Health

Sleep, stress and obesity: What our Global Mums Health Survey told us

While the results of The Healthy Mummy’s first annual Global Mums Health Survey may come as no surprise to us mummies, no one could deny that they are somewhat alarming.

True to our commitment and passion to women’s health we surveyed 5,000 mums in the Global Healthy Mummy Community to find out what their biggest struggles are when it comes to juggling their health and well being with their families.

We asked mums about a range of topics including their family circumstances, lifestyle, physical and mental health along with their health goals and barriers to healthy living.

The Healthy Mummy Global Mums Healthy Survey

Some highlights of the survey results were as follows:

  • Less than 1/3 of mums say that they feel healthy
  • Over 30% of mums get 5 HOURS OR LESS SLEEP EACH NIGHT on average
  • Almost half of mums experience a significant amount of STRESS
  • 80% of mums think that healthy eating can be expensive
  • Less than 20%of all mums said they had ENERGY TO EXERCISE
  • The main barriers to losing weight are Lack of MOTIVATION and lack of TIME
  • Over 50% of mums said their partner didn’t support them fully in living a healthy life
  • 32% of mums said the area they needed most help in was WILL POWER
  • Less than 15%of mums said they loved their body
  • Body-love is higher in the US than the UK and Australia
  • 95% of mums feel the media puts pressure on mums to lose weight
  • 97% of mums feel good about seeing a range of mums with different body shapes in the media

Obesity

We know that obesity in women is a global crisis and obesity rates in high-income countries are at an all time high.

70% of adults in the US are overweight or obese; 61% of adults in the UK; 63% of adults in Australia. Obesity among children in the US has tripled since 1980.

The social and economic cost of obesity is staggering – estimated at US$315.8 billion each year in the US alone.

Obese individuals are at increased risk of diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and certain cancers, among other conditions.

In high-income countries, women in lower income households are 45% more likely to be obese than women in higher income households.

Sleep, stress and obesity

In a surprising lifestyle finding, alcohol consumption for mums globally was not an issue with over 70% saying they didn’t drink or rarely drank.

So what is contributing to this scary and stubborn trend? Every mother will empathise with time, energy, motivation and attitude towards food and healthy food costs and preparation being a constant battle.

But the findings really highlighted the link between sleep, or lack there of, stress and obesity and this issue is one that needs addressing.

Mums putting their health last

Women, especially mums, often put themselves last and sacrifice their own well being for the sake of their family, and yet us mums are also the greatest influencers and role models for the family.

These sacrifices and unhealthy choices can lead to an unhealthy diet, insufficient exercise and significant weight gain.

The long-term impact can be severe, affecting physical health, psychological well being and mental health and household finances.

Stress and sleep

We all know that money is one of the greatest contributors to stress and stress affects our sleep.

With the survey showing over 30% of mums get 5 hours or less sleep on average each night, and almost half of the mums experiencing a significant amount of stress – we know this to be a big concern and contributing factor to weight gain and obesity.

Insufficient sleep is known to be a risk factor for obesity – the Nurses Health Study found that women who slept 5 hours or less per night had a 15% higher risk of becoming obese, compared to women who sleep 7 hours per night.

While it may seem a lifetime ago since last experienced, we all know the power of a good nights sleep. You wake up feeling on top of the world, with the day full of endless possibilities.

Well…even if you manage a hot shower and coffee, consider healthy food options and factor some time in the day to get your body moving – it’s a great day.

Change begins with you

And how do we break out of this vicious cycle when over 50% of mums do not feel they have definitive support from even their partner to meet their health goals?

Change begins with us. We have to look after ourselves and look after one another.

It’s time to lift each other up and provide support, motivation and be the inspiration. When mothers unite to prioritise health and weight loss goals, it can have impact on a global scale.

In the words of The Healthy Mummy’s founder Rhian Allen, “Mums are the gatekeepers to the family and the key person of influence for the health and longevity of her family. When mothers set a positive health example, it can have a significant roll on effect across her family and community. Our mission at The Healthy Mummy is to help mums all over the world to lead a healthier life by supporting and helping them make health a priority and set positive examples for generations to come.”

Are you ready to kick-start your weight loss?

Want to shift your baby weight but feel like you have NO TIME in your day to exercise and eat healthily? That’s where the Healthy Mummy’s 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge can help.

Our Challenge entails:

  • 28 days of at home exercise routines (no gym needed) – with video instruction
  • Customisable and breastfeeding friendly meal plans
  • Time-efficient exercises for busy mums – under 30 mins
  • Challenge combines Pilates exercises with interval and circuit training (HIIT)
  • Suitable for basic to advanced fitness levels.
  • Home to thousands of EASY-TO-MAKE recipes.

To find out more about joining the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge.

PLUS – connect with THOUSANDS of other mums on the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge by joining our free support

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The Healthy Mummy

We have an amazing team of 10 writers at the Healthy Mummy that are all dedicated to getting you the best stories, information and content.

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