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Parental Stress and the Impact on Child Obesity

As adults, it's easy to find ourselves stressed over things like money, work, relationships, and time management, which all put a strain on our overall physical and mental health. But could our stresses be affecting our children's health? According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, parental stress can directly impact childhood obesity. For example, parents experiencing stress due to work demands or lack of sleep may purchase more fast food for their families. The AAP's findings also connect stressors of low-income or single-parent households with a child's negative eating habits and diet. This increase in a child's consumption of high-fat foods can lead to health problems such as high cholesterol, weight gain, and diabetes.

Try these time management tips:

  • Create a daily agenda
  • Make "To Do" lists
  • Get a planner
  • List reminders to yourself/appointments/etc.
  • Use the calendar and write down important dates
  • Take advantage of support systems
  • Carpool with neighbors and other parents
  • Track where your money is spent
  • Balance your checkbook
  • Keep a weekly spending log
  • Buy in bulk
  • Clip coupons or look for sales
  • Pre-plan meals for the week
  • Cook on weekends
  • Cook in large quantities to freeze leftovers for later use
Relaxation is very important in stress management. Try muscle relaxation and meditation and take time to exercise to relieve stress.