Obesity in Kids Linked to Parents’ Divorce

August 12, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. chance /tʃæns, tʃɑns/  (n.) – a possibility of something to happen
Example: He is waiting for his chance to win the lottery.

2. circumference /sərˈkʌm fər əns/ (n.) – a boundary that surrounds a circular object
Example: The organizers measured the circumference of the race track.

3. effect /ɪˈfɛkt/ (n.) – a result of something
Example: His mother’s constant nagging has little effect on him.

4. monitor /ˈmɒn ɪ tər/ (v.) – to look over or observe something
Example: Teachers should constantly monitor the students’ performance.

5. picky /ˈpɪk i/ (adj.) – being very difficult to please
Example: I am very picky when it comes to the food I eat.


Read the text below.
Children have higher chances of becoming overweight or obese if their parents are divorced, a new study says.

Presented at the European Congress on Obesity in Sofia, the study involved 3,166 students from 127 different schools across Norway. The researchers measured the children’s height, weight, and waist circumference. They then found an established relationship between the data and the marital status of the students’ parents.

The study found that 19% of the children were overweight or obese, with higher percentage in girls than in boys. Consequently, the children of divorced parents were 54% more likely to be overweight or obese and 89% more likely to be abdominally obese than the children of married ones. In addition, the study revealed that sons of divorced parents have 63% risk of obesity.

The study also showed that the children of couples who live together but were never married had the same obesity risk as the children of married parents. This suggests that the effects of divorce could play a very important role on a child’s health.

Another Norwegian study revealed that healthy eating patterns among children may also be linked to the frequency of family meals. According to the researchers, eating together as a family allows parents to monitor the food that their children consume. This study also showed that obesity in children dropped by 40 percent when they ate breakfast with their parents five to seven times a week.

On another note, arguing during meal time among parents is discouraged as doing so makes children ages two to six become picky on what to eat.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Would you spend more mealtimes with your family after reading this article? Why or why not?
·         Why do you think children with divorced parents have more risks of becoming obese?

Discussion B

·         What are the other causes of obesity?
·         What could parents do in order to prevent their children from being obese?

August 12, 2014