Institution/source
Main report findings
Date

Lifestyle

The US National Bureau of Economic Research
30.11.17
The US National Bureau of Economic Research has examined the impact of parents’ working hours on children’s weight. The study found that greater parental work hours lead to large increases in children’s body mass index (BMI) and probabilities of being overweight and obese.
30.11.17
Association for Young People’s Health
16.10.17
The ‘Key Data on Young People 2017′ report, supported by The Health Foundation, looks into health and lifestyle behaviours in young people. This report brings attention to health inequalities in the UK, and puts pressure on the Government to review its child health policy, particularly for disadvantaged children. The key point to note is as follows – ‘In our landmark State of Child Health report we found that of the 25 key markers of child health, 24 were adversely affected by poverty.’
16.10.17
Stanford University
15.07.17
Research suggests fathers are more likely to serve up a quick ready meal or takeaway when they are in charge of the home. They are also more likely to give in to demands for a chocolate bar or ice cream. The researchers interviewed 44 families which had at least one teenage son or daughter. Each family member was quizzed on eating habits and how these changed depending on which parent was in charge.
15.07.17
Columbia University
06.07.17
According to a US study reported in The Guardian there is increasing evidence that poverty hinders the physical development of a child’s brain. Researchers are in the middle of a 5-year national study that could establish a causal link between poverty and brain growth. In a previous study, the lead researcher found that poorer children tended to have “thinner subregions of the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain strongly associated with executive functioning”. Data also indicated  that small increases in family income had a much larger impact on the brains of the poorest children.
06.07.17
Wiley Scientific Journal
21.06.17
A study for scientific journal Wiley has found that a fathers’ increased involvement in child caregiving is linked with a decreased likelihood that their children will become obese between the ages of 2 and 4. Increases in the physical child care (e.g. bathing and dressing children) and the frequency that they took children outside for walks and playtime were linked to a decreased likelihood of obesity in their young children.
21.06.17
University College London
02.06.17
A study carried out by University College London showed that girls and boys who have a TV in their room are respectively 30% and 20% more likely to be overweight. The reasons behind the link are not yet established, but might include children snacking while watching TV and reduced or disrupted sleep, as well as increased exposure to product placement and advertisements. Experts said the study added weight to calls to ban junk food advertising before 9pm. Yet NHS Choices argued that the study doesn’t prove that watching TV or having a TV in your bedroom directly increases body fat. However, the link between increased sedentary time in general, along with low physical activity and poor diet, and overweight and obesity is well established.
02.06.17
Perrigo Nutritionals
18.05.17
A survey carried out in the US by healthcare supplier and BMS manufacturer Perrigo Nutritionals showed that 18% of expecting mothers did not plan to give  their newborn formula, but that figure increased to 45% once the baby was born. 68% of young mothers (34 years old or younger, ‘millennials’) felt confident with their decision to formula feed and that it was a safe alternative to breastmilk, while 79% of older moms (35 years old or older) felt guilty for using baby milk. Mothers also said they felt pressured to breastfeed; while 17% of them were intending to wait until their child was 6 months old to introduce formula, only 4% reached the 6 months milestone. Mothers listed convenience as the top factor for choosing infant formula.
18.05.17
Imperial College London, King’s College and Oxford University
03.05.17
New research has found that the quality of fathers’ involvement helped infants learn faster. The researchers found a positive correlation between the degree to which fathers are engaged with their children at three months and how those children went on to score in cognitive tests. Dr Vaheshta Sethna from King’s College London added: “We also found that children interacting with sensitive, calm and less anxious fathers during a book session at the age of two showed better cognitive development, including attention, problem-solving, language and social skills”.
03.05.17
Ohio State University
19.04.17
Researchers from Ohio State University found that household routines, such as regular bedtime, eating meals at the same time every day, are associated with healthy development and could reduce the likelihood that these children will be obese.
19.04.17
Barcelona Institute for Global Health

