Study Finds Link Between Divorce and Child Obesity

Posted by Steven D. Eversole | Jun 11, 2014 | 0 Comments

The emotional impact and toll that a divorce can take on children is no mystery. While parents considering divorce likely worry about their children's emotional well-being, they may not consider the physical consequences. According to researchers in Norway, there may be a link between divorce and childhood obesity. The results indicated an even stronger relationship between obesity among young boys whose parents went through a divorce. The data, while not conclusive, suggests that parents ending their marriage should consider the physical and emotional consequences that may link child obesity and divorce.


According to Time Magazine, the study assessed data from 1,000 third grade students at 127 different schools. Approximately 1/5 of the children were considered or defined as obese. A tenth of these students suffered from the most dangerous kind of obesity, which has been linked to heart disease and diabetes. The data also showed that students whose parents were divorce were 50% more likely to be obese and 90% more likely to be dangerously obese than students whose parents were married. Our Birmingham divorce attorneys are committed to staying abreast of legal issues as well as trending stories that may impact the lives of families entering divorce. Understanding your rights, as well as your obligations and risks can help to ensure a better outcome for your family.

The study also found that boys were at a higher risk for obesity than girls. Boys whose parents were divorced were 63% more likely to be generally overweight than those with married parents. Alarmingly, the study also showed that boys with divorced parents were 104% more likely to be dangerously overweight. The researchers wanted to understand the relationship between health, lifestyle, and the trend of increasing divorces. Those who worked on the study also admitted that the divorce was not necessarily the cause of the obesity but it could indicate some trend.

Sociologists have studied the link between poverty and divorce and have also linked poverty in developed countries to childhood obesity. In addition to this showing, researchers suggest that divorce could create certain stresses for children while at home. They may not be eating regular meals or be given more opportunities to overeat when parents aren't around. In some cases, women take a financial blow, leaving them unable to do household cooking. It is also possible that there is simply less money to spend on food and health after divorce. In future studies, the researchers want to compare kids' measurements before and after divorce.

If you are facing divorce, it is important to consider the impact it will have on your children. Planning ahead personally, emotionally, and financially can help you to protect yourself and the best interests of your children. There are many issues that arise during the process of divorce including whether to keep the family home, custody determinations, division of property, and visitation. All of these personal and legal decisions are likely to impact your children's lives. It is important to try to find amicable solutions for the entire family so that you can move forward in a healthy manner after divorce.

If you are seeking a divorce in Birmingham, contact Family Law Attorney Steven Eversole at (866) 831-5292.

About the Author

Steven D. Eversole

J.D., Samford University's Cumberland School of Law, Birmingham, Alabama B.A., University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama


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