Tuesday, April 12. 2011
New parents may be picking up bad habits that could eventually raise their health insurance costs. According to a new study from the University of Minnesota, new parents spend nearly an hour less each week participating in vigorous exercise than their peers.
The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, compared answers from a survey involving 149 parents and 1,371 childless adults. It particularly focused on parents in their mid-20's with children younger than 5-years-old.
Jessica Berge, a lead author of the study, told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune that researchers focused on young, first-time parents because their children are more likely to develop healthier lifestyle habits if they see their parents maintaining good health amid turbulent life changes.
While researchers found that new moms eat just as many fruits, vegetables and whole grains as other women their age, they also consumed more total calories, as well as high-sugar drinks and saturated fats.
Instilling healthy eating and exercise habits in children from a young age can dramatically influence their health later in life. Children are significantly more likely to be obese adults if they are overweight from a young age, according to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, and can also be more susceptible to heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
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