Shared publicly  - 
 
On the one hand, I tell myself "you wouldn't be so upset about these posters if you weren't unhappy about being overweight." On the other hand, I think - well, that's kind of the point, right? Is shame really the best way to get children to make positive changes in their lifestyles?
1
Phoebe Gleeson's profile photoBrad West's profile photoDorian Speed's profile photoRebecca Salazar's profile photo
4 comments
 
I have six children and will give birth to my seventh this year. Three of my kids are slender and three are not. They all eat the same foods, prepared by the same parents, and play in the same yard.

I am just under 6 feet and high-normal weight (170 lbs) when I am not pregnant - my BMI is 23. Before I had children, I was quite underweight at 120 pounds, giving me a significantly underweight BMI of 16. Each child has added a few pounds and a few I've just tacked on myself. Would I like to weigh 120 again? No way! Would I like to weigh 150? That would be lovely.

My husband is a good inch and a half shorter than I and also weighs significantly more than he did when we met. He is a very easygoing guy and things don't bug him, so it took quite a bit of extra him to get his attention. I have no preference because I adore him utterly :-)

This year we will Get In A Non-Round Shape, but it's going to have to wait til the baby comes and gets a bit settled to concentrate on weight loss.

I have no point, just that genetics does play a role. Some of my kids are slender like me and some are stocky like my husband. And so it goes.
 
That's really not the best solution.
 
I feel like there are institutional issues at play with traditional schooling, limited or nonexistent recess, and school lunch options. I do think a campaign to get parents to limit their children's screen time (as I type this on my laptop, from my couch) would be good. It seems like a lot of the factors that go into childhood obesity could be addressed without making it about "BEING A FAT KID IS TERRIBLE."
 
These posters upset me too, and I'm not particularly fussed about my being over weight. Which I am, although not as much as BMI says I am.
But there's more going on than diet, or HFCS, or activity amounts, or genes, or whatever the favorite cause du jour is. There's a genetic component certainly (I just attended a talk on the VIVA LA FAMILIA study (which is mapping genetic variants in obese Hispanic children) last Thursday). But there's more than genetics at work, even with all the new single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNIPs) being discovered in genetic work like this.
But there are more environmental factors to consider than just the current environment. The Dutch Famine Birth Cohort Study (for instance) found that starvation during different stages of gestation correlated with increased risk of various illnesses and other effects such as altered gene/environment interaction. And, excepting multiples, the in utero environment is one environmental factor that siblings don't share.
We also don't know if characteristics affected by the in utero environment are heritable. Maybe an easy way to study this would be to study the risks in the descendants of the Dutch famine survivors, but I don't know if this study has been done. I don't think it has, but I haven't examined the literature closely. So I wonder, how many people went really hungry during the depression, and the generation that was conceived during that time grew up to ever increasing variety and abundance of calories. What might bouncing between two such extremes cause?
Add a comment...