March 11, 2016

The birth of a sibling linked to healthier BMIs for children by first grade.

Becoming a big brother or big sister before first grade may lower a child’s risk of becoming obese, a new study led by the University of Michigan suggests.

The birth of a sibling, especially when the child was between about two and four years old, was associated with a healthier body mass index (BMI) by first grade, according to the research. Children the same age who didn’t have a sibling were nearly three times more likely to be obese by first grade.

The findings, which included 697 children across the U.S., appear in the April 2016 issue of Pediatrics.