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Study links divorce to higher risk of childhood obesity

A new study has linked weight gain in children to divorce, a claim that all divorced parents should be aware of to make sure their kids are healthy and happy during their childhood. Obesity has become a hot issue in the United States, especially since more adolescents are being diagnosed with type II diabetes. 

The study found that boys with divorced parents were more likely to be overweight compared to boys with married parents. The researchers said that in both boys and girls studied, children from divorced families had a higher chance of being overweight or obese by 54 percent. They are also more likely to be abdominally obese compared to children with married parents. 

Many parents getting divorced worry about how their children will handle the separation. The researchers said there were other factors that may contribute to the higher risk of obesity in kids with divorced parents. However, the study's findings regarding weight gain among children with divorced parents are something divorced parents should know about. 

The study on the impact divorce has on children being overweight or obese could lead to a debate over one parent's ability to take care of the kids after the divorce. Child custody decisions are based on several factors and even after child custody orders are granted, parents can petition a judge to re-evaluate current custody orders. 

Could a child's health, specifically being overweight or obese, lead to a child custody battle? Possibly. Parents may claim that the other parent is not able to take care of the child or address any potential medical conditions like diabetes or other conditions associated with obesity. 

Divorced parents in Arizona should be aware of the different factors that could impact child custody orders and discuss any concerns with an attorney. 

Source: Philly, "Kids' Obesity Risk Rises With Parents' Divorce: Study," Steven Reinberg, June 4, 2014

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