Smoking around young children could increase obesity risk

23 June 2015

Parents who smoke around their young children could be exposing them to a higher risk of being obese, a new study has suggested.

Researchers at the University of Montreal found that children whose parents who smoked when they were toddlers are likely to have a wider waist and a higher BMI by time they reach ten years old.

Conducted at the university's Sainte Justine Research Centre, the research suggests that early exposure could be linked to childhood obesity.

Professor Linda Pagani, who led the study, said: "By the age of ten, the children who had been intermittently or continuously exposed to smoke were likely to have waists that were up to three-fifths of an inch wider than their peers."

She added that their BMI scores were also likely to be between .48 and .81 points higher. 

It is the first study to determine a link between smoking and childhood obesity, with previous work neglecting to consider other factors in the family that might have influenced the child's weight, such as the parent's mental health and the resulting effects this has on their lifestyle choices. 

Posted by Edward Bartel

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