Put down those crisps and maybe refrain from that third doughnut because a study has found first born siblings are more likely to be overweight. Of course that’s if you’re the eldest sister, if not feel free to munch away.
In news sure to enrage anyone lucky enough to be the eldest of a clan, for all the extra responsibility learnt and money earnt it suggests the downside to being the big kid can be detrimental to your health.
A study, published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health looked at medical records of 13,000 pairs of Swedish sisters either first or second-born in their families.
Researchers from New Zealand and Sweden tracked the pairs over 20 years and found first-borns are 29 per cent more likely to be overweight and have a 40 per cent more chance of being obese to that of their younger sister.
On top of that first-born sisters were found to be slightly bigger at birth and marginally taller as adults. In pregnancy big sisters were more likely to have higher BMIs.
And before you start laughing because you don’t have a sister, a similar study on men backed up the results. Sorry, lads.
Only children on the other hand. Uh oh, studies suggest their brains are different.
Back to the ladies, though, and previous studies discovered first-born children have a higher risk of diseases such as diabetes, as well as heightened risk of high blood pressure. Articles like this may also increase blood pressure.
The report concludes:
The steady reduction in family size may be a contributing factor to the observed increase in adult BMI worldwide, not only among men but also among women.
Future large studies will need to clarify whether there is an associated increased in metabolic risk among first-born adult women.
And while those of us can enjoy our good health as being the younger, it’s been revealed the youngest sibling in the family is often the one who’s terrible with money.
Being the youngest in the family, you’re always going to be classed as the baby – maybe this is why we’re still struggling to get to grips with our finances – who needs a mortgage when mummy and daddy are always there.
In the book The Birth Order Book: Why You Are The Way You Are Dr Kevin Leman says the youngest sibling is the most ‘social and outgoing’, but damningly we’re the ‘most financially irresponsible of all birth orders’.
But before you take too much enjoyment from being the carefree type or offence at being the unpopular one, another study found evidence that elders get preferential treatment from their parents.
Need to make some awkward phone calls right now.
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Tim Horner is a sub-editor at UNILAD. He graduated with a BA Journalism from University College Falmouth before most his colleagues were born. A previous editor of adult mags, he now enjoys bringing the tone down in the viral news sector.