Do Working Moms Have Unhealthy Kids?

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By: , SparkPeople Blogger
10/13/2009 9:41 AM   :  222 comments   :  15,659 Views

I like to think that overall, I'm a good mom. Some days are better than others, but in general, I try to provide a good example for my kids. We eat healthy, engage in physical activity like playing on the swing set or going to the park, they don't watch TV, etc. Another way I think I'm a good example is by showing them that you can be a good mom and have a career at the same time--if that's something you want. But is that a bad choice? A new British study concludes that children whose mothers work are less likely to eat healthy or exercise.

My mom always worked part-time when I was growing up. It wasn't because she had to (lucky for her), but because she wanted to. She used to tell me that someday I'd understand, and when I had children, I did. I love my job wanted to continue working, so I reduced my hours to part-time. I'm lucky that I had the financial stability to make that choice. So maybe my kids are an exception to the average children in this study, but I just find the results hard to believe.

The study, published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health looked at the diet and exercise habits of children ages 9 months to 5 years. "Regardless of ethnicity, maternal education or job level, children whose mothers worked part or full time were less likely to eat fruits or vegetables at meals or as snacks," according to the study. Children whose mothers worked also watched more TV, got less physical activity and drank more sugary beverages.

The study said that "Children whose mothers were employed were more likely to have poor dietary habits, engage in more sedentary activity and be driven to school than children whose mothers had never been employed." The researchers also concluded that flexible work arrangements did not have a positive affect on developing healthy behaviors in children. I think my children can be just as healthy as a child whose mother has chosen to stay at home. I provide good examples while I'm home, and when I'm not, their grandparents (who watch them) understand my wishes and provide the same examples for me.

What do you think? Do you agree with the results of the study? Why or why not?


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Comments

  • 222
    In my case, this is true. I stay at home and home school my daughter while my hubby goes to work to pay the bills. We tried putting her in school, but pulled her out after the first year after she started acquiring unhealthy habits and poor academic progress. She is not a good candidate for the public school system.

    I miss my job, but here at home I have been able to make sure that she eats her lunch (at school, she wouldn't eat) and I have been able to make her more wholesome home cooked meals. She also has more time for outdoor activities or we walk through the museum.

    Granted, I have a great husband and daughter and this works for MY family but not every family. - 4/27/2014   4:19:35 AM
  • 221
    My son is almost 15 and since he turned almost 6 months old, I had no choice to go back to work. Throughout his early years there were bad choices. Quick fast food here and there, but once I decided to change my poor eating habits his changed as well.
    I don't think that it matters one way or the other. Working mom or stay at home mom. - 2/2/2014   3:43:56 PM
  • 220
    I can see the study being true, but I think the study missed an opportunity. Lets face it, the Moms are either single Moms struggling to make ends meet and keep their family together (so yes the food may be less than ideal.) Or working Moms with lazy husbands who also work, but expect the woman to do all the work at home as well. So the Mom has 2 full time jobs while the husband only one. So again the food may be less than ideal because she is tired and short of time (and unhealthy snacks are quicker) and not getting any help to provide the better foods. For all the Moms that HAVE been able to do both (work and provide healthy foods) I congratulate you. - 11/11/2012   4:34:50 PM
  • 219
    I know from my own experience that this is or can be true. I am a stay at home mom who watched my step daughter after school and in the summer (her mom worked). We moved about 45 min away a few years later and her mom let her stay home alone. Her weight went up quickly that first summer we were gone and continued to rise over the years. I know it's due to eating more freely when no adults are around (& poorer food choices too) and less activity. Parents might not let them sit in front of the TV for hours but if they are not home, kids often engage in very lazy and I believe, unhealthy behaviors. They are kids! They aren't thinking of long term effects...just immediate gratification! That's why I want to be home when my kids get out of school each day and summer too. I know if I was a kid, I would follow this pattern probably too. Lastly, you mentioned at the end of your article that you have grandparents there when you aren't around. Well that's a huge difference too. Now I see this study was of young kids who aren't alone so that makes it more interesting. But maybe it's b/c other caregivers, babysitters are not as watchful of what kids who are not their own are eating, etc; not as mindful as actual parents would be. I know that many grandparents tend to "spoil" their grand kids, sort of like, "that's a grandparents role" type mentality. So maybe they often are not as strict as the actual parents would be or are more easily manipulated by the kids to give them the chips, etc. But I think this study would definitely be true for kids who are left with no adults after school and in summer. - 3/23/2012   7:08:38 AM
  • 218
    I disagree with the study. I have raised a happy healthy 19 year old who is funny, smart, creative, outgoing, independent in his thinking, flexible loving and
    very healthy. He is physically active in all sports, plays the drum, can fix a computer, create a great family video and has more friend than one could imagine. Although not perfect, he allowed me to have a gratifying career, a wonderful marriage and a whole life. He was put first, as a gift from God yet working was important to my mental health allowing me to be a better mother.

