research shows dad, not mum, is the big risk factor for childhood obesity.
a recent australian study has found having an overweight father quadruples a child's chance of being overweight, even if they have a mother of normal weight.
interestingly, the reverse scenario doesn't have the same result. so if the mother is overweight but the father is of normal weight, the child's risk of being overweight is not significantly raised.
the study was undertaken by researchers at the university of newcastle, who examined more than 3000 two-parent families over a four-year period. researchers measured the children's change of weight from about four to five years of age to when they were eight or nine.
dr emily freeman, a researcher with the university of newcastle family action centre, says while it is early days in terms of this type of research, the results of the study are very exciting.