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Parental Weight, Habits Linked to Child Obesity

Update Date: Nov 20, 2014 05:21 PM EST

Obese parents are more likely to have obese children, according to a new Japanese. Researchers said their latest findings are important as obesity significantly increases the risk for heart and blood vessel disease.

The latest study involved more than 1,000 children between the ages of six and 12 in Japan. Researchers noted that 540 boys and 574 girls from seven different regions of Japan participated in the study. 

Lead researcher Masao Yoshinaga, M.D., Ph.D., chief director of pediatrics at National Hospital Organization and his team at Kagoshima Medical Center found that paternal obesity increases the risk of obesity in boys. However, both paternal and maternal obesity increased the risk of obesity in girls.

The study also revealed that parents who spend a lot of time sitting in front of a computer or TV were more likely to have obese children compared to those of parents who don't have excessive screen-time habits.

"Screen time of children is significantly associated with parental screen time," said Yoshinaga, according to a press release. "To reduce screen time in children, parents should reduce their screen time."

The findings were presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2014.

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