The contention that half of all marriages will end in divorce is much
more an old wives' statistic than a fact. The truth is 50
percent prophecy for marital doom is erroneous, a percentage gotten
through miscalculation and misinterpretation. While there can be some
comfort in lower numbers, the fact remains that the divorce rate is
still pretty steep.
A sad addition to the broken marriage syndrome is the effect it has on
the children of divorcees. Research supports the contention that
children do have stereotypical resilience, although the ability to
rebound does not somehow coat youngsters in steely shields.
While most recover from the force of the initial blow, the effects
experienced during the first year can be difficult. For those among you
who have ever experienced the misfortune of emotional agony, one year
can be a very long time. You also may know that pain seeks
relief and will often choose a remedy that soothes quickly and
efficiently, even if it is only for the short run.
Possible Reasons for Divorce As a Factor in Childhood Obesity
As noted, one possible reason for an increase in obesity among children
who are struggling through the pressure of parental divorce is using
food to comfort and soothe. Adults use food to try and diminish
emotional pain. Kids are great observers and connect dots remarkably
well. Emulating the behaviors of mom and dad is simply what children do.
Another potential factor for weight gain among children in divorced
households is that children now find themselves alone at home more than
before and fill the time with sedentary behaviors, such as playing video
games. In addition, new financial burdens may inhibit participation in
sports or after-school activities.
Parents may also find themselves more pressed for time and sacrifice
home-cooked meals in favor of prepackaged meals or fast food.
The 2010 Norwegian Child Growth Study
Researchers who have studied 3,000 students from 127 schools across
Norway as part of the national 2010 Norwegian Child Growth Study suggest
that divorce may be linked to a higher risk for obesity among the
children of these divorces. The study showed that the children of
parents who were divorced were more often overweight or obese than
those children whose parents were married.
The children of divorced parents were 54 percent more likely to be overweight
or obese, with 89 percent more likely to be abdominally obese. Boys were more
likely to gain weight in the event of divorce. Boys in a divorce
household were 63 percent more likely to be labeled as
overweight or obese than boys in a married household. They were also
104 percent more likely to be abdominally obese.
The authors of the study caution that their research shows a correlation
between divorce and weight gain, but does not establish concrete cause
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Published On: June 17, 2014