Researchers looked at nationwide data that documented relationship characteristics between mothers and their toddlers.
The less of an emotional bond a mother had with her child, the higher the risk that the child would become obese by the age of 15.
When analyzing the data, investigators found that more than one quarter of all toddlers who had poor emotional relationships with their mothers were obese as teens, compared to adolescents who were close to their moms at 13 percent.
Researchers say the study suggests the areas of the brain that control emotions and stress, along with appetite and energy balance, could be working together to influence the likelihood that a child will be obese.
Investigators did say instead of just blaming the mother for her child's obesity, efforts should be made to improve strategies to improve mother-child relationships earlier in a youngster's life, and not just focus on the child's eating habits or exercise.