We often hear about the importance of a mother’s roll in the health of her children, but what about fathers? Does their behavior influence their children’s health? A recent study reported at Obesity Week 2016 found that a father’s active involvement in the physical care of their children lowers their child’s risk of obesity. Children of dads who participate in physical childcare tasks such as bathing and dressing them between the ages of 2-4 years old are less likely to be obese. The inverse was also found to be true – less involvement of father’s in the care of their children increased the risk for obesity in their children.
This could be due to the fact that these activities are indicators of more stable homes, leading to better health behaviors. However, it does emphasize the importance of active childcare from both parents. So fathers (and mothers), be actively involved in the care of your children–it could have a major impact on their health.
Wong, M., Jones-Smith, J., Chan, K., Bleich, S. (2016). The Longitudinal Association Between Fathers’ Childcare Involvement and Obesity Risk in Young Children. The Obesity Society 2016 Abstract Book. Oral Abstracts, Wednesday, November 2, 2016, p. 29 – 30. Retrieved from: