Parents’ health affects children’s health
Research links kids’ health to their parents’ mental and physical well-being
When parents are happy and healthy, it paves the way for children to be happy and healthy throughout life.
Your children’s health begins
with your health. Parents share
genetics, germs, food and feelings,
along with homes, incomes, attitudes
and behaviours with their children.
Each of these factors, plus many
more, shape health.
Research has found strong links
between the health and long-term
development of children and their
parents’ mental and physical well-being.
Both parents’ emotions and
lifestyles can affect their children,
says Dr. Deborah Dewey, director of
the Behavioural Research Unit at the
Alberta Children’s Hospital.
Studies have revealed that
stressed-out parents are more likely
to serve fast food, increasing the
likelihood of childhood obesity.
Parents who smoke or abuse alcohol
increase their children’s risk of
developmental delays and disabilities
and respiratory illnesses. Other
research suggests even parents’
jobs and entertainment choices can
affect children’s cognitive and non-
As well, children need caring,
stable relationships with their
parents and other caregivers to be
“Children who experience chaotic
environments have more challenges