Is mother’s employment making a negative impact on the obesity level of their daughters?

The present study aims to study the nutrition of the pre-adolescent urban girls from 6-10 years of age of Guwahati city in relation to some social factors like parental education, parental occupation, family income, food habit and family type. A total sample of 222 girls were collected cross-sectionally and measured for their stature and body weight. The sample consists of girls of different communities like Assamese, Bengali, Marwari, Punjabi and Bihari. All are from the elite private schools in the city. The IOTF (International obesity task force) cut-off for BMI were used. The prevalence of underweight percentage is 19.63% among the girls whose mothers are home workers and 21.05% among the girls whose mothers are service holder. The prevalence of normal percentage is 58.90% among the girls whose mothers are home makers and 39.47% among the service holder mothers. The present study goes in conformity where the obesity percentage is 15.79% among the girls whose mothers are service holders and 3.68% among the girls whose mothers are home makers. Same is in the prevalence of overweight percentages which is 23.68% among with the service holder mothers and it is 17.79% among the girls with home maker mothers. This is statistically significant at 5% level. Mother’s occupation has been found to be having a significant effect on their daughter’s nutritional status as the percentages of obese girls are significantly higher among the employed mothers than the home makers. All the other determinants do not have a significant effect on the nutritional status of the girls. It may therefore be concluded that maternal employment may be is empowering the women economically and socially but with a bearing on their pre-adolescent daughter’s nutritional status pushing them towards obesity.