Only Children May Have Higher Obesity Risk

Nov. 6, 2019 -- The risk of obesity may be higher in only children than in those with siblings, a new study says.

Researchers examined the eating habits and body weight of only children and found that they had less healthy eating and drinking habits than those with brothers and sisters, CNN reported.

One reason for the finding could be differences in the meal planning and organization required of mothers with multiple children, according to study lead author Chelsea Kracht, a researcher at Louisiana State University's Pennington Biomedical Research Center.

"With multiple children you're scheduling a little bit more of your meals. So we're going to have more at-home meals. We're probably going to have less fast food," Kracht said in an interview for the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, CNN reported.

The study does "raise an interesting point that we need to better understand," said Dr. Natalie Muth, chair, American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Obesity. She was not involved in the study.

"Several studies in addition to this one have shown that only children are more likely to be overweight or obese," Muth told CNN.

"Why is that? While this study doesn't provide the answer to that question, it is helpful in building the body of research that eventually will provide clearer answers," she said.

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