A new study out of Montreal Canada suggests that children who attend daycare before entering school are 50 percent more likely to become overweight compared to those that stay at home with their parents.
Dr. Marie-Claude Geoffroy from the University of Montreal said that, after analyzing 1,649 families for almost a decade, the research team “found that children whose primary care arrangement between 1.5 and four years was in daycare-center or with an extended family member were around 50 per cent more likely to be overweight or obese between the ages of four and 10 years compared to those cared for at home by their parents.”
The team could not explain the exact reasons for the difference in weight but they did suggest that diet and physical activity (or lack thereof) could play a key role.
“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,” Geoffroy added.
Co-author of the study, Dr. Sylvana Cote, offered some advice for parents: “Parents don’t have to worry; however, I suggest to parents they ensure their children eat well and get enough physical activity, whether at home or at daycare.”
The team says that daycare has the potential to reduce weight in children by promoting physical activities and providing healthy snack alternatives.
Parents should be inquiring about how their children’s time is spent during daycare hours as well what they’re eating when they’re there.
Source: AlphaGalileo Foundation