According to the conclusions of a new scientific study, it would appear that women who work full-time may involuntarily favor their children's weight gain. Researchers say that this is due to the shorter amount of time they spend teaching the young ones about health, diets and exercises.
Cornell University researchers believe that – as women start to make up for more and more of the US full-time workforce – they are forced to pay less attention to their kids on account of an acute lack of time. Taking care of the house, educating youngsters, shopping and working need to fit in 24 hours.
Currently, the United States are swept by an obesity epidemic, which also affects children. A huge percentage of kids are either overweight or obese. The new study is not meant to argue that working mothers are to blame for this state of affairs.
Rather, the investigators simply tried to shed some light on the intricate interplay of factors that contributes to the growing incidence of obesity among children. The work was conducted by comparing how much time working and non-working moms spend with their little ones.
On average, working moms spent three and a half hours less with their kids than stay-at-home moms. Even under these circumstances, the team revealed, fathers did not get too involved. If the man of the house is employed, he will spend around 13 minutes daily with the child.
If not, the team goes on to say, the man will spend roughly 41 minutes per day, assisting with child play, education, cooking, shopping and so on. The women, it would appear, are largely left to fend for themselves, PsychCentral
“It’s inaccurate to pin rising childhood obesity rates on women, given that husbands pick up so little of the slack,” Cornell expert and lead study author, John Cawley, PhD, says. Details of the work will appear in the December issue of the scientific journal Economics and Human Biology.
The same difference in working moms' behavioral patterns was found regardless of socioeconomic status, education, ethnicity, race and overall income. This suggests that work is taking its toll on women despite of where they are employed.
Purchasing prepared food and eating takeout should be avoided, researchers say, especially during early childhood. The reflexes kids form at this time are very hard to shake off later in life, although the now-grown children may wish to.
“Our findings underscore the importance of schools offering high-quality foods and physical education classes. In general, the Institute of Medicine and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are urging comprehensive changes in school environments to promote healthy eating and active living,” Cawley concludes.