When I went back to work after having my second child, I felt very uncomfortable with the idea of leaving him in a daycare center. Although I went to visit all of the ones that had been recommended by other working mothers, I ended up not choosing any of them. In the end, I was lucky to find an excellent nanny who took care of my baby--and his sister when she was not in preschool--in our home. Although my reasons for choosing a nanny over a daycare center were varied, they definitely had nothing to do with how my child's weight would be affected.

But it looks like he lucked out because according to a new study kids in daycare are more prone to be overweight.

The Canadian study, published recently in the journal Pediatrics, found that children between the ages of 1 1/2 and 4 who went to daycare centers were 65 percent more likely to be overweight or obese between the ages of 4 and 10 when compared to those who stayed home with their parents.

Read more in ¿Qué más?: 5 Family friendly exercises to lose weight together

Although the study, which was published in the journal Pediatrics, didn't find an explanation for the link, the reasons probably have to do with diet and physical activity, which is a good thing because that can be changed. I mean, the last thing working mothers need is to feel even more guilty about having to leave their children in daycare centers knowing that could potentially make them overweight.

As the study's co-director Dr. Sylvana Cote said in a press release: 

Parents don't have to worry; however, I suggest to parents they ensure their children eat well and get enough physical activity, whether at home or at daycare.

So, if you'll be going back to work soon and you're researching daycare centers, it's a good idea to find out what its policies are regarding diet and exercise. 

Image via Shaggy Paul/flickr

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About the author

Roxana A. Soto is Features Editor for MamásLatinas. She's a bilingual and bicultural journalist born in Peru and raised in Mexico, Argentina, South Africa and Miami. She's also mom to a girl in 3rd grade and a boy in Kinder. She loves books, languages, traveling and good food – especially when cooked by someone else.

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