Do siblings really influence each others health and weight?

Childhood Obesity & The Sibling Effect- OurFamilyWorld Childhood Obesity & The Sibling Effect is a whole new concept to many.  As we approach the battle of the bulge, we must look at the fact that our children are effected by our own weight, as well as their siblings.  While we often focus our thoughts toward the parents and their role in childhood obesity, we must also consider how siblings weight and health can create a struggle with ones weight.


Do siblings really influence each others health and weight?  The health of a sibling can definitely create a level of influence on other kids weight within the family.  Older siblings specifically seem to have a higher influence on the overall health of their younger siblings.  Older siblings will create the standard for younger kids within the family.  Whether it is in eating habits, activity levels or overall healthy habits their example often leads the way.

Are older or younger siblings more influential in regards to weight and childhood obesity?  While it can be opposite, typically the older sibling is the one with the most influence.  Younger children almost always look up to their older siblings for the standard.  Whether it is in attitude and actions, eating habits, activity level or desire to be a part of a sports team, older siblings lead the way.  As an older brother or sister develops poor eating habits, their younger sibling is likely to follow their example.

What can we do to prevent this childhood obesity problem?  Nobody wants to admit they are to blame for weight issues in their children.  Sadly, we as parents influence our kids habits just as much as they influence each others.  Setting a good example in food choices and activity levels is the best way to combat the problem of childhood obesity & the sibling effect.  Making sure that your family is provided well balanced nutrient dense meals with limited processed foods will help lead them toward a healthier life. If you, as a parent, are obese, it is time to make changes in your own health to help show them how important health is to your family as a whole.

As parents our duty to our children is the most important role we will play in life.  While we may easily be able to ignore our own obesity and health, we cannot overlook the health of our children.  Stop the cycle of poor health and childhood obesity now.  Begin making steps to improve your own health and that of your entire family.  Eliminate the bad foods.  Increase the healthy options like fruits, vegetables, water and lean proteins.  Exercise together as a family, and take control to prevent your children from becoming another childhood obesity statistic.

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2 thoughts on “Do siblings really influence each others health and weight?”

  1. Elizabeth Matthiesen

    I agree with Penni that exercise is so very important and children do seem to spend much more time sitting down these days. I know that when I was a child we went out the door in the morning and were only seen again at dinner-time. We were on the go the whole day, playing, running, jumping etc.
    Food is important too but I do think exercise is probably more important. We ate all the ‘bad’ foods as did everyone back in those days but obesity wasn’t a general problem as it is today.

  2. In addition to eating healthy and exercising as a family, I think it’s important for parents to limit the amount of time their kids spend sitting in front of a TV or computer screen! It’s so easy – for children and adults – to fall into a passive and sedentary lifestyle by staring at a screen for too long!

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