Most parents have gotten an "I hate you!" tossed their way. But if your toddler really seems to mean it, Mom, you may want to figure out how to improve the relationship. A study set to be published next month found that toddlers who were ranked as having the worst emotional relationship with their moms were more than twice as likely to be obese at age 15 than those with a good relationship, reports the Daily Mail.
The Ohio State University study observed 977 toddlers and their mothers, ranking the strength of their bond as the two played together at the ages of 15, 24, and 36 months; the children's BMI was then calculated at age 15. About 26% of the children with the worst mom-kid relationships were obese, compared to about 13% of those with the best relationships. The researchers speculate that the jump could result from the relationship between the areas of the brain that control emotions, stress, and appetite. "It is possible that childhood obesity could be influenced by interventions that try to improve the emotional bonds between mothers and children rather than focusing only on children's food intake and activity," said the study's lead author.