18.04.17

A new study found that mothers who frequently used their mobile phones during pregnancy were more likely to have hyperactive children. The children of mothers who never used cell phones while pregnant had a lower risk of behavioural and emotional problems than any of the children whose mothers used cell phones.
18.04.17
University of Heidelberg
11.04.17
The research by German scientists has found that mothers who experience stress during pregnancy could be influencing their baby’s genetic design and potentially increasing the child’s risk of age-related disease in years to come. The results showed children of mothers who had experienced increased psychosocial stress during pregnancy were found to have shorter telomeres – a marker of ageing.
11.04.17
QIMR Berghofer, Queensland
11.04.17
Queensland researchers have found that different factors are linked to obesity in boys and girls of different ages. Take-away food consumption was strongly associated with obesity in boys, while parents’ marital status was strongly associated with obesity in girls. The researchers found that obese children were significantly more likely to live in disadvantaged areas, have less-educated or single or unemployed parents, consume take away foods at least twice a week, not have participated in organised sport in the past week, and watch at least two hours of television daily.
11.04.17
University of Warwick
03.04.17
Scientists at the University of Warwick analysed how long babies cry over a 24-hour period during their first 3 months after birth. On average, babies around the world cry for around 2h per day in the first two weeks and peak at 2h15 at six weeks. The average amount of crying reduces to one hour 10 minutes by week 12. The researchers analysed the crying habits of 8700 infants and found that babies cried the most in the UK, Italy, Canada and the Netherlands. The lowest levels of crying were found in Denmark, Germany and Japan.
03.04.17
British Heart Foundation
03.04.17
A new report published by the British Heart Foundation claims more than 20m people in the UK are physically inactive, which it defines as not achieving the government guidelines of 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity per week and strength activities on at least two days per week. The charity has warned that such inactivity increases the risk of heart disease and costs the NHS around £1.2bn per year. The study reveals that the average man in the UK spends one-fifth of his lifetime sitting, while women are 36% more likely than men to be classified as physically inactive. The charity is calling on people to take up a more active lifestyle, which it says can reduce the risk of an early death by as much as 30%.
03.04.17
Young Women’s Trust
29.03.17
A Young Women’s Trust report shows that one in five young mums always feels lonely and more than a quarter leave the house just once a week or less, as the isolation that young motherhood can bring is revealed. 57% of 16 to 24 year-olds feel lonelier since becoming a mother and more than half have less contact with their friends. More than two thirds said they had fewer friends since having their child. When they do get out of the house, young mothers face judgement by members of the public. 73% of the young mums polled had experienced rudeness or unpleasant behaviour towards them when with their children in public.
29.03.17
Bath University
29.03.17
A study conducted at the University of Bath suggests that a 10% subsidy on fruit and vegetables would do more to change the dietary habits of overweight and obese people than a tax on unhealthy foods. The scheme, which economists believe would cost £991 to implement whilst saving £7.2bn over a lifetime, would see the cost of a bag of apples reduced from £1.50 to £1.35. The research was published in the Bulletin of Economic Research and examined the effectiveness of taxes compared to subsidies and financial incentives.
29.03.17
London School of Economics
27.03.17
Some of the negative consequences on the wellbeing of a child born to a single mother can be reduced if their biological father joins and stays with the family according to new research from LSE. The research published in the European Journal of Population shows that children whose fathers join and stay with the family unit do better, on average, in cognitive tests and suffer less anxiety and depression than other children whose mothers are single at their birth.
27.03.17

Aarhus University

21.03.17
Researchers from Aarhus University in Denmark claimed that the psychological maturity of older mothers was beneficial to children’s wellbeing. Children born to older mothers would experience fewer behavioural, social and emotional difficulties.
21.03.17
Freie Universitat;

University of Massachusetts Medical School

13.02.17
New research conducted by Freie Universitat in Berlin reports that premature babies and newborns exposed to nicotine might have hearing problems due to abnormal development in the auditory brainstem (an area of the brain analysing sound patterns).

In addition, the University of Massachusetts Medical School, observed that men who smoke cigarettes were more likely to have children with an inherited tolerance to antibiotics or even chemotherapy.

