Study: Children in daycare are 50% more likely to become overweight

November 19, 2012

A recent study by the University of Montreal, young children in daycare are 50% more likely to be overweight than children who stay at home with their parents.

“We found that children whose primary care arrangement between 1.5 and 4 years was in daycare-center or with an extended family member were around 50% more likely to be overweight or obese between the ages of 4-10 years compared to those cared for at home by their parents,” said Dr. Marie-Claude Geoffroy, who led the study. “This difference cannot be explained by known risk factors such as socioeconomic status of the parents, breastfeeding, body mass index of the mother, or employment status of the mother.”


Very, very interesting.  Not sure what factors could’ve steered the results but regardless, here are my  thoughts on raising healthy kids:

As a stay-at-home-working-mom I know that when I’m with my children I cook their daily meals and enforce outdoor play. Watching television is considered a humongous treat, usually experienced when my mother watches them for a couple hours every week. (this is also the time she sometimes “treats” them to fast food) I DO have to say, that it is easier to turn on the tube and let them go into TV zombie-mode to leave me alone. It’s also easier to bribe them with sweet treats and open frozen or can foods to cut my cooking time in half.

But that would be bad…and that is bad – especially in the long run.

Children need activity to enhance their creativity and physical growth. Children need nutritious foods that are fresh and unprocessed to promote a healthy and growing body.

It takes work to be an assertive parent who takes the ‘long’ way, the ‘hard’ way, the more ‘annoying’ way  – so that their kids grow up to become valuable citizens in society. Not that if your kids are in daycare they won’t be…I’m just saying that it takes effort to raise a child. I know mothers who worked 6 weeks after conceiving and came home to cook a healthy meal. I know mothers who work from home who cook their children’s meals before they convened in their office to work while a nanny cared for her kids.

I’m not saying we’re perfect. My husband and I are definitely far from it. In fact, the kids were going crazy around me today and I just needed 10 minutes to send out a fax and asked him to take the kids outside…within minutes I could hear absolutely NOTHING except for a little cartoon voice from behind the walls. I immediately turned off the TV, briefly discussed our shared goals for our children and made them go outside to play. (He hates it when they get dirty and play with mud – but while it’s annoying, it’s important for them to be in nature)

I’m not perfect either. Sometimes when I’ve had a hard night with the baby, the children wake me up early and I sometimes turn on the TV in my bedroom (which I rarely turn on) and let them watch for an hour while I catch much needed sleep.

If you cannot stay home with your kids, you must do your due diligence when choosing a childcare provider. Ask what foods they eat, activities they perform and overall philosophy. Those early years they grow in that environment can affect their lives more substantially than you know…



  • Reply Lisa November 20, 2012 at 12:11 am

    Looking around at what some of the other parents give their preK’s for breakfast when I drop off my daughter, I’m not surprised. Alita usually has 2 of the following: milk, non-sugary cereal,waffle, fruit, yogurt, oatmeal, cheese, toast, 1/2 bagel, smoothie that I make, or cheese for breakfast. I see a lot of sugary cereal, toaster pastries, McDonald’s, donuts, etc in front of the other kids. One kid even has a chai latte or hot chocolate and pastry from Coffee Bean every morning.

    • Reply Maria Kang November 20, 2012 at 2:32 am

      wow! I see this often too in my school programs. What is high on my annoyance list is the coffee thing…kids/preteens shouldn’t be drinking ‘grown up drinks’ with caffeine in it.

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