    I believe, each situation is different and you have to know yourself, know your child and go with what is best. I was away a great deal when he was small...retired early by choice in his teens and to be honest I felt he needed me more then...because emotional maturity required a closer hand than physical maturing! - 3/22/2012   10:59:16 PM
  • THECAREPOST
    217
    I actually agree with this. Moms play such a huge role in diet and exercise. Great article.

    Clint
    www.thecarepost.com - 1/10/2011   10:15:08 PM
  • 216
    Wonder where the studies are regarding how father's working affects their children? Parents can make healthy or unhealthy choices regardless of who is working... and all parents need resources to help them make healthy choices. - 1/12/2010   7:12:41 PM
  • 215
    GRRRR articles like this get my back hairs up! I was a working single mom of 2 boys! Both are grown now & inspite of the "studies" both are well adjusted, healthys, above average men! I worked & lived in an area that was upper middle class & many mother's didn't work. Alot of times I was the ONLY mom at sporting event ( yes, my boys both played sports..amazing since they were supposed to be "unhealthy"). I would talk to women who didn't work & thier kids were always sick! My kids never had ear infections, rarely missed school because of colds or flu. Infact, other than injuries sustained in playing sports, the only time I remember my son getting "sick" was tonsilitis! Buy the way, there were kids on the baseball team that all got strep, my son didn't!!
    So, please stop the guilt inducing stereo type comments!!!!
    Until we are doing studies about how working dads or single dads are screwing up thier kids, leave moms alone! - 1/12/2010   1:29:44 PM
  • 214
    In some ways, I can agree with the article. Juggling a career and raising a family, is an act, that not all women can do. I admire those who can stay at home with their kids, and those who can work part-time, while the kids are in school. We as mom's do need to be a good example to our kids, because we are their first and foremost role models. Everyone else our kids come in contact with, will fall second. The healthy choices we make for ourselves should also overflow to our children. - 11/19/2009   4:04:41 PM
  • 213
    I agree and disagree. Working parents have less at home time for preparing and cooking but when organized it is possible. And just because you are a stay at home parent doesn't mean you are cooking and cleaning, doing like June Cleaver. I try to find that balance and some days it is hard. Stir fries have been my saviour - you get the protein and veggies cooked in a shorter time. It depends on the person... - 11/18/2009   12:27:45 PM
  • 212
    What a ridiculous article. As a working mom I find it very offensive. I believe becuase I work full time that I work even harder to provide my children the best opportunities in life. We are active in sports & dance. We eat healthy and my children love fruits and vegetables. Seriously. I grew up with a stay at home mom and we ate terrible food and did not participate in sports. There was no extra money for those things. My mom was stressed everyday struggling to take care of all of us on a very small budget!! Maybe if she had the outlet of work and the extra income things in my childhood would ahve been much better. - 11/14/2009   1:52:01 PM
  • PENNYO2224
    211
    As a single mother and a working mother, if I believed all the studies done I would have given up on my daughters long ago. As it is, they are two beautiful, intelligent, and healthy young women. If you want your children to grow up with good habits, you just need to take the time and effort to teach them from a young age. No one can be with their children 24/7 and if they are taught well, when it comes down to it they will make good choices. They may get sidetracked at times (don't we all), but they will almost always find their way back to what is right. - 10/27/2009   3:13:14 PM
  • LEESA180
    210
    I totally disagree. owing to the fact that i come from a working family, where Both parents worked. Altogether they had six of us and all six of us are healthy, and strong. - 10/26/2009   7:56:58 PM
  • 209
    I grew up in a house where my mom worked full-time. While I never got driven to school, I agree that I ate more processed food and junk food, and also watched more TV, than I would have had my mother been home. By the time I was eight I was probably watching two and a half hours of TV a day, while downing a bag of chips or sleeve of crackers. Had she been there, I'm sure she would have kicked my butt outside and told me to go play. - 10/26/2009   3:58:43 PM
  • 208
    We are a working family... we balance it together. My husband and I provide healthy lunches everyday... we exercise as a family... studies are studies... this is my reality. - 10/26/2009   3:25:53 PM
  • 207
    I absolutely agree with this! Not only am I employed full-time, but I am also a full-time student! I always talk to my boys about healthier food choices, but it is very hard when school piles on the carbs & sugars and their friends drink soda like it's going out of style!
