Stressed about work? Try not to bring it back home with you, as Science Daily reports that parental stress may be linked with weight gain in kids.

Lead author Dr. Ketan Shankardass and a team of researchers analyzed data on children’s body mass index (BMI) and parents’ stress levels from a previous Children’s Health Study.

They found that kids whose parents had high stress levels had a BMI that was 2 percent higher and weight gain rate that was 7 percent higher than those whose parents felt that they had a handle on things.

Although the reason for this occurrence is still unknown, researchers believe that stressed parents may be passing on their anxieties to their children who, in turn, cope by eating more. Unfortunately, this also makes it more likely for them to grow up as binge eaters.

“Childhood is a time when we develop inter-connected habits related to how we deal with stress, how we eat, and how active we are,” Shankardass explains. “It's a time when we might be doing irreversible damage or damage that is very hard to change later.”

To avoid this, try addressing the root of the problem. Take the time to de-stress every once in a while. This may not only improve your life, but your children's as well.

(Photo by Citizen 4474 via Flickr Creative Commons)

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