Update March 14, 2016

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Younger sibling could be considered good for health

Sumel Sarker

Younger sibling

Younger sibling could be considered good for health

14 March 2016, Nirapad News: During childhood, most kids don’t like it when younger siblings break toys or get more attention from parents. A new study conducted in the United States has found that younger siblings can actually be good for health of elder kids in the family. The study team noted that kids with younger siblings were having lower risk of being obese.

Kids with younger brother or sister had three times lower risk of being obese compared to single kids in family. The study team added that parents may adopt some lifestyle changes, at times, even before the second baby arrives. The team also noticed a difference in the meal times after arrival of second baby.

The study was led by Dr. Julie Lumeng, a pediatrics and public health researcher at the University of Michigan and C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor. Dr. Lumeng added, “The results suggest that parents may make lifestyle changes after expanding the family that could be good to try even before another baby arrives.”

The study team led by Dr. Lumeng followed 697 children from birth till age 6. Kids without siblings were more likely to be overweight or obese at age six compared to kids with younger siblings, the study team noticed. The study doesn’t prove that being an only child will cause obesity or show how adding a new baby to family might help older kids maintain a healthy weight.

Detailed study results have been published in March 11 issue of the journal Pediatrics. Dr. Lumeng further informed, “It is possible that when there is a younger sibling in the family, a child might become more active – for example running around more with their toddler sibling.”

Commenting on study results, Jerica Berge, a researcher at the University of Minnesota, said, “When parents use restrictive (e.g. keep food from children) or pressure-to-eat feeding practices (e.g. try to get kids to eat more food), children have an increased risk of being overweight.” Berge was not directly involved with the study.-Asfar

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