BOSTON (CBS) – Can kids be blamed for parents’ bad health habits?

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Are parents in better shape, or worse shape, than adults who don’t have kids? A study in the Journal Pediatrics suggests kids might be to blame for parents’ bad health habits.

Jerica Berge of the University of Minnesota Medical School is the lead author of a study that found mothers of young children were heavier and ate more calories, sugary drinks, and fatty foods than women who didn’t have kids. But while it was found fathers exercised less than men without kids, there was no difference in body weight.

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You know how it is…your kids don’t finish those chicken nuggets, so you do.

Berge says many mothers try to eat healthy but often that just doesn’t work.

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Berge emphasizes this isn’t a study about blame, but the results highlight a risky time for parents that doctors should be aware of so they can offer solutions.  That might include diet advice, parent-child exercise classes, or just getting parents to take walks with their kids.