13.02.17
Baylor College of Medicine
06.02.17
Several studies have found a link between foetal malnutrition, low birth weight and low muscle mass and strength throughout life. The new study conducted by the Baylor College of Medicine argues that maternal stress, due to malnutrition or other causes that increase the exposure of the foetus to glucocorticoids, can significantly affect the growth of foetal muscles.
06.02.17
New York University
23.01.17
A parenting programme where fathers engage with their children through reading was found to boost the fathers’ parenting skills while also improving toddlers’ school readiness and behaviour. The NYU study evaluated the effects of a programme designed to improve parenting behaviour (based on shared book reading) on child behaviour and language, as well as outcomes for fathers, including stress and depression. The researchers found that parenting behaviours, child behaviours and language development improved significantly.
23.01.17
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
12.01.17
The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) has revealed that Britain has the fourth highest rate for mothers drinking during pregnancy in the world. Globally, nearly 10% of expectant mothers drink alcohol, but the figure reaches 41.3% in the UK despite official guidelines urging pregnant mothers to avoid wine completely.
12.01.17
American Institute of Health
21.12.16
Scientists from the National Institute of Health in the US found that obese fathers could be harming their child’s ability to socialise at nursery or school. Children whose father was obese were more likely to fail social skills tests. Children born into a family where both parents were obese were also three times more likely to fail tests which measured their problem solving abilities.
21.12.16
Harvard University, Boston
20.12.16
A new study from Harvard University in Boston, published in the Journal of Pediatrics, has associated the amount of screen time with childhood obesity. The connection between TV and obesity had already been acknowledged, but the researchers found that the connection holds true for smaller screens (computers, gaming consoles, tablets and smartphones). The researchers associated TV viewing with higher odds of consuming sugary drinks and an increased risk of obesity.
20.12.16
University of Essex and University College London
06.12.16
A new study carried out by the University of Essex and University College London confirms that the amount of time mothers spend with their children has a “noticeable influence” on their early development. Researchers found that the more time a mother spends with her child between the ages of 3 and 7, the better that child’s cognitive and social skills are likely to be. According to the study, first-born children tend to benefit the most from spending more time with their mothers, as well as children whose mothers are highly educated.
06.12.16
University of Exeter
02.12.16
Academics from the University of Exeter have claimed that mothers who struggle during their pregnancy & have “self-focused negative thoughts” about their problems are at risk of having “poorer quality relationships with their babies”. Mothers who are overwhelmed or over-preoccupied by personal problems may become less sensitive and responsive to their young children.
02.12.16
Oxford University
23.11.16
New research from Oxford University claims that confident fathers who embrace parenthood are less likely to have children who display behavioural issues before the teenage years. Men’s positive attitude to fatherhood, and not the amount of time spent on childcare and chores, influences child behaviour. The study looked at more than 10,000 children in the south-west of England and concluded that fathers who scored well on having an emotional response to their child and feeling secure in their role as a father had children who were 28% less likely to suffer behavioural problems in their pre-teen years. Fathers may influence children directly as well as indirectly by supporting mothers’ wellbeing and parenting strategies.
23.11.16
Keele University
22.11.16
A new study led by Keele University has found that fathers are currently being left out of involvement in their children’s healthcare, leading to “potentially devastating consequences”. The researchers argued that nursing staff could play a significant role in encouraging fathers to engage more with their children on a range of healthcare issues, most notably in sexual and mental health. They said increasing the involvement of fathers in their children’s health could make a “significant” difference, and reflect society’s move toward a more equal balance of parental responsibilities.
22.11.16
University of Liverpool
15.11.16
New research conducted by the University of Liverpool shows that mothers can experience negative emotions such as guilt, stigma and the need to defend their feeding choices regardless of whether they breastfeed or formula feed their babies. Researchers from the Liverpool Infant Feeding Group (LIFe) at the University of Liverpool concluded that mothers, regardless of how they feed their baby, can experience negative emotions such as guilt, stigma and the need to defend their feeding choices. 67% of formula feeding mothers reported feeling guilty, 68% felt stigmatized, and 76% felt the need to defend their choice.
15.11.16
American Center for Disease Control and Prevention
15.11.16
The American Center for Disease Control and Prevention has conducted a new analysis showing that prenatal stress is associated with preterm birth, low birth weight, as well as postpartum depression and anxiety in the mother. The research supports the view that prenatal environmental factors can have lifelong effects on the brain development and behaviour of children.
15.11.16
University College London
11.11.16
A new study led by University College London challenges the view that childhood obesity is caused solely by overeating. The researchers claim that lifestyle factors and the environment play a significant role in their changes of becoming obese. The study shows that disrupted routines (skipping breakfast, disrupted sleep patterns) could influence weight gain through increased appetite.
11.11.16
University of Texas
02.11.16
The University of Texas has observed that childhood obesity and overweight rates climb during summer break, not during school year. Obesity prevalence declined during the school year, implying that major risk factors lie outside of schools.
02.11.16
Sheffield Hallam University
27.10.16
Academics from Sheffield Hallam University have looked at the attitudes towards breastfeeding in public. They highlighted that 45% of the public think women should breastfeed with discretion in public, and 20% think they should not breastfeed publicly at all. Mothers cite embarrassment as the main barrier to breastfeeding in public.
27.10.16
American Sociological Review
10.10.16
Research published in the American Sociological Review has discovered that mothers enjoy parenting less than fathers because they do not do as many ‘fun’ activities – and more of the hard work. The scientists claimed that men are happier parents because their time is more-often spent playing with, and doting on, their children. Women are more likely to be called on by their children ‘around the clock’ and tend to get less sleep, carry out more mundane tasks and are therefore less happy.
10.10.16

