Only children may be at a higher risk for obesity than children who have siblings, according to a new study published Wednesday.The study looked at the eating habits and body weight of only children — called “singletons” by researchers — and found they had less healthy eating habits and beverage choices than families with multiple children.While the sample size was small and the study could not establish cause and effect, it does “raise an interesting point that we need to better understand,” said pediatrician Dr. Natalie Muth, who chairs the American academy of pediatrics sectieport says”Several studies in addition to this one have shown that only children are more likely to be overweight or obese,” said Muth, who was not involved in the study.”Why is that? While this study doesn’t provide the answer to that question, it is helpful in building the body of research that eventually will provide clearer answers,” Muth said.
WHAT IT MEANS TO BE AN ONLY Singletons have long fascinated researchers. Early studies focused on the many negatives society falselybelieved about only children, like the idea that a child would become headstrong, selfish, egocentric, competitive, excessively spoiled and unable to share if raised by themselves. Or, that most would likely turn into self-absorbed hypochondriacs.”A lot of people assumed only children are defective, and so a lot of research has been done on achievement and personality,” said Toni Falbo, a psychologist at the University of Texas at Austin who has researched singletons since the 1980s. Related Article : top 34 bestselling fruit drink for kid deemed unhealthy in 1986, Falbo did a meta-analysis of 200 studies on only children and found they excelled in achievement, intelligence and character over children with siblings — especially those with older brothers or sisters.”On average, only children get more education and they score higher on various achievement tests,” Falbo said. “On personality achievements, they’re doing fine. They have reasonably positive personalities and they’re not prone to mental illness any more so than anyone else.”The only difference her analysis found was that singletons appeared to have stronger bonds with their parents than children with siblings, a finding that was later supported by a 2018 study of 10,000 German schoolchildren.
While we don’t understand all of the ins and outs of why, we do knowthat there is a notably increased risk of childhood overweight and obesity for only children.”Parents of only children who are aware of this increased risk may be able to prevent overweight or obesity in their child by paying extra attention to creating a healthy and active home environment,” she said.