The influence of the maternal lifestyle on the health of children, according to Harvard

The mother is a figure with a large influence in the development of every child. Day after day the actions and the adopted lifestyle echoes in the children to the point that it can define the long-term health of the smallest of the house. This is what Harvard has shown in one of his last works where he has closely analyzed the cases of 17,000 mothers.

An analysis of 25,000 children and adolescents between 9 and 18 years old and those who have been closely monitored to check if their health status had any kind of relationship with the lifestyle of their mothers. Data that seeks to encourage households to opt for healthier routines that serve as an example for the youngest members of the household and end up ensuring them good long-term health.


Five healthy habits

The results of this analysis showed that the children of mothers who had five healthy habits had up to 75% less of possibilities of developing obesity in the long term than the rest of cases where these customs did not occur. Specifically, the routines that this research refers to are the following: regular exercise, healthy eating, maintaining an adequate weight, moderation with alcohol and avoiding smoking.

On the contrary, the researchers found that those children of mothers with weight problems and who had less healthy lifestyle habits such as smoking or not practicing, ended up presenting long-term obesity problems. Those responsible for this work ensure that mothers with a Body Mass Index adequate, between 18.5 and 24.9, had up to 56% more chance of staying at an appropriate weight.


Another data that was shown in this study is that the fact that the mothers smoked also had an impact on the presence of this bad habit in the little ones. The risk that children are consumers of cigarettes decreased a 31% when the mother did not present this unhealthy routine.

Finally, the researchers highlighted that in the nutritional terrain no relationship was found between the menus of the mothers and the dietary routines of the youngest ones. Those responsible for this study indicated that this result is due to the influence exerted by other entities such as the school canteen or visits to peer homes.

Habits to inculcate

While the influence of the mother is undeniable in the development of every child, both parents are responsible for instilling healthy life habits to ensure a good health to the kids. These are some of those offered by the Spanish Confederation of Associations of Parents of Students, CEAPA:


- Good nutrition. Starting with a breakfast where it is early enough to do it at the right pace and with the recommended food group (dairy, cereals and fruit or juice), until the rest of the five meals a day, leaving aside the saturated fats.

- Put aside sugary soft drinks as a method to hydrate and bet on water as a usual formula.

- Food should not be used as a comfort, reward, or punishment. Using food to reward or comfort will make children learn to use it when they feel sad, unhappy, angry, etc.

- Betting on a habit of less sedentary life. Taking advantage of the arrival of good weather to carry out activities outside the home is always a good idea, you can also enroll the little ones in sports activities.

Damián Montero

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