New York, NY- When a couple seeks decides to call it quits, and seeks out a divorce attorney, they have a number of concerns swirling through their minds. If they have children, it’s natural for them to be preoccupied by how divorce will affect their child in the present and in the future.

We’d love to that divorce doesn’t have short or long-term impact on children, but we can. In truth, for a child, divorce is mentally and physically challenging. Here we will discuss three potential consequences divorce can have to your child’s or children’s health.

Obesity

In a recent study, researchers in Norway found that children whose parent were divorced are 54 percent more likely to be overweight or obese than children whose parents stayed married.

After measuring height, weight and waste circumference and calculating body mass index and height-weight ratio, researchers at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health found that children of divorce were more likely to have abdominal fat which can lead to heart disease and diabetes. And, although girls in general were more likely to be overweight regardless of their parents’ marital status, boys developed issues with their weight following their parents’ divorce, Live Science reported.

The study suggests that boys who are products of divorce are 63 percent more likely to be overweight of obese. In contrast, girls where only 34 percent more likely to be obese or overweight if their parents split.

Study author Anna Biehl said “the results do not say that divorce causes weight gain in children.” The results however show there is an association between divorce and Norwegian children who are overweight or obese.

Researchers suggested that emotional issues such as depression and anxiety could drive children to overeat and be less physically active.

Tobacco Use

In a 2013 study, published the journal Public Health, researchers from the University of Toronto found that both boys and girls who are products of divorce were more likely to take up smoking than children from intact families. In a survey of 19,000 participants researchers concluded that men whose parents were divorce before they turned 18 had a 48 percent higher likelihood of developing a smoking habit. Women had lower odds at 39 percent.

Researchers called results of the study “very disturbing.”

Smoking can cause a host of deadly illnesses like various cancers and heart disease along with chronic health problems such as COPD. There is an endless list of detrimental effects smoking can have on person’s overall health.

Stroke

In a 2012, study two researchers found a link between strokes and divorce. Esme Fuller-Thompson and Angela Dalton collected and analyzed data from the Centers for Disease Control only to find that men were three times more likely to suffer a stroke later in life if their parents were divorced.

Why this is the case in no known and requires further research. However researchers concluded one of the possible reasons for the link between stroke and divorce be attributed to a process called “biological embedding.” This is a process through which “early adversities may affect health across a lifespan by influencing the normal development of the hypothalamus-pituitary- adrenal axis,” according to the Huffington Post. More plainly stated, early childhood adversity, such as divorce, can disrupt the development of stress response in children, and can augment their sensitivity or reaction to stressful situations later in life.

These are just potential health risks your child could suffer as a result of divorce. They are not absolute certainties and many children can emerge from divorce as well-adjusted and healthy adults. But knowing the potential risks can help a parent head off an issue with their child before it becomes a serious problem.

Enlisting a divorce attorney to help your and your spouse settle issues amicably along with providing your child or children with the emotional support and attention they need during this troubling time can help steer them away from self-destructive behaviors.