    I still push on, and do my best, even though I could be doing WAY better! - 10/26/2009   11:39:46 AM
  • 206
    You know, as much as it disheartens me, I believe the study. We CAN provide some healthy choices to our kids, but it's a fact for me that my little one is locked up in daycare and school from 8-6. They give the kids more sweets than I'd let her have. The neighborhood we live in doesn't have playmates right outside. When I get home with her, it's make dinner, homework, and bedtime for her. I can only hope she gets out to play at school. I'm a single mother, so no help available. Actually, when I was married to her dad, he refused to let me exercise, either, or to watch her. The thing that makes me angry about the report is the hidden story: humans shouldn't be employed away from their homes and communities for such long hours, men are really getting off scott-free with this, most women HAVE to work, and I don't believe that's a new thing. The report itself is likely simply true. But it's not bad of women to have a harder time giving their kids healthy childhoods as far as exercise and food, just a fact. Now, I'm figuring out ways to work around these extra challenges. My kid has a home, and healthcare, because I'm solid. I'm her only source of money, food, medical, housing, and I'm proud of that. Don't be mad at the report, just know that you have extra challenges and make it work somehow! :-) - 10/26/2009   7:18:10 AM
  • 205
    There are too many studies, articles written and news stories that result in working moms feeling guilty. How about working dads? Do they have any responsibility about what their kids eat? We all need to work together to raise healthy kids and it is not an easy job. - 10/25/2009   12:21:29 PM
  • 204
    I can see how this could be true. I work 9 hour days. By the time we get home at night, it takes all my energy to cook, get homework done, and get them ready for bed. - 10/25/2009   1:41:55 AM
  • STUMPINA
    203
    Also, I think it is what the parents enable the children to have. Trust me, if it is only healthy food int he house, it will get eaten, as teens and children will eventually get hungry enough to eat it. There were many times like that. Plus, I think it is a convience issue, as some parents don't want to have the kids use the stove. My mom had no problem with my brother and I using the microwave or the oven, but the stove top and toaster oven was off limits. Once I was older, I was able to use the stove top, but that came with maturity and proving I would be cautious and watch while cooking. TV dinners, frozen pizzas, cookies, chips, all are prepackaged and easy to nuke or eat from the package, plus the cost is cheap! - 10/23/2009   11:46:00 AM
  • STUMPINA
    202
    I can see this being very true, as I would come home from school and eat unhealthy. When I was staying with my godmother, or another sitter, we would have healthy snacks or portioned controlled. I was horrible during the summer months, especially when I stayed home by myself. I would do like one other lady mentioned, make a whole pizza and eat it all by myself. On the plus side, it was a party pizza (my mom got smart and thought if my brother and I would eat full pizzas, get the smaller ones), but still not the best choice. I still do eat the whole party pizza, but I do make it part of my WW plan, as it takes up 1/2 my points, but then it encourages me to eat things I wouldn't normally eat during the day, like raw veggies! the unhealthy didn't affect me in a negative way, when I was a child and a teen, as I worked out every day by playing outside and playing organized soccer and softball. Once I was in college, the bad habits followed me, and I packed on the pounds. Trying to reverse what I have done over the last 8 years is the hardest thing I have ever tried to do. Now that my boyfriend is in the DEP program for the Air Force, it has forced me to get out more to the gym, as I have to keep him encouraged and on track for his fitness. At the start of November, it is back to WW for us. We have definately been eating healthier, and smaller portions, but nothing like we were on WW. - 10/23/2009   11:37:40 AM
  • 201
    I have to admit that I was at a healthy weight growing up...until my mom went back to work. When coming home from school, I didn't eat that yummy apple she had laid out for me, but instead would stick a frozen pizza in the oven and eat the WHOLE thing. Then, my dad would take us out to dinner or make some other sort of "convenience food". I ballooned up after my mom went back to work, and we both acknowledge that. It IS NOT the same for everyone, but I am one person who (unfortunately) is proof of this study. - 10/23/2009   9:03:38 AM
  • 200
    I was a working mom for over 25 years and I always made sure my kids ate right and had plenty of physical exercise. - 10/23/2009   8:37:10 AM
  • 199
    I think it's interesting how many ruffled feathers there are in response to this study. Think about the demographics of the people on this website. WE are the ones who are making that effort regardless of working moms, working dads, or whatever. The many more people out there who are stuggling to balance their lives are not responding to this post.

