Does Having Kids Make You Fat?!

17 August 2015


Are you the kind of parent who can't resist nibbling off your child's plate at meal times? And would it surprise you to learn that parenting rites of passage such as scoffing those unwanted fish fingers could be to blame for the fact that your waistline might not be what it once was?

I laughed out loud this morning when I read this piece in the Daily Mail about a new book called Why Kids Make You Fat by fitness expert Mark MacDonald.

Written by a mother of three who reckons she has "gained a stone and gone from a size eight to a size 12 since having children", it struck a chord with me. (I also think she got off lightly. That's far from fat, after all.) It's taken some serious effort to get me back to (roughly) the weight I was before my three kids came along, but I definitely relate to the fact that having kids wreaks havoc with your waistline.

And it's not just mums who are affected, apparently - the writer's husband "gained a stone after each child" and she quotes the book's author as having put on 2½ stone after his son was born.

She writes:

"Ever since Oscar lost 10 per cent of his body weight as a newborn due to feeding problems, I've compulsively fed them. Minutes before bedtime, I cry 'Do you want a banana?' and cook far too much pasta (I consume the leftovers with parmesan and olive oil - my attitude is more waist is preferable to waste.)"

"It's hardly a shock that University of Chicago research found that a year after giving birth, nearly 75 per cent of women remain heavier than before becoming pregnant. No zombified parent craves a lightly dressed green salad; we're after a fat and sugar buzz: chocolate, biscuits, curry - a treat to wake us up and reward us for surviving the day."

So, would you agree? Has having kids had a major impact on your weight or waistline? Or are you one of those enviable mums who somehow finds the energy to work out every evening once the kids are all tucked up in bed?

Speaking personally, I'm somewhere in the middle. I definitely tipped the scales at an all-time high when my lads started school and although that wasn't really 'baby weight' related to pregnancy, I know that some of the stress of being a parent played a part. I certainly never had the chocolate-and-wine-o'clock habit that I do now before the kids came along.

I definitely relate to the sense that becoming a mum meant little to no time for exercise, and way less energy or enthusiasm for any sort of healthy lifestyle or diet.

But I also reckon something's at play which isn't covered in this article, and that's that having kids is one of the biggest motivators for shaping up and getting fitter and healthier.

To paraphrase what Kate Moss didn't say, nothing tastes as good as being able to chase around after the kids in the park feels...

We'd love to hear your thoughts on this over on our Facebook page. Does having kids make you fat, or are we just in danger of blaming our babies for our battle against the bulge?

TOPICS:   Parents

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