There is a dangerously high level of obesity among young parents compared to childless adults of the same age, according to a new study by private health insurance provider Bupa.
Results from the Bupa Family Health Survey indicated that over 60 per cent of parents under the age of 40 had a Body Mass Index score that classed them as overweight or obese.
Just 40 per cent of couples without children and 45 per cent of young singles were classified as overweight.
According to Bupa chief medical officer Paul Bates, obesity shouldn’t be seen as an inevitable option for families.
"While this can have serious implications for the parent, it’s also easy to forget that kids are picking up on mum and dads’ behaviours along the way," Dr Bates said yesterday (June 13).
"When parents look after themselves it puts in place a crucial piece of the puzzle."
Advice and resources from dietitians and lifestyle experts may be able to be accessed through some private health insurance providers.
Bupa health and wellness advisor Guy Leech suggested using dinner time to encourage conversation about food, nutrition and exercise, as well as incorporating a family walk after work or school.