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Bibs & bobs — 4 November 2019

By Mums At The Table 1 min read

These three factors will determine if your child will be overweight or obese by their teen years | The best way to prevent children from overloading on bad food choices | Young adults are feeling increasing lonely. Here's one way to help

These three factors will determine if your child will be overweight or obese by their teen years

A study led by the Murdoch Children's Research Institute (MCRI) in Victoria, Australia, shows three factors will predict the onset of weight problems by the time they're six. The three factors are:

  • A child's Body Mass Index (BMI). Each one-unit higher BMI when the child is aged 6–7 years increased the odds at 14–15 years of developing weight problems by three-fold and halved the odds of resolution.
  • The mother's BMI. Every one-unit increase in the mother's BMI when the child is aged 6–7 years increased the odds at 14–15 years of developing weight problems by five per cent and decreased the odds of resolution by about 10 per cent.
  • The mother's education level. Mothers having a university degree was associated with lower odds of a child being overweight and obese at ages 2–5 years and higher odds of resolving obesity issues by adolescence. MCRI

The best way to prevent children from overloading on bad food choices

Flinders University researchers have found that promoting substitution is the answer to turning around children’s excessive consumption of nutrient-poor foods and beverages—resulting in nutritional benefits that are even better than reducing the intake of these discretionary food and drink choices. “The message is to replace discretionary choices with foods such as vegetables, whole grains and dairy. This will achieve similar benefits to moderation but will have the additional benefits of improving diet quality and micronutrient intake," says report co-author Associate Professor Rebecca Golley, Flinders University’s nationally recognised expert in child obesity and nutrition promotion. —Flinders University

Young adults are feeling increasingly lonely. Here's one way to help

A survey of 15,000 18–35-year-olds from 25 countries around the globe have found that just one in three feel deeply cared for by those around them or that someone believes in them. Meanwhile, nearly one in four acknowledges encountering feelings of loneliness and isolation. The vast majority of young adults feel the impact of broad, global trends more than they feel loved and supported by others close to them. Respondents who belong to a religious tradition seem to have stronger feelings of being in relationship with others. The study concluded that key mentorships and friendships that are common among young Christians, and patterns in the data at least suggest religion may play some role in keeping loneliness at bay. —Barna