Stress Tied to Teens’ Weight

A new study published in Preventive Medicine found that family stressors, specifically financial problems, a mother’s poor health, and family disruption, may increase teens’ obesity and being overweight. Boys and girls responded differently; boys weight increased more when the stressors involved their mother’s poor health, while girls weight status was linked more with finances and family disruption.

Most weight programs focus on diet and exercise, and do not take stress or family situation into consideration. This study shows that these programs may need to be broader and include more social services, such as helping families find access to mental health programs, financial assistance or family counseling.

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