Children learn from their parents! But, parents can also help their children when it comes to developing healthy behaviors. A recent study suggests that, the young adults can be prevented from obesity with the help of fathers.
Fathers play an important role in developing healthy behaviors in young adults. The study, which was published in the Journal of Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity, proved that, the young adults who grew up in stable families with quality parental relationships, were more likely to have healthy food, sleep behavior, activity and were less likely to be obese.
The researchers said that, the mother-son relationship mattered far less than the relationship between father and son, when it came to predicting whether a young male will become overweight or obese.
Jess Haines from University of Guelph in Canada, who leads the study, said that, “Much of the research examining the influence of parents has typically examined only the mother’s influence or has combined information across parents.”
"Our results highlight the importance of examining the influence fathers have on their children and to develop strategies to help fathers support the development of healthy behaviours among their children," Jess Haines said.
The study includes more than 3,700 females and more than 2,600 males, aged between14-24. 80 per cent of them said they had high family function, defined by how well the family managed daily routines, and how family members fulfilled their roles and connected emotionally.
Children who had high family functioning and quality family relationships were associated with lower odds of eating disorders, more sleep and more frequent physical activity.
Females in these families also reported eating less fast food, and were less likely to be overweight or obese, researchers said.
“It appears the father-son parent relationship has a stronger influence on sons than the mother-daughter relationship has on young women,” said Ms. Haines.
“In general, the findings show the importance of family behaviours and relationships on the health of young adults from an early age,” she added.
“A high level of family dysfunction may interfere with the development of healthful behaviours due to the families’ limited ability to develop routines related to eating, sleep or activity behaviours, which can lead to excess weight gain,” said Ms. Haines.