Only children are twice as likely to be obese than their counterparts with siblings, reports a new study in the Nutrition and Diabetes journal.
The study looked at the body mass indexes (BMIs) of children aged two through nine, and found those who were only children had a 50 percent higher risk of being obese than kids with siblings. 12,700 children from eight European countries were examined in the study, and risk factors like parents' weight, gender and birth weight were all controlled.
One of the study's authors said that this could be attributed to the lifestyle of an only child: "Only children play outside less often, live in households with lower levels of education more often, and are more likely to have televisions in their bedrooms." The researchers say they plan a follow-up study to better understand the causes.
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