Parents Eat More Saturated Fat

Child-free people less likely to eat ‘convenience’ foods
Wikimedia/National Archives

Normally dad doesn’t get to blame his expanding figure on the kids, but a new study has shown that new parents actually eat more saturated fat than do people who don’t have kids.

According to CNN, while most parents intend to improve their diets to be better nutritional role models after having children, few actually manage to do that and many actually wind up eating less healthfully than they did before, especially when it comes to saturated fat.

The study, which was published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, followed more than 2,000 adults for 20 years. It tracked the eating habits of parents for seven years after the births of their children and compared those results with the eating habits of childless people.

"Parents of younger children do tend to bring in more convenience foods into the home more often," said Dr. Helena Laroche, the lead author on the study. The greater reliance on more convenient food could explain the differences in saturated fat intake, she said.

The study looked at how much saturated fat was in the diets, as well as how many fruits and vegetables were eaten and how much soda and juice and fast food was consumed.

Surprisingly, while the parents consumed more saturated fat than non-parents, otherwise their diets were otherwise similarly unhealthful.

“Ultimately, neither had the ideal diet at the end of seven years,” Laroche said.