Children are flowers on their parents' graves...

A new study reveals that the more children a person has, the greater the risk he or she will become obese. From an analysis of a large database of middle-aged Americans, Duke University Medical Center researchers found that women faced an average 7 per cent increased risk of obesity per child and men an average 4 per cent increased risk per child. Researchers attribute the weight gain to a busier lifestyle that may include a diet of more fast food and leave less time for exercise.

Only married respondents and spouses between the ages of 40 and 70 with children were included in the analysis, which included a total of 9,046 men and women (4,523 couples).

The number of children reported by the couples ranged from one to 19, and included both biological and adopted children. The data collected were based on self-reported weight and height, although the researchers said other studies have shown such data to be accurate, inform &to=' target=_blank>The Times Of India

The research, which used data from a national survey of 4,523 U.S. couples with children, mostly ages 51 to 60, done in 1992. Single or divorced parents were left out. The number of children, which included both biological and adopted kids, ranged from one to 19. Overall, the researchers found that women faced a 7 percent increase in obesity risk for each child; and men, an average 4 percent increase. The risks were calculated after making statistical adjustments for age, race and ethnicity, household income, work status, level of physical activity and tobacco and alcohol use. "After adjusting for all these factors, the number of children played a statistically significant role in the obesity of both men and women," said Dr. Truls Ostbye, senior author of the study and a professor of community and family medicine at Duke, report &to=' target=_blank>

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