It’s a childhood memory that many people may have: When Mom isn’t home for dinner, Dad takes charge … and orders pizza. Or throws some hot dogs in the microwave. Either way, it’s not a choice Mom approves of. Now, a small new study shows that dads really do make less-healthy choices when feeding the family — and this can take a toll on moms. Fielding-Singh told Live Science. And teens take note of these family dynamics, she added. Fielding-Singh found that in 41 of the 44 families included in the study, the family members agreed that Dad’s eating habits were less healthy than Mom’s. It wasn’t just that the moms considered themselves healthier than their husbands, Fielding-Singh noted: The dads agreed. But there was a catch: Moms felt that if they let dads do these tasks, the food would end up being less healthy, Fielding-Singh said. So, by letting dads more to do, moms felt like they were being worse caregivers to their children. This, in turn, made moms feel guilty — so they kept doing most of the tasks themselves, instead of delegating them to dads.
Fielding-Singh said. “There was definitely a resignation” on the part of moms, she added. Some of that resignation may stem from deeply embedded gender roles. Mothers often judge themselves, and other moms, by how well they feed their families, she noted. Dads, on the other hand, aren’t usually seen as being responsible for feeding the family, Fielding-Singh said. Instead, fathers have typically been judged by how well they support their families financially and more recently, how involved they are in children’s lives. But getting kids to eat healthy? That didn’t factor in as an important part of being a father, she said. Dads weren’t trying to hurt their kids diets or make the moms’ lives harder, for example. And moms, she added, also saw it as Mom’s responsibility. But it’s possible that this division of labor between husbands and wives wasn’t always present in the couples’ relationship. As a part of her interviews, Fielding-Singh said that she asked parents what changed about the way they approached food once they had kids. In other words, many women seemed to become more concerned about the healthiness of food, rather than the men getting less concerned.
- Vegetable shortening
- Always make sure children eat a nutritious and filling breakfast
- 2 large egg
- Do housework at a brisk pace
- Quite dark room
- Unintentional weight loss
- Get regular exercise
That means that it’s possible things were more equal before kids came into the picture, Fielding-Singh said. But “because feeding is so gendered, it’s almost as if this dynamic was created whereby mothers instantly cared more” once they had children. The division of labor between Mom and Dad didn’t just affect their own relationships; these differences in approaches to feeding the family also stood out to parents’ teenage children, the study found. The teens interviewed “very clearly understood and articulated that their parents had different priorities around healthy eating,” Fielding-Singh said. This divided approach is notable because kids could view their parents as a united front or solid unit, Fielding-Singh said. For example, teens might say, “my parents”care about my education — but this is not the case with food. Instead, teens might say, “my mom” cares about eating healthy, but “my dad” doesn’t. One of the reasons this matters, Fielding-Singh noted, is that teens observe their parents, and they learn how to behave, in part, from what they see their parents do. And in the study, many daughters watched their moms do the food work and the health work, and many sons watched their dads, and saw that their dads left the work to their moms, she said.
This skin darkening can lighten over time with improvement in insulin resistance. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) in girls is also often associated with insulin resistance. This hormone problem can make the ovaries become enlarged and develop cysts (fluid-filled sacs). Girls with PCOS might have irregular periods, might stop having periods, and may have excess facial and body hair growth. It also can cause fertility problems. People with insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes are also more likely to develop hypertension (high blood pressure) or abnormal levels of blood fats (cholesterol and triglycerides). When these problems cluster together, it’s called metabolic syndrome. People with metabolic syndrome are at risk for heart disease, stroke, and other health problems. Diabetes also can cause heart disease and stroke, as well as other long-term complications, including eye problems, kidney disease, nerve damage, and gum disease. While these problems don’t usually show up in kids or teens who’ve had type 2 diabetes for only a few years, they can affect them in adulthood, particularly if their diabetes isn’t well controlled. What’s New in the Treatment of Type 2 Diabetes?
Doctors and researchers are developing new equipment and treatments to help kids deal with the special problems of growing up with diabetes. Some kids and teens already use new devices that make blood glucose testing and insulin injections easier and more effective. One of these is the insulin pump, a mechanical device that can be programmed to deliver insulin more like the pancreas does. Researchers are also testing ways to stop diabetes before it starts. For example, scientists are studying whether diabetes can be prevented in those who may have inherited an increased risk for the disease. How Can I Help My Child? Diabetes is a chronic condition that needs close attention. You’ll be your child’s most important partner in learning to live with it. Get to and maintain a normal body weight. Monitor blood sugar levels regularly. Eat a healthy diet, as determined by the care team. Get regular physical activity to achieve a healthy weight and allow insulin to work more effectively. Take insulin or other medicines that help the body respond to insulin more effectively.