NORWAY: Doctoral study suggests that divorce may make children fat

A recent study by a Norwegian doctoral student in Norway seems to show some correlation between divorce and obesity in young children.

Children whose parents are divorced tend to be heavier than kids whose parents stay married, a new study suggests. Researchers in Norway found that kids from divorced homes in that country were 54 percent more likely to be overweight or obese, and 89 percent were more likely to have abdominal obesity (too much weight around the waistline), compared with children from families with married parents. The results also showed that boys from marriages that split up may be particularly vulnerable to gaining excess weight, especially around the waist, the researchers said. Having excess belly fat may increase a person’s risk for diabetes and heart disease, and could possibly shorten life span.

The researcher Anna Biehl who is a candidate for PhD the Norwegian Institute of Public Health in Oslo was careful to stress that this is a correlation only; she has no proof that divorce actually causes childhood obesity. What was interesting about the study is that it seems to suggest that boys are more “vulnerable” to parental divorce than girls ev en though overall girls had more weight issues irrespective of the marriage status of their parents. This study examined 3100 Norwegian¬†children between the ages of 9 – 10 years of age. Read more.