Obesity link for siblings

“Children are five times more likely to become obese if their older brother or sister is overweight,” reports the Daily Mail.

There is a widespread assumption that a significant risk factor for child obesity is if they have one or both parents who are obese.

A new US study suggests that a more influential risk factor may be if a child has a brother or sister (or both) who are obese.

A study of US families has found that among those with two children, if one child was obese then there was a relatively large chance that the other child would also be obese.

This “obese sibling” effect was particularly pronounced if the children are of the same gender. This study has several limitations, including its reliance on one parent self-reporting the height and weight of both themselves and their children.

The study also relied on data taken at one point in time, so it cannot prove a direct cause and effect.

It does arguably highlight the fact that a family environment can play an important part in influencing individual family member’s health outcomes.

Often, the family that exercises and eats healthily together, achieves a healthy weight together.

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