    My mom was a working mom, and was going to school full time during part of that. I grew up making my own meals, throwing together my own school lunches, and even forging my own late excuse notices. I did not learn how to integrate good foods into my diet from my parents.

    My point is, remember that those of us on this site are the ones who know that we can balance our lives better. The study shows "less likely", not that the kids of all working moms eat poorly. Don't take offense. Take note, and be grateful that you are in a position to be on the other side of those results. - 10/22/2009   4:28:45 PM
  • 198
    I think that depends on how organized the Mom is. I used to spend one day (on the weekends usually) doing nothing but make meals for the week. Then when I came home tired at night, I could just nuke whatever I had made, add a salad and some fruit and you have a complete hot meal. Be careful of your child's lunch program at school. A ketchup packet is NOT a vegetable - I don't care what they say! If you pack your kids lunch, do it the night before to avoid morning rush and hassle.
    And it can be a fun meal without it being a "Lunchables". They are expensive and have little nutrition.
    Crustless peanut butter and jelly sandwiches? Puhleeze!
    Robyn - 10/22/2009   4:19:02 PM
  • 197
    I raised three kids and worked full time and my kids had three home cooked or prepared meals a day. I made sure they ate healthy. I think the study is ridiculous. - 10/22/2009   3:00:50 PM
  • 196
    Does anyone else think we wording for this study is sexiest? It assumes that the mother is the one who would stay home. It's not out the realm of possibility that there could be a working mom in the family, while the mother's partner stays home. Unless they are saying that stay at home dads aren't as capable at keeping their kids healthy as stay at home moms. - 10/22/2009   12:00:40 PM
  • 195
    I think that's the most ridiculous study ever! My Mom and Dad both worked full-time when my brother & I were growing up and neither of us had any weight issues, exercised regularly and ate very healthy. I found a fantastic role model in my parents, juggling work and family, and I have followed suit with my family. Both of my kids are of a healthy weight and come home from school sweaty most days from playing on the playground. It completely depends on the lifestyle of the family, and maybe there was a coincidence in their study, but to make that generalization is completely false, in my experience. - 10/22/2009   9:59:54 AM
  • 194
    I think just like anyone it all depends on the parents. I've seen some mom's who even though they can't cook everyday they feed their children well. Then there is the other side of where mom's can't seem to make the time to get the proper food in the house and go to MCD, BK, or Taco Bell everyday. - 10/21/2009   9:32:11 PM
  • 193
    I worked part time for the first nine years of my first son's life. I still had a large commute on the three days I did work. I have two boys 14 and 12. I have been full time the last 5 years. I work two days at home. My children know more about health than any of their friends and many of the parents. I always had a friend's mom watch them when I was working and they would tell the parents what ingredients weren't healthy in the foods they had. Both of my boys are black belts in Tae Kwon Do and they play soccer in the fall (two teams) and winter, play baseball or do track in the Spring. They know how to swim and ride bikes, roller skate, skateboard.... in the summer time. They are a healthy weight and growing the way they should. The one thing I wish we could do more of is sit down and have dinner together every night. But, the commuting for work does not allow that every night. I believe my children are well adjusted and understand a lot about nutrition and exercise. My twelve year old wants to own a gym when he is older. They see it is an important part of mine and their father's life. I believe, even if you work full time, you can still set a good example for your children! - 10/21/2009   4:24:36 PM
  • GLUTESGIRL
    192
    I'm a working Mom..my daughter is in the midde of the growth charts. She out runs her classmates, and excels at sports. I lead by example, I cook good meals for us and workout daily. She comes down to the work out room and lifts weights too. I think it's more of who you are then what you are(working Mom) :D - 10/21/2009   12:46:30 PM
  • 191
    There are parts I agree with and parts I don't. However, as others have said, I don't think it has to do with employment status. I really think a lot of this boils down to convenience, lifestyle and knowledge to some extent. I'm not going to pretend I'm the perfect supermom, but I try to make good choices for my kids. Honestly, I know that my kids eat healthier than many of their friends who have stay-at-home moms. I wouldn't say my kids are any less active either. They might not be in all of the same organized sports, but they get to run around at daycare and after school.

