MIAMI (CBS4) – Most mothers would prefer to stay at home with their kids rather than work. Now, researchers have found new evidence that could make the decision to return to work even tougher.

According to a new study in the journal Child Development, a child’s risk of becoming overweight rises the longer their mothers work outside the home.

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The study collected data from nearly 1,000 school-aged children and found that the longer a woman worked the obesity rate worsened for the kids. It wasn’t a question of the work schedules, but more a question of hours.

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Researchers found that kids in fifth and sixth grades were the most likely to gain weight when their mothers worked when compared to younger and older children.

Scientists speculated that kids that age have more independence and make poorer food choices than third graders who have a more structured diet and schedule.

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The study concluded that the increased risk may be from working mothers having less time to shop for healthy foods and cook at home and instead opt for take-out food that is higher in calories.