Saskatoon

New study suggests dads are making their kids fat

According to a family health study led by researchers at the University of Guelph, fathers are the critical stakeholders in the development of their child’s health behaviours.

Study enrolled about 31 two-parent families

Wayne Hartrick, president of the Canadian Men's Health Foundation, says young children tend to mimic their father's eating habits more than their mother's. (Associated Press)

New research suggests that dads may be responsible for making their kids fat.

According to a family health study led by researchers at the University of Guelph, fathers are the critical stakeholders in the development of their child's health behaviours.

If they're sacrificing their own health, they might actually be sacrificing their children's health.- Wayne Hartrick, president, Canadian Men's Health Foundation

"Young children tend to mimic their father's eating habits more than their mother's," Wayne Hartrick, president of the Canadian Men's Health Foundation, told CBC Radio's Saskatoon Morning.

He said the study, which enrolled about 31 two-parent families, revealed that children of obese fathers were 10 times more likely to become obese themselves.

"I think the message to fathers is: you are important," Hartrick said. "If they're sacrificing their own health, they might actually be sacrificing their children's health."

He said the key isn't to make drastic changes but to keep in mind that sometimes it's better to opt for a bag of carrots instead of a bag of chips.

About 64 per cent of Saskatchewan males are currently overweight or obese.

With files from CBC Radio's Saskatoon Morning

now