    Perhaps rather than doing studies that add to the argument of which type of mom is a better mom, the various experts might put effort into helping all moms obtain the required knowledge and resources to help children be healthy. - 10/21/2009   11:10:07 AM
  • AMBERSUTTEN
    190
    I find it quite sad that they felt the need to do this study with only an emphasis on the women working. I am a working mother of three and find it very hard to go to work every day and studies like this make me feel bad for leaving my children at daycare, HOWEVER.... I have thoroughly researched the daycare that my children attend and can vouch that they do serve nutritous meals and that the snacks consist of apple slices, bananas, celery, etc, NOT cookies, cakes and other junk. They are VERY accomodating of working parent's requests and will go out of their way to make sure that your children are being treated with the same rules and reglations as they would at home. Also, irregardless of weather, the children are taken for physical activities for a minimum of an hour a day, whether it be inside or out. I know that my daycare may be an exception but there are also lots of options out there for mothers/fathers who work to get that physical activity in for their children, my children play soccer, t-ball, gymnastics, skating (all happening either in the evenings or weekends) and my oldest is a part of her school's running club (which takes place during the school's lunch hour and they are given an extra 1/2 hour to eat after). All the activities that my children are a part of are at either an incredibly low or no-cost! Which means, no excuses!!!! I do sympathize with those who do not have the resources/means to provide those things (nutritious meals and regular physical activity) to their children, (especially the nutritious meals as I spend over $500 a week on groceries to make sure we eat healthy foods) I was a single, working mother once too and know that sometimes you just can't afford to get that extra. I think that our communities, instead of focusing on the bad, need to step up and provide more free activities and funding for low-income families to ensure the health of our children. - 10/21/2009   8:07:08 AM
  • 189
    i think i'm lucky because i work part time so my family gets lots of healthy dinners and i class pizza curry chinese and burgers as a treat for birthdays or if they've done well at school. - 10/21/2009   4:52:42 AM
  • MARNBLOOM
    188
    i can attest that the craziest days often end with less than perfect meals and I work very part time. I can only imagine that if mom works full time and her kids are involved in sports and activities that something has to give- cooking a full course meal for example. The only way to combat it is planning planning planning. Studies can say anything- the choices we make on a daily basis is what defines who we are and what's important. - 10/20/2009   10:31:48 PM
  • SUKHANYA
    187
    Well to begin with am not a mom ( yet).

    My mom was working and I grew up to be an obese child. However it had nothing to do with the fact that she was working etc etc ( according to this study)

    I was overfed as a child both by my grand mother ( who was watching me) and by my mom when she got home. Having no idea about calorie intakes and being tom-boyish ( not too much into the girly stuff or looks etc), I grew up to be an obese child ( often referred to as a healthy one).

    However, I think that working moms can definitely provide equal amount of care to their kids as others. Packing healthy lunches to kids alone is not going to make them not eat junk foods when they are out at school. More awareness at an early age ( something that I did not get), not overfeeding kids (looking thin doesnt mean not healthy) and encouraging sports/outdoor activities to kids will definitely help them in the long run. This can be achieved by both working or stay at home moms.
    - 10/20/2009   8:42:03 PM
  • 186
    Has nothing to do with a working or stay-at-home mom. It has to do with the times we are in. Kids today spend too much time playing video games instead of being outdoors, watch too much tv instead of being active and eat too much food high in fat and sugar ...and there is the microwave (instantaneous junk food cooker). When I grew up the only video game we had was 'Pong'!. I was outdoors all the time. I only watched tv in the evening when it was too late to be outdoors. Add that to all the television marketing being targeted towards the couch potatoes. We never ate out, mom or dad came home from WORK and COOKED a meal! - 10/20/2009   8:17:22 PM
  • HLMBUGLE
    185
    There are so many valid reasons here. I'm a single mom too, and money IS an object, but I think it's mostly down to convenience, not cost. After a long day at work, sometimes I don't have the energy to come home and peel carrots or cut celery, and I'd rather just pull out a pack of Tastykakes from the fridge and let the kids go to town. Sorry to the moms who have it all together, but there are days when I just don't. Oh well. They eat healthy meals, so I'm not doing it ALL bad. - 10/20/2009   8:00:00 PM
  • RACINEW
    184
    It all depends on the mother and the kids and how much effort they put into healthy habits.

