Parents' Work has negative effect on family nutrition and health

Demanding work-life and the fear of losing job has become so prevalent that people aren't taking care of their or their children's' nutritional needs.

The study was based on survey of more than 3,700 families. Researchers found that a little over half of all fathers had full-time time jobs. Just about 46 percent of mothers who took part in the study were employed full-time.

Previous research has shown that mother who have full time jobs find it harder to provide healthy meals for children. The prevalence of childhood obesity is also believed to be indirectly influenced by mothers' occupation. Experts say that family- friendly work policies will be beneficial in promoting good health in the society.

The present study looked at roles of both the mother and the father in providing food for their children. They found that fathers spent less time preparing healthy foods even if they were unemployed or worked part-time. Mothers were still the person responsible to look after the kids' health, even if she had a full time job

Families belonging to the minority community face greater problems in providing their children with adequate and healthy meals.

"Our work underlined the need to take into account the competing pressures that so many families — especially those that are lower income — are experiencing. There's a great need to help parents find realistic and sustainable ways to feed their families more healthfully while taking into consideration all of the stresses on parents these days," said Katherine Bauer, an assistant professor of public health and researcher at Temple's Center for Obesity Research and Education.

Also, they surveyed families that had teenage children. Researchers say that teaching kids how to cook can give them skills to make healthy food-choices.

"We need to teach kids how to cook. We know if kids have cooking skills and good eating habits, not only will they be healthier, but as adults they'll put those skills to use to feed their own children more healthfully," said Bauer.