I too Karen was disappointed that they didn’t study the effects of a fathers employment. I think it is hard to believe that the sole responsibility of a child’s obesity risk lies with the mother.
I do think there is a link between number of hours a family spends away from the house and their willingness to eat or prepare healthy meals. But I see this with my clients who are stay at home parents and using their time to volunteer and shuttle children around. They often feel pressed for time, have a hard time making meals at home, and thus eat out more or choose ready made meals to eat.
I think the study overlooked how our culture has changed in the last 50 years. More families have both parents working. More children participate in some extracurricular activity. There are more things taking up our time besides work. Because of this, fewer families eat together or have learned how to cook a home cooked meal, something that used to get passed down from generation to generation.
I think the study took the “easy” way out by putting the own ness of childhood obesity on the working mother. I’d love to know how that explains stay at home moms with obese children, but I guess that’s for another study! Mothers have enough guilt without this adding to it. I think there are many more reasons for the increase in obesity that have to do more with how our society has changed….over packed schedules for parents and children, availability of low cost fast food and ready made meals, not being able to say “no” to things in our lives, constant overstimulation from technology causing people to interact less, a non-collaborative healthcare system, etc.
There is no “one” cause of the increase of obesity and there won’t be one solution that works for everyone.