Depressed Mom? Fat Child

And now we have depressed mothers to blame!

According to a story at nytimes.com, "Mothers who report symptoms of depression are more likely to display obesity-promoting practices and have children who are overweight or obese than mothers who say they are not depressed, according to a new study."

As if we don't blame ourselves for enough.  But mothers who rated themselves as being moderately or severely depressed were 2.5 times more likely to have 5-year-olds who were overweight, or even obese, Hope Reeves, reports.

These children were far more likely than other children to not eat breakfast and drink sweetened beverages.  I've learned from Weight Watchers (and a few commercials) that eating breakfast can help you lose weight, because if you don't -- or maybe I should say if I don't -- I eat all day to make up for it.

Another reason for their children to be overweight?  The depressed mothers were less likely to supervise what and how much food their child ate or model good eating habits. On top of that, "their children got less sleep (sleep deprivation is linked to childhood obesity), less outdoor playtime (which, of course, also impacts weight) and more screen time," Reeves notes in her story.

“We’ve known that many mothers experience feelings of sadness and depression and that many of them suffer in silence,” Rachel S. Gross, attending pediatrician at the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore and the lead author of the study, told Reeves. “There’s a lot of research linking maternal depression with children’s mental, social and behavioral problems, but this is a body of work showing it relates to physical health as well.”



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