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Study Suggests Children of Divorce Are More Likely to Suffer from Obesity Later in Life

 Posted on July 25, 2017 in Child Custody

Obesity is a pandemic issue that costs Americans billions in healthcare costs each year. It can also increase one's risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, and other obesity-related conditions. In short, is a killer and a thief. Thankfully, things have slowly started to turn around; people are becoming more aware of what they eat and how often they exercise. They are taking back control over their health.

Still, there are things that can increase a person's risk for developing obesity. For example, a recent study found that children of divorce may be more likely to experience obesity as an adult than children whose parents stayed together. Learn more about this risk, including how you may be able to mitigate against it, in the following.

More on the Obesity Study

In their study, psychologists at Florida State University investigated a variety of unpredictable childhood experiences (family violence, divorce, moving to a new home, etc.) to determine if any of them increased the child's risk of obesity during adulthood. By far, divorce appeared to be the most influential factor. The researchers believe this may be because children of divorce are more likely to live for the "here and now," rather than the future, which may make them more likely to binge eat than children who have not experienced divorce. They may also be more likely to focus on short-term goals instead of long ones, which may also increase their risk of overspending, debt issues, early childbirth, and other potentially adverse life situations.

Mitigating the Risks of Divorce

When it comes to divorce, children often struggle to cope. Much of this is due to their age, but contention and arguments during the separation can further exacerbate the possible risks. For example, one study found that children may be more likely to experience a cold if their parents do not communicate after divorce. So, perhaps one of the best way parents can mitigate the risks for their children is to strive for an amicable divorce. Other potential strategies may include:

  • Being honest and open with your child (at a level that is age-appropriate) about the divorce;
  • Focusing on the best interests of your child, rather than the disagreements between yourself and your spouse;
  • Striving for an equal parenting time split (or as close to possible);
  • Transitioning the leaving parent out of the home slowly;
  • Therapy or support groups for struggling children;
  • Speaking with your pediatrician about how divorce may affect your child, based on their age and developmental stage;
  • Talking with your child about healthy eating habits; and
  • Making exercise a family activity.

Contact Our DuPage County Divorce Lawyers

If you are planning on filing for divorce and have young children, contact The Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C. for assistance. Our DuPage County divorce lawyers work hard to protect the best interests of children. Trusted and experienced, we can help you craft a parenting plan that will hopefully satisfy everyone's needs. Call 630-462-9500 to get started. You can also reach us after hours at 630-690-6077.



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