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Children attending daycare more likely to be overweight: study


14:50, November 21, 2012

VANCOUVER, Nov. 20 (Xinhua) -- Preschool kids who regularly attend day care centers are far more likely to be overweight compared to those who stay at home with their parents, a Canadian study has showed.

The study, published recently in the Journal of Pediatrics, found that compared to those cared for at home by their parents, children whose preschool years were spent in non-parental daycare - including daycare with an extended family member - were about 50 percent more likely to be overweight between the ages of 4 and 10 years.

The result was based on the study of 1,649 families with children born in 1997-1998 in Quebec, Canada.

The children were classified according to the type of care in which they had spent the most total hours in their preschool years, and the researchers measured the children's weight and height in the following six years.

"This difference cannot be explained by known risk factors such as socioeconomic status of the parents, breastfeeding, body mass index of the mother, or employment status of the mother," said Dr. Marie-Claude Geoffroy, who led the study.

However, the researchers believe that diet and physical activity are avenues to follow.

"Parents don't have to worry. However, I suggest to parents they ensure their children eat well and get enough physical activity, whether at home or at daycare." said Dr. Sylvana Cote, who co-directed the study.

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