STANFORD, Calif., Jul 12, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- The one factor that puts U.S. children at greatest risk of being overweight is obese parents, says study by the Stanford University School of Medicine.
Researchers tracked 150 children -- 74 boys and 76 girls -- and their parents upon the child's birth and using attributes and behaviors assessed, predicted whether the child would be overweight at 9.5 years.
Among the attributes monitored were: parent weight, infant weight, parent/infant feeding practices, parent eating behaviors, child eating behaviors, child caloric intake, child activity, child temperament, child sleep time and parents' concerns about their child's weight.
The study, published in Pediatrics, found 64 percent of children with overweight parents became overweight, compared with 16 percent of those with normal-weight parents.
The connection between overweight parents and overweight children is likely due to a combination of genetics and family environmental influences, say study leader Dr. W. Stewart Agras, a professor emeritus of psychiatry and behavioral sciences.
Copyright 2004 by United Press International.