We all know that stress causes binge eating. And now, the emotional turmoils of divorce have been proven to push kids to guzzle down sweetened drinks. Children of recently separated or divorced families are likelier to drink sugar-sweetened beverages than kids whose parents are married, putting them at higher risk for obesity later in life, according to a new study by the San Francisco State University. Maintaining family routines such as eating a regular dinner or taking out time for conversations each day, however, can protect children during divorce against developing unhealthy eating habits.
When families separate, the day-to-day routine of kids is disturbed. The consistency in their family environment, and family routines provides security and continuity, which is broken, leading them to binge and crave.
The study is the first to examine the real-time eating habits of divorced and married families, rather than rely on family members’ recollections of past meals or behavior. Surprisingly, it wasn’t parental time that stopped the kids from the binges, but the fact that the more a divorced family maintained routines such as eating a regular dinner together or making time for family activities, the less likely children were to drink sugary beverages.
So eat meals with your kids. Divorced or together, it’s the best way to curb binges and ensure bonding!