Los Angeles, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 12/16/2013 -- If parents are looking for another reason to reduce stress levels, they can look not only at the benefits it has on their health, but on the health of their children as well. A new study from St Michael’s Hospital has found that parents under intense stress have children with higher BMI levels than those who take measure to reduce overall stress.
The study found that children of parents who have high levels of stress measured 2 percent higher on the BMI scale than when compared to their peers who have lower stress levels. Children in the first group also gained weight at a 7 percent higher rate during the course of the study than the latter group did.
The figures in this study show the importance of not only living a healthy lifestyle, but teaching this lifestyle to our youth. Children’s bodies are still developing, and added weight and stress can put strain on growing bodies and tissues leading to problems later on – much earlier in life than would be expected. Some of these complications can be serious, such as early onset type 2 diabetes, obesity, or even heart problems.
The author understood the stress parents are under to provide financially, nutritionally, and emotionally for their children. He recommends changing stressful behaviors in small steps: reduce the amount of unhealthy foods in the house and increase access to fresh fruits, veggies, and grains, encourage family activity rather than scheduling lessons and classes for children only, and try to establish routines to decrease stress in the household. These steps will not only help lower stress in the children, but have benefits for the adults as well.
Childhood is a time of development when children learn how to deal with stress appropriately, and how to maintain their health and wellness throughout life. Being appropriate role models during this developmental time can potentially stave off certain diseases that are becoming “epidemics” in society, and create a healthier future for both parents and their children.
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