National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
21.09.16
The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development has found that being depressed while pregnant, or after having given birth, could be down to having diabetes. Pregnant women who have the mental illness are three times more likely to develop gestational diabetes. In addition, pregnant women are four times more likely to develop post-natal depression if they have had diabetes during pregnancy. The experts said the findings meant depression and diabetes ‘may occur together’.
21.09.16
Swansea University
14.09.16
Britain has the lowest rate of breastfeeding in the world because of the social pressures placed on women, an academic has claimed. Speaking at the British Science Festival, Psychologist Amy Brown from the University Of Swansea said the expectation that new mothers should shed their baby weight, as well as socialise and go back to work had helped put the UK at the bottom of an international league on breastfeeding.
14.09.16
Trinity College Dublin
10.08.16
The academics found that women who give birth at home are twice as likely to breastfeed as other new mothers. The study also indicates home-birth mothers are more likely to continue breastfeeding into the baby’s first six months. Mothers who give birth at home are more likely to exclusively breastfeed for the first 24 weeks – 23% compared with 9% of other mothers.
10.08.16
University of Houston
26.07.16
The research by the University of Houston has found that children who experience “inadequate or disrupted sleep” are more likely to develop depression and anxiety disorders later in life. The findings reveal inadequate sleep impacts children’s emotional health “not only by creating more negative emotions, but also by altering positive emotional experiences”.
26.07.16
Penn State College of Medicine
03.07.16
A study from Penn State College of Medicine has found that infants who gain a lot of weight in the first year of their lives are more likely to be obese later in life. The study also concluded that babies that get into a good bedtime routine are half as likely to be overweight.
03.07.16
Penn State College of Medicine published in JAMA Paediatrics
30.06.16
Research has uncovered that sleep-trained infants are more likely to “self-soothe” to sleep without being fed – and are less likely to be fed back to sleep when they awoke overnight. Lead author, Ian Paul, said “If we don’t set the expectation that they’re going to be picked up and fed, they learn to sooth themselves back to sleep”.
30.06.16
King’s College London
31.05.16
Scientists have found that there is “no significant link” between eating dinner after 8pm and obesity in children. The findings contradict published research that believes circadian rhythms are impacted by meal times. In addition, using statistics from NDNS, they found boys aged 4-10 who ate later were found to eat a higher proportion of protein. Girls aged 11-18 ate a lower amount of carbohydrates as part of their daily intake when they ate later.
31.05.16
Yale University
31.05.16
The research found exposure to nicotine while in the womb can trigger widespread genetic changes that affect brain cell development after birth. Scientists had previously not understood how early environmental exposure could create behavioural problems in later life – this research finds a “regulator or gene expression that responds to a stimulus like nicotine and may change synapse and brain activity during development”.
31.05.16
University of Columbia
24.05.16
The research found that mothers-to-be who smoke during pregnancy increase the risk of their children developing schizophrenia. Researchers found that the more women were exposed to nicotine, the greater chances they had of having a child affected by the mental illness. Signs of heavy nicotine exposure in a mother’s blood were associated with a 38% increased likelihood of the condition.
24.05.16
Bnai Zion Hospital, Israel
20.05.16
The study found that environmental factors in a baby’s first year can determine how tall they grow. The research team discovered that health and nutrition, active play and family bonding can account for around 50% of determining how much a baby will grow. This Daily Mail article picking up the research provides more detail on the ‘nutrition’ aspect of the report – pointing out that nutrition in toddlers, and pregnant mothers, are “key” factors in contributing to how tall a baby can grow.
20.05.16
Georgetown University Medical Center
17.05.16
Research established that “what fathers are exposed to in the environment can have lasting effects on their children’s health”. The study details how various aspects of a father’s life – including alcohol consumption, smoking, age and nutritional status – can influence the offspring’s risk of developing fetal alcohol syndrome, birth defects, autism and other conditions..
17.05.16
National Literacy Trust
23.03.16
The survey released found that 37% of fathers said they were the most important figure in helping to improve their child’s literacy – with the same amount of fathers saying their spouse was the most important force. Among mothers, 71.5% said they were the ones most responsible – only 1.8% said their spouses were.
23.03.16
University of Bristol & Exeter
15.03.16
