Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Self control, obesity, parenting, and BMI

Straight from the news today:

And here's a "duh" one for you today: kids who lack self control may be prone to weight gain.

Ya think?

"Small children who can't keep their hands out of the cookie jar -- in other words, those who have more difficulty delaying gratification -- appear more likely to be overweight as they get older."

""We don't know if it's parenting or something innate to the kid," said Dr. Julie C. Lumeng, lead author of the food study and an assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Michigan Medical School."

I propose that there's a great deal of bad parenting involved (which doesn't mean that I discount there being a genetic factor as well).

Let's look at it. How overindulged are today's kids? How many times have you seen anxious parents with their 3 year old securely strapped into the shopping cart (which has one of those ridiculous covers, natch!) hurrying around the grocery whilst little Steele or wee Emylee whines, cries, shouts, begs, and generally shows his/her arse? How often do you see Jeff and Jennifer dancing frantically around, placating, begging, and bribing said child to be quiet/patient?  How often does that child end up at the check out with a toy (or usually) some crap sweet food?

How often are today's kids showered with gifts and food on almost every major holiday? How many kids get insanely complex and expensive birthday parties?

Self centeredness is learned.

When you give Zohee or PJ, Trynitee or Trey, anything and everything because you "want them to have everything I didn't", when you make them the almighty nucleus of the family and never enforce any rules because it's easier to just give in, well, you produce a little tyrant with NO self control.  Why should Ky'lah delay gratification? She's a princess!  A diva!  She gets what she wants, when she wants it.

And always has.

Thankfully, the article ends on a sane note to this effect:

""If you have a child that has difficulty delaying gratification, you could help that child learn those skills," said Lumeng, an assistant research scientist at the university's Center for Human Growth and Development.

"This really gives people who are looking at obesity prevention, which is so critical at this time, something to develop an intervention around," Zeller added. "Pediatricians can do it, and parents understand the idea of delaying gratification. We live in such an immediate gratification environment." "

You said it sister. But we, as parents, can attempt to control the environment to which our kids are exposed.  Of course that means we must parent.


And on a similar topic: study finds 1 in 5 4 year olds obese.

Now, before I get started on this one, let me state, for the record, that I do NOT believe that the BMI is accurate. BUT, you have to admit that a 4 year old whose BMI is in the obese range (not overweight, obese) is unhealthily fat.

I've seen a disturbing trend, especially amongst folks on Twitter, of people who say the BMI is hogwash (true) and so there are really not hardly any overweight people at all (dangerously, stupidly NOT true, people.  Wake up.)  Yes, yes, I know all about the media and how healthy, lucious, zaftig women like Mae West and Betty Grable have fallen out of favour and been replaced by stick insects.

I AGREE that this is stupidity, but you cannot, if you've any sense at all, tell me that we do NOT have an obesity/ill health problem in America. There is a difference between pleasently plump and healthy; and obese, sweating, wheezing, and/or ILL.

Sticking your fingers in your ears and going "La, la, laaaa, I can't heeeear you!" is NOT helping.

Right. Rant over. On to snippets from the article:

"A striking new study says almost 1 in 5 American 4-year-olds is obese, and the rate is alarmingly higher among American Indian children, with nearly a third of them obese. Researchers were surprised to see differences by race at so early an age."

"Overall, more than half a million 4-year-olds are obese, the study suggests."

'The study is an analysis of nationally representative height and weight data on 8,550 preschoolers born in 2001."

"The cumulative evidence is alarming because within just a few decades, America will become a 'minority majority' nation," he said. Without interventions, the next generation "will be at very high risk" for heart disease, high blood pressure, cancers, joint diseases and other problems connected with obesity, said Flores, who was not involved in the new research."
On the subject of BMI:

"Children were considered obese if their body-mass index, a height-weight ratio, was in the 95th percentile or higher based on government BMI growth charts. For 4-year-olds, that would be a BMI of about 18.

For example, a girl who is 4 1/2 years old, 40 inches tall and 42 pounds would have a BMI of about 18, weighing 4 pounds more than the government's upper limit for that age, height and gender."

My youngest daughter, Bitty Girl, turned 5 in March, is 40 inches tall, and weighs 37lbs. I consider her to be of average weight and build. If she weighed 5 more lbs she would be unhealthily overweight in my opinion.  i consider this BMI assessment to be fairly accurate.

Here's a breath of fresh air. Finally an intelligent opinion:

""Jessica Burger, a member of the Little River Ottawa tribe and health director of a tribal clinic in Manistee, Mich., said many children at her clinic are overweight or obese, including preschoolers.

Burger, a nurse, said one culprit is gestational diabetes, which occurs during a mother's pregnancy. That increases children's chances of becoming overweight and is almost twice as common in American Indian women, compared with whites.

She also blamed the federal commodity program for low-income people that many American Indian families receive. The offerings include lots of pastas, rice and other high-carbohydrate foods that contribute to what Burger said is often called a "commod bod."

"When that's the predominant dietary base in a household without access to fresh fruits and vegetables, that really creates a better chance of a person becoming obese," she said."

Well said, Ms Burger.

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 8:05 am   4 comments


At 5:25 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel sorry for your kids. Stupid people aren't dangerous on the whole but stupid people who think they're clever are. You fall into this last category.

At 5:42 am, Blogger MrsEvilGenius said...

Ohhh ... what did I say to light the fuse on YOUR tampon? :D

Did I use one of your kid's trendily spelt names? Perhaps you're one of the Twitter Twerps who thinks there is no obesity problem? C'mon, share!

Clearly you're not a dolt; your comment is grammatically correct.

I'm fascinated!

At 7:38 am, Anonymous Brenda Boo said...

Obese people are so easily offended.

At 8:31 am, Anonymous Suzzie526 said...

1st commenter must have obese kids. That's disgusting. Your children should be taken away from you if you're going to endanger their health like that.

Get your kids off the fucking sofa playing video games and outside into the sunshine - or are their legs too atrophied to do so?



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