5 healthy habits of a fit family

Harvard study shows that children are 75 percent less likely to become obese from these habits

A recent study published by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health revealed five key guidelines families should follow to keep their kids at a healthy weight. Researchers found that when mothers stuck to these healthy habits, their children were 75 percent less likely to become obese compared with children of mothers who did not.

The habits are:

  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Exercising regularly
  • Keeping a healthy body weight
  • Drinking alcohol in moderation
  • Not smoking

The study results were determined from data collected on 24,289 children between the ages of 9 and 18 who were born to 16,495 mothers.

Norton Children’s Medical Group

Norton Children’s pediatricians offer you and your family care just for kids and teens close to home.

The doctor’s orders

Erin Frazier, M.D., pediatrician with Norton Children’s Medical Group – Broadway, echoed the fact that parents’ lifestyle has a direct influence on kids.

“Parents are the ones who grocery shop — the kids eat what they bring home,” Dr. Frazier said. “If they put a priority on health, kids will follow suit.”

Dr. Frazier tells her patients and their families to follow the 5-2-1-0 rule, which states that kids should have 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day, limit screen time to 2 hours a day, get at least 1 hour of exercise a day and have 0 sugary drinks. If families follow this rule, it will help prevent obesity.

“Childhood obesity is a very prevalent issue, but when you practice healthy habits, such as eating nutritious food and exercising, kids greatly decrease the risk of obesity and chronic illness,” Dr. Frazier said.