ECO: Entering Parent Bed Lowers Odds of Child Obesity

For young children predisposed to overweight, entering parents' bed may have protective effect

THURSDAY, May 10 (HealthDay News) -- Young children who are predisposed to overweight have a reduced likelihood of becoming overweight if they enter their parents' bed at night, according to a study presented at the European Congress on Obesity, held from May 9 to 11 in Lyon, France.

Nanna Julie Olsen, Ph.D., of the Copenhagen University Hospital in Denmark, and colleagues conducted a study involving 645 children aged 2 to 6 years who were predisposed to overweight due to maternal pre-pregnancy overweight or low socioeconomic status or due to the child's high birth weight. Complete information was available for 497 children, including body mass index, and if and how often the child entered the parents' bed during the night.

Compared with young children who do not enter their parents' bed at night, the researchers found that, after adjusting for gender, child age, and parental education levels, children who entered their parents' bed during the night had a significantly reduced likelihood of being overweight (odds ratio, 0.5). The likelihood was further reduced for those entering their parents' bed every night (odds ratio, 0.3), compared with those who never entered.

"The results may suggest that elements of parental social support or other types of positive psychosocial responses if being allowed to enter parents' bed during night may protect against overweight, whereas types of negative psychosocial responses such as feelings of rejection when not being allowed to enter parents' bed may lead to overweight," Olsen said in a statement.

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