Home News & eventsNews Working Families’ Response to Childhood Obesity Study

Working Families’ Response to Childhood Obesity Study

Published: 11 Mar 2019

In response to the University College London study linking childhood obesity to working mothers, Julia Waltham, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at Working Families [1] said:

It is disappointing that this research has been used by some to make a case against working mothers. Whilst many parents want to work because it contributes to their happiness, and helps them to build confidence and self-esteem, most working parents do not have the luxury of choice. Many mothers have to work  whether full-time or part-time for financial reasons.

What could be useful research contributing to the debate about how work isn’t working for the UK’s working parents – mothers and fathers has instead been positioned by some as an attack on single working mothers. Clearly, in single parent households, the need for that parent to work for financial reasons is often more acute.

The UK labour market is broken. Work doesn’t always pay. Part-time and flexible jobs are in high demand but short supply. The only part-time jobs available are often low paid, with limited opportunity for progression. Work isn’t delivering families out of poverty or helping ensure they are able to spend time together. Let’s have a debate about that.


[1] About Working Families

Working Families is the UK’s work-life balance organisation. We help working parents and carers—and their employers—find a better balance between responsibilities at home and in the workplace.

Through our legal advice helpline, we assist parents and carers in tackling complex issues around employment rights and benefits. We give employers the tools and guidance they need to support their employees while creating a flexible, high-performing workforce. And we advocate on behalf of 11 million working parents and carers across the UK, influencing policy through campaigns informed by ground-breaking research.