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Divorce and Childhood Obesity


The impact of divorce is truly a family affair. This is very evident in the expanding waist lines of children of divorce.

As a family law attorney and medical professional I hear the horror stories from clients all the time on how their divorce is impacting their children, not only psychologically, but physically.

In a recent San Franciso State University news release, lead researcher Jeff Cookston, chair of Psychology stated, “When families separate, one of the things that is most impacted for kids is their day-to-day routines. Separation and divorce can cause significant stress for children and sugary drinks are an easy and accessible “quick fix” for dealing with that stress.” This study was published online recently in the journal Childhood Obesity.

In my practice, during the divorce process, whether mediating or litigating, I stress to divorcing parents the importance of maintaining routines especially for their children. I have found even when parents are trying to shelter their child from what is going on, children feel scared, sometimes alone, and often turn to food and sometimes other devices for comfort. I suggest you speak with your child (depending on their age) and share with them not the gory details of
our divorce, but give them reassurance everything will be okay and that both mom and dad love them!

A client of mine was so concerned about her ten year old daughter’s weight gain during the family’s divorce that she shared her concerns with me. I suggested she not only get some therapy for her daughter, but also suggested they meet with a nutritionist who could help the family get back on a nutritious program.

My recommendation to parents is to maintain a family routine, no matter what is going on. This includes three balanced, scheduled meals, after-school activities, exercise, play dates and family activities.

Your child deserves only the very best while your family is going through divorce. It will also make you feel better if your child is happy, feeling well and thriving.

For more help with your divorce call me at (646) 663-4546. I will be happy to guide you towards the divorce process that is right for you!