Skip to main content
  1. Life
  2. Health & Fitness
  3. Healthcare

Stressed out parents cause weight gain in their kids

See also

Children whose parents are under a lot of stress gain more weight than other kids, reports a study published December 6. Higher levels of parental stress result in children gaining weight quicker and having higher Body Mass Indices (BMI) than children whose parents are less stressed, according to researchers from St. Michael’s Hospital in Canada.

Researchers analyzed data on over 4,000 children between the ages of 5 and 10. This data was compared to information from questionnaires completed by parents. The BMIs of the children whose parents had high stress levels were 2 percent higher than other children. In addition, weight gain in these children was 7 percent higher than their peers. Although the numbers appear small, researchers believe they are important.

Dr. Ketan Shankardass, lead author of the study, stated that these figures are “significant because they are happening in children, whose bodies and eating and exercise habits are still developing. Plus, if that weight gain continues and is compounded over a lifetime, it could lead to serious obesity and health issues.”

Childhood obesity has a variety of causes including genetics, eating too much and lack of physical activity, according to WebMD. Obese children are at risk for serious health problems including heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and skin problems. Interventions should emphasize a healthy lifestyle for the whole family and not be limited to the child with a weight problem.

Researchers also observed that children of Hispanic ethnicity appeared more susceptible to parental stress. The BMIs of these children increased more than children from other ethnic backgrounds.

The Mayo Clinic and Centers for Disease Control have information on stress and tips for stress reduction. The video which accompanies this article has tips for preventing childhood obesity. More information on childhood obesity is available from the World Health Organization and the American Heart Association.

The study, “Parental stress increases body mass index trajectory in pre-adolescents,” is published in the journal Pediatric Obesity.


Parental stress increases body mass index trajectory in pre-adolescents

Study finds parental stress linked to obesity in children



  • Dead babies found
    Seven dead babies were found in Utah resident Megan Huntsman's old home
    Shocking Discovery
  • Kendall Jenner
    Get the Coachella looks: Kendall Jenner’s nose ring, green hair and edgy nails
    Coachella Look
  • Dog's Easter basket
    How to fill your dog’s Easter basket with the perfect toys
    Easter Basket
  • Rabbit owners
    Bringing home the bunny: Important information for rabbit owners
    7 Photos
  • Haunted island
    The world’s most haunted island may soon be the most haunted luxury resort
    Haunted Resort
  • Sunken ferry
    Search continues for missing passengers after a ferry sinks off the South Korean coast
    Sunken Ferry

Related Videos:

  • Red hair and pale complexions on some Neanderthals say archaeogenetic researchers.
    <div class="video-info" data-id="518106227" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url=""></div>
  • People do online searches for health information more on Mondays than Saturdays.
    <div class="video-info" data-id="517755944" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url=""></div>
  • Gamete insertion
    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//;VQ=HD720&amp;autoplay=1"></iframe>

User login

Log in
Sign in with your email and password. Or reset your password.
Write for us
Interested in becoming an Examiner and sharing your experience and passion? We're always looking for quality writers. Find out more about and apply today!