm, The Maggio Law Firm

Irvine Family Law Firm, The Maggio Law Firm

Irvine, CA (Law Firm Newswire) August 29, 2014 — According to a new study from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, children with divorced parents are more likely to be obese.

Researchers studied more than 3,000 third-graders, comparing children of divorced parents to children of married parents and children of parents who never married. The children with divorced parents were 54 percent more likely to be obese.

The research does not conclusively identify why children of divorce have the highest rate of obesity. But researchers speculate that decreased time and money for healthy meals may contribute to the problem.

“Children suffer when a divorce drains the mental and financial resources of parents,” said Gerald Maggio, a California divorce attorney and mediator. “Divorcing parents must be mindful to create a plan for the physical health of their children.”

In 2013, a study from the University College London linked parental divorce in childhood with later immune inflammation and vulnerability to metabolic diseases. The authors of the study stressed that it was not the divorce, but the negative fallout from divorce, that led to the adverse health risks.

Studies from universities in Australia and Greece have also noted the link between parental divorce and childhood obesity.

In the United States, the social and emotional effects of divorce on children have been studied extensively. Scientists agree that although divorce causes immediate emotional turmoil, most children of divorce eventually become emotionally stable adults. Although little research has been done in the United States on the physical effects of divorce on children, U.S. researchers agree that childhood obesity can cause lasting health problems.

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