Finding: Dads Left Out of Important Studies

"We really didn't have a  good understanding of what the role was that fathers were playing in things like physical activity and nutrition in children." - Dr. Jennifer Mangenello

Childhood obesity is a public health crisis that is not simple to turn around.

According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents over the past 30 years.

While research may prove key to understanding the factors that have lead to childhood obesity, a study of the research itself finds one thing lacking: consistent inclusion of fathers. 

A photo of cheerful family sitting on sofa at brightly lit home. Happy parents are playing with son in living room. They are in casuals.

"There is no single bullet, it's a multi-factorial problem as we call it, so we have to intervene at many different levels." -Dr. Christine Bozlak

A study, led by Kirsten Davison, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, in collaboration with Jennifer Manganello, an associate professor at the University at Albany School of Public Health, analyzed 667 observational studies on parenting and childhood obesity and found that mothers are disproportionally represented.

In this podcast Dr. Jennifer Mangenello, and obesity expert Dr. Christine Bozlak, talk about observations from the study.  They also discuss ways to ensure more fathers are involved in future studies.  

The team’s full study has been published in the American Public Health Association’s November 2016 edition.

Photos: Getty Images.

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