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Findings from study among primarily low-income, hispanic and black mothers in the Bronx shows that depressed mothers have a higher risk of raising obese children

A study from Bronx Children’s Hospital at Montefiore looked at height/weight status of kids at age five and interviewed their mothers about mental health and their children’s eating habits including mealtime practices and feeding styles.

The findings show that mothers with low education, no jobs and showing depressive symptoms let their kids consume more sugar, do not prepare regular breakfast for their children and tend to go more often to restaurants than have family meals. Additionally children with depressive mothers were not taught healthy eating habits, slept fewer hours per night and had less outdoor play time than children with “happy” mothers.

Doctors at Bronx Children’s Hospital at Montefiore believe that providing access to mental health specialists in the pediatric primary care setting among ethnic minority and low-income families can help reduce the national child obesity epidemic.