Healthy Moms, Healthy Kids

Children of fit mothers are 75% less likely to have obesity.

By Shirley Archer, JD, MA
Dec 4, 2018

Motivate moms to keep up the great work by letting them know their healthy lifestyle choices are likely to have a powerful impact on their kids’ health. Researchers at the Harvard University T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that children are 75% less likely to develop obesity when mothers stick to the following five healthy habits:

  1. EXERCISING REGULARLY

  2. EATING A HEALTHY DIET

  3. KEEPING A HEALTHY BODY WEIGHT

  4. DRINKING ALCOHOL ONLY IN MODERATION

  5. NOT SMOKING

Senior study author Qi Sun, ScD, MD, MMS, associate professor in the Department of Nutrition, said, “Our study was the first to demonstrate that an overall healthy lifestyle outweighs any individual healthy lifestyle factors followed by mothers when it comes to lowering the risk of obesity in their children.”

Researchers based their findings on data from 24,289 children enrolled in the Growing Up Today Study who were born to 16,945 women enrolled in the Nurses’ Health Study II. The analysis focused on the association between a mother’s lifestyle habits and the incidence of obesity among youth between ages 9 and 18 years.

The study is open access and is available in BMJ (2018; doi.org/10.1136/bmj.k2486).

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Shirley Archer, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, is the 2008 IDEA Fitness Instructor of the Year and is IDEA's mind-body-spirit spokesperson. She is a certified yoga and Pilates teacher and an award-winning author based in Los Angeles, California, and Zurich, Switzerland. Two of her books, The Walking Deck and The Strength and Toning Deck, are now featured as iPhone apps. Contact her at www.shirleyarcher.com.

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