    Stay home mom doesn't neccessarily equal a "good" mom... I don't even have to conduct a study to make the statment that among crack addicted moms, the majority are stay home moms. How much health food do you think those families are eating?

    It's time to put an end to bashing working moms...especially single moms. - 10/20/2009   7:22:48 PM
  • 183
    I totally agree with this research!!! So much that i wish i did not work. Don't get me wrong, i love working but i feel if i were at home the people who watch him would not be able to feed him just anything. My son is 2 years old and he is overweight already. People look at me like i did it, but in reality i have him 20% of his life. I work full time and he is away from me most of his day. I have a wonderful women who watches him since he was 2 months old and she is great with him, but as far as feeding him the right stuff she don't. She feels that everything he points at is fine because he is so little and that he will lose it once he starts running around. Then we have his grandmothers who feel the same way too, they believe he is always hungry!!! How do i make them stop feeding him? I'm hoping once he gets old enough to put him in sports so he can run around and lose all his baby fat. - 10/20/2009   6:23:12 PM
  • EATRIGHT258
    182
    I think it's still possible to feed your kids healthy meals with some advanced planning. Decide on the meals for the week in advanced and shop for ingredients in one trip. Make a few days' meals (or double up) and freeze them. Then all you have to do is defrost the healthy dinner. If you chop the veggies in advanced and put them in plastic bags, then all you would have to do is take out what you would need to make the meal. Some veggies also come pre-cut at the grocery store. So, even from scratch, you may be able to whip up dinner in about 1/2 hour. That's about the same amount of time it takes to get served at a sit down restaurant. Food Network has some shows that could help. Their on line recipies are a good reference.

