Whether it’s being bad at sharing or overly-sensitive, many unfavourable traits are often associated with being an only child.
Now, a new study suggests that only-children are also more likely to be obese than kids with siblings.
Researchers from the University of Oklahoma believe that this link to obesity may be down to the fact that only-children have less healthy family eating practices than people with siblings.
Dr Chelsea L. Kracht, who led the study, said: “Nutrition professionals must consider the influence of family and siblings to provide appropriate and tailored nutrition education for families of young children.
“Efforts to help all children and families establish healthy eating habits and practices must be encouraged.”
In the study, researchers asked mothers of only-children to keep daily food logs for both themselves and their child, including what they ate, and the scenarios in which their meals took place.
The results showed that only-children, as well as mothers of only-children were much more likely to be obese than mothers of multiple children, and these children themselves.
The findings also revealed that only-children were much more likely to eat their meals in front of the TV, and to consume sugary drinks than kids with siblings.
Dr Kracht added: “Healthier eating behaviors and patterns may result from household-level changes rather than peer exposure, as peer exposure is also present in away-from-home care.”
It’s important to note that the study only looked at mothers and children, and did not take into account the impact of fathers’ eating patterns.
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