Obesity is not just the result of a mother's tendency to overfeed, the role played by fathers in developing healthy lifestyle habits had more effect on the young adults, says a new study.
Young adults who live in happy and stable family atmosphere with quality parenting are less likely to be obese as they are more likely to follow a healthy diet, physical activity, and good quality sleep.
‘Young adults who have quality family relationships were less likely to suffer from eating disorders and also actively involved in a regular physical activity.’
In predicting whether a young male will become obese, the researchers found that the mother-son relationship had far less to do than a father-son relationship.
Jess Haines from the University of Guelph in Canada, said, "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 underscore the importance of examining the influence fathers have on their children and to develop strategies to help fathers support the development of healthy behaviors among their children," said Haines.
The report published in the Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity
is based on the study conducted the researchers on 3,700 females and more than 2,600 males who were at all aged in between 14-24.
The researchers assessed the way the participants parents conduct daily routines and how they fulfilled their roles, creating an emotional connection with young adults. The findings showed that nearly 80% of the participants had a stable family and quality parenting.
Six out of 10 females and half of the males reported high-quality relationships with their parents.Young adults from a high family functioning and quality family relationships had lesser eating disorders and were more actively involved in physical activity and also got quality sleep.
Young adults with good family background were less likely to consume junk food, which is one of the main triggers of obesity and overweight. The study found a close association between the quality of father-son relationship and the chances of being obese.
"It appears the father-son parent relationship has a stronger influence on sons than the mother-daughter relationship has on young women. In general, the findings show the importance of family behaviors and relationships on the health of young adults from an early age," said Ms. Haines.
"A high level of family dysfunction may interfere with the development of healthful behaviors due to the families' limited ability to develop routines related to eating, sleep or activity behaviors, which can lead to excess weight gain," she added.