The study found that being overweight or obese in pregnancy causes babies to be born larger. The study also found that mothers with a higher blood sugar (even within a healthy range) tend to have bigger babies. In addition, having higher blood pressure in pregnancy causes babies to be born smaller.
15.03.16
University of Bristol
01.03.16
The study found that pre-school children whose parents considered them to be ‘picky eaters’ ate less dietary fibre, and were 30% more likely to be constipated than those who were ‘never choosy’. The research of around 6,000 participants found that about 10% were picky eaters at the age of two, and this rose to 15% at the age of three.
01.03.16
University of Rotterdam
23.02.16
The study from Rotterdam found that young children are more likely to be fussy eaters if a parent has anxiety or depression during pregnancy or early in the child’s life. The study found that the rejection of food while children are young can be a source of worry for parents, with this then affecting the child’s health. Researchers said “Clinicians should be aware that not only severe anxiety and depression, but also milder forms of internalising problems, can affect a child’s eating behaviour”.
23.02.16
Concordia University, Montreal
24.11.15
The study found certain parenting styles may increase the risk of obesity in children. It revealed that those with “authoritarian” parents were between 35 and 41% more likely to be overweight. A Professor on the study is quoted as saying “If you tell your child to always finish what’s on their plate, you are teaching them to override their own signals of feeling full”.
24.11.15
Swansea University
23.10.15
The study found that women are more likely to develop postnatal depression if they stop breast feeding because it hurts. Highlighting “the importance of supporting women who have difficulties during breastfeeding”, researchers found that the longer a mother breastfed, the lower they scored on a Postnatal Depression Scale. Those concerned with the effect breast feeding was having on how their body looked were second most likely to have postnatal depression.
23.10.15
University Medical Centre, Amsterdam
16.09.15
Study found that children with no access to a garden between the ages of 3 and 5 are at an increased risk of developing obesity by the age of seven. Using data from the Millennium Cohort Study it found that no garden access for lower educated households increased the odds of being overweight or obese at 7by 38%. There was also a 38% increased risk of being overweight or obese at 7 for children of higher educated households living in disadvantaged neighbourhoods.
16.09.15
University of East Anglia
10.09.15
The research found that the stress of caring for a newborn baby is driving mothers who stopped smoking in pregnancy to begin again. Up to 90% had resumed –especially those from poorer backgrounds.
10.09.15
Queen Mary University
24.08.15
The research showed that the quality of general family functioning is a major determinant of healthy dietary habits. The study, located primarily in London, found that ‘effective family functioning’ had a significant effect on limiting the intake of sugary foods and drinks. In contrast, less effective functioning ‘leads to high frequency intake’.
24.08.15
Australia’s Children and Family Research
27.07.15
The study found that new fathers become “significantly more sexist following the birth of their first child” as their attitude to women’s roles in care and housework become “more conservative”. The study of 1,800 new parents in Australia found, among other points, that new fathers were less likely than before to agree that men and women in dual-earner couples should share housework and childcare equally.
27.07.15
Little Tikes’ commissioned research
22.07.15
A survey of 2,000 parents, commissioned by toy company Little Tikes, has found that parents feel guilty up to seven times a week over the lack of quality time spent with their family. Picked up in the Daily Mail, the survey found they felt most guilty about being too busy to play with their young children. Parents are also left feeling bad if they feel they do not go on enough family days out, if they are working long hours, and if they are demonstrating too little patience.
22.07.15
Care.com
28.06.15
The new research has found that modern British dads have a closer bond with their children than they had with their own fathers. More than six out of ten believe they enjoy a better and more supportive relationship with their children than they themselves experienced. The research also found that the new generation of fathers also makes more effort to spend time with their families, with 60 per cent admitting their own father was too busy working to enjoy quality time with them.
28.06.15
Book Trust – Ipsos Mori polling
08.06.15
Found that almost 50% more mothers read to their babies than fathers. The research shows 42% of mothers, compared with 29% of fathers, read with their under-ones every day. 71% of mothers, compared with 62% of fathers, read with their three-year-olds every day. The Chief Executive of Book Trust, Diana Gerald, said it was “alarming to see that fathers are still behind mothers when it comes to reading with their children”.
08.06.15
Oxford University
19.05.15
Suggests that the idea of the “new”, hands on father is a “myth” and “the realities of everyday life force couples back into virtually the same roles as their parents”.
19.05.15

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