    If you have good healthy eating habits your kids will too. No doubt, if you eat what you're feeding your kids, then your diet is either just as healthy, or no better than their's. - 10/20/2009   4:59:09 PM
  • 181
    I believe this to be so. My mom worked all my life. We kids had to fend for ourselves most of the time. Our dad never cooked for us either. Our mom would leave us with tv dinners most of the time. How healthy were they in the 60's?!
    She said she cooked all day for all her customers, why did she want to come home and cook for us?! Can you believe that? We would eat the weirdest concoctions for sandwiches, like, mustard and onion sandwiches or mayonaisse,
    aka, Miracle Whip on bread. We'd eat cold hot dogs. Sometimes I'd get really brave and one time I tried to cook rice, we were so hungry. I had to use 6 saucepans of varying sizes to accomodate all the rice I put in that first pan. What a fiasco. Another time I tried to make french fries, set the kitchen on fire. Thank God my dad hadn't left the yard, he was in a car heading out the driveway when
    he saw the flames shoot up the kitchen window. If our mom had taken the time to get up from the couch and teach me how to cook, things would have gone more
    smoothly. The result of all this is that all of her kids have never, ever eaten healthy meals. The two girls are overweight, one of our brothers was morbidly obese, he died last year from a very bad heart and one brother is so underweight because he didn't like anything but, spanish rice and fish sticks. Hope your diet is better than ours was. And, now we girls struggle to lose weight and find it a difficult battle. One of the reasons we are here! - 10/20/2009   3:20:31 PM
  • 2BOYMOMMY
    180
    Oh and to respond to ~reneew, ALL moms are full-time moms, whether you work outside the home or not! - 10/20/2009   3:14:35 PM
  • 2BOYMOMMY
    179
    I am growing weary of "research" that busts on working moms. As someone mentioned before: 1) Dad plays into this too, and 2) unhealthy moms lead to unhealthy kids. I have 2 sons, ages 10 and 6. Neither have EVER been overweight, they each are very active, choosing to play outside most of the time instead of staring at videogames all day. Is this the norm? Maybe, maybe not. But among my children's friends, it most certainly is. It is very dependent on the values you teach and the example you set. My children ask before they watch TV, play their handhelds or get on the computer. Our house rule regarding snacks is that they must grab a nutritious snack first (fruit, cheese, yogurt) before asking for sweets. Half their Halloween candy gets thrown out because they don't get around to finishing it. Soda is a TREAT and is rarely in our house. They carry around water bottles with them. My older son has recently started running on my treadmill. Why? It helps that I am a nurse practitioner, but mostly it is because they don't know anything different. They see us both making healthy choices, cooking at home, and see me exercising 4-5 days/week. To be truthful, by my observation only, it is the children of SAHM that tend to be the ones asking for sweets and are the ones that are overweight and out of shape.
    I question the validity of the study. Is it randomized or a retrospective review? I am sure there are many confounding variables that make me question its validity.
    Bottom line: SAHM moms work too, but it is all about the QUALITY of the time you spend with your kids, not QUANTITY. I am tired of the perception that working mothers ignore their kids! - 10/20/2009   3:10:37 PM
  • 178
    I sort of smell a rat on this one. Blaming hard working moms again...Did anyone see that they did not even mention dad?? Typical. Now I am a SAHM been that way for a while I gave my kids what they could afford. Since joining sp I have learned how important it is eat right...that being said.. I have 2 teenagers that call veggies and fruit nasty. Guess cause we rarely ate them back then. Now I do eat them but one of my teenagers works and he can buy what he wants. Since my health challenges I have learned to eat better and hold my nose and choke down foods I use to question. LOL sometimes you gotta learn the hard way. Yes I still am telling my teenagers how important it is to eat right and lead by example. I do remind them.that what you do in your younger years come back to haunt you when you grow older. I just saw a comment about lower income peps. I can assume that high paying peps eat bad also but by choice. I say by choice cause monies are not an issue.The cost of food is real. Back then if I could have afforded to buy fresh fruits and veggies I probably would have brought I did not realize how important nutrition is. I had a lack of knowledge. Now I know!!! - 10/20/2009   2:49:29 PM
  • 177
    I agree! I see it all of the time. I think it may have more to do with Moms that are too busy. Not all Moms, obviously, but I think that Full time Moms have more time to spend on the healthy stuff. - 10/20/2009   2:43:16 PM
  • 176
    This is really interesting.

    My ex step mother stayed at home, and prepared only Hamburger Helper (without draining the grease), and I never saw a vegetable in her kitchen. She fed her children cheeseburgers every day, along with fried french fries and regular pop. TV was the babysitter.

    My mom worked, but she did her best to feed me right. Even if she couldn't afford fresh fruits and veggies, she would cook dinner and not take me to a fast food place. She had 2 jobs sometimes, and our utilities were always being shut off. At least she spent all the time she could with me, fed me better things than Hamburger Helper, and monitored how much TV I watched.

    I think it has to do with the mom.

    And where are the dads in these situations?
    - 10/20/2009   2:31:59 PM
  • CLARKL
    175
    Depends on the parents like everything else. I teach my children about helath and exercise daily. I run and my husband is a triathelete. My kids know the importance of healthy eating. I work 4 days a week. Now, my kids are with my mom while I am working and I do pick them up from school everyday so I have a little more control, but it depends on the parent. My stay at home sister in law let her children play video games all of the time and let them learn how to make individually wrapped hot dogs and drink coke with each meal. My kids don't care for soda except on occassion and love vegis.... IT DEPENDS ON THE PARENTS! - 10/20/2009   2:29:21 PM
  • 174
    I'm a stay at home mom, but I'm going to say it definitely depends on the MOM and her priorites. I know a sah mom whose house is a constant junkheap, who pushes her kids off to the TV or Youtube so she can do what she wants, and who rarely cooks healthy meals for her kids. I also know a ton of working moms who cook healthy meals every night, keep sparkling clean houses, and spend their free hours interacting with their kids. I think the study is skewed by the lower-income group who are working two or three jobs just to get by, and really are exhausted when they are home. - 10/20/2009   1:09:39 PM
  • 173
    and the fathers are where, doing what?

    - 10/20/2009   1:05:17 PM

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