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According to findings from a study of Swedish families, living in a stressful household may raise a child's risk of becoming obese. Children aged 5-6 who lived in families with high stress levels had about twice the risk for obesity when compared to the same-age children not exposed to high stress levels.

Most of the families handle well some stress or stressors, but when several at the same time occur, it may be hard to deal with and the children are first to feel the negative effects.

The researchers evaluated stress levels in 7443 Swedish families from the time their children were born through the children's current age of 5 to 6 years. Fifty-two percent of the children were boys.

Later assessment showed that 4.2 % of the children were obese. Various stressors have been reported by the families ranging from family accident or illness, death, divorce, unemployment, to exposure to violence, parental relationship issues, lack of social support; and worries about children health and development.

High stress families were defined as having stress in at least two of these areas. As noted, results showed that children from these high stress families, compared with children from low-stress families (those reporting stressors in just one area or no stress) were at significantly greater risk for becoming obese.

Although stress is not the only factor that leads to childhood obesity, it certainly interacts with other factors to worsen the problem and should be addressed either alone through relaxation techniques or through therapy and support from a professional.


i dont belive that i am obese and untill about three years ago there was no stres in my life and i was obese before that and ive actully gotten skiner since the stress started