Children whose mothers hold down full-time jobs are significantly more likely to be overweight or obese than those who are cared for by stay-at-home mums.
That is according to a new study University College London, which looked into the working habits of British mothers and the health of their children in 1961 and 1991.
Researchers found that in 1961, children of working women were 28 per cent more likely to be overweight than those of housewives.
A generation later, this difference in risk had increased to 48 per cent, with a lack of time to walk children to work or prepare them healthy foods attributed to the discrepancy.
"In the light of the substantial growth in female employment observed in recent years and the increasing tendency for women to return to work after childbirth, such increases may affect the prevalence of childhood obesity," the scientists concluded.