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Divorce, child custody struggles may impact kids' weight

For those Texas parents who are preparing to divorce, the ways that this decision might impact their children is a significant source of worry. It is undeniable that divorce will have significant repercussions on shared children, but parents can have a great deal of control over these outcomes based on how they handle the challenge of divorce and child custody changes. For those who are aware of the risks and are willing to be proactive, many of the negative effects of divorce can be mitigated.

A recent study found that children whose parents have gone through divorce are significantly more likely to be obese than those who have not experienced a divided family. Researchers looked at data collected from more than 1,000 kids in the third grade, which was gathered by school nurses from more than 127 schools. They found that kids whose parents were divorced were 50 percent more likely to meet the obesity parameters outlined by the International Obesity Task Force.

Even more disturbing, kids from divorced families were 90 percent more likely to exhibit abdominal obesity. Being abdominally obese means that the circumference of one’s waist is more than half of the measurement of his or her height. Abdominal obesity is linked to higher rates of heart disease, diabetes and other significant health issues.

For couples who are preparing to divorce, having this information can help guide the decision-making process that both parents will use during and after the dissolution of their marriage. The risk of unhealthy weight gain is just one of many negative effects that kids can experience when their family structure changes. By giving kids love and support throughout the divorce and child custody changes, parents in Texas can help avoid any negative health repercussions associated with these transitions.

Source: Time, "Boys of Divorced Parents Twice as Likely To Be Obese", Belinda Luscombe, June 4, 2014

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