British researchers have found that there are two key explanations as to why poor children are more often obese or overweight than other children – mothers who smoke during pregnancy and mothers who are overweight before pregnancy. These findings came from checking the weight of about 10,000 11-year old children. Information was also collected from the mothers about their pregnancy, education levels, and other factors.
The study found that one out of every three children with poorly educated mothers were overweight. This was compared to one out of five whose mothers had earned a college degree. Being overweight and smoking during pregnancy also accounted for about 40% of the differences in child obesity rates across all socioeconomic classes.
These findings were published by the Archives of Disease in Childhood on May 9, 2016.