Have a Poor Diet, Blame the Kids

I knew the children were up to something -- with their beady little eyes:

Adults who live with children eat more fat, and more saturated fat, than those who do not, according to a new study.

The report, published online last week in The Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, was based on data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Survey, a six-year nationwide study of more than 33,000 people carried out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

According to background information in the article, the correlation between adults' and children's diets has usually been attributed to parental influence. But in the case of fat intake, it may be that children and teenagers, who consume more fat than other age groups, influence the diets of their parents.

The researchers gathered data based on 24-hour dietary recall from 6,600 adults, 48 percent of whom had at least one child under 17 in their household. After controlling for other variables, the presence of children was associated with an increased total fat consumption of 4.9 grams per day in adults, and an increased saturated fat consumption of 1.7 grams per day. Together, the total fat and saturated fat are the equivalent of a daily three-ounce serving of lean ham.

There was no association between the presence of children and the total number of calories consumed, but adults with children were more likely to eat pizza, cheese, cookies, ice cream, bacon and other high-fat foods. (Emphasis mine.)

Actually, I totally believe this. If I didn't have all these children begging for me to go into McDonalds to buy them hamburgers and french fries and 40s of malt liquor, I would never go in there.

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This cinches it, now. I knew those lil vermin held some type of value other than merely being sexually transmitted diseases. ~:o)

Thanks for clearing this matter up for us.


This explains why, when my high-school-age nephew comes to visit, the freezer, fridge and cabinets suddenly fill up with PopTarts, Pizza Bites, bologna, jelly doughnuts, and all other kinds of greasy and/or sugary edibles. The stuff usually disappears during the course of his visit, although some of it seems to have a longer half-life.

Of course, our residence is merely an N of 1. :-)

How to clear up correlation/causation issues? People that have more kids are statistically less educated, and I can only assume that less education would correlated to poorer eating habits.