You've got to be kidding me...

Now, I'm in a bit of a pissy mood already today, what with being hormonal and all. So it probably gave me a lower threshold to dealing with crazy news about obesity. But this, my friends, has kind of sent me over the edge:

Pregnancy Weight Gain May Impact Child

In a nutshell, the study said that gaining the "recommended" weight during pregnancy increased your risk for having an "overweight" toddler. One researcher did warn, however that not gaining enough weight increases your chances for having a low birthweight child.

Now, not having formally reviewed the statistics, I'm not entirely positive that I should say this, but what the hell. The risks of health damage to a low birthweight child far far FAR outweigh (hah!) the risks of a so-called overweight toddler.

A very nice review of the whole issue is found here.

There might be other things going on here, too. Maybe women who gain more weight during pregnancy just happen to have larger children. That doesn't mean that it's the weight gain that caused it. With any topic even remotely related to obesity, association immediately implies causation. For a while, it was thought that coffee increased your risk for cancer. But oh, wait a minute. People who drank coffee (back in the 1960s or 1970s, when the study was done) were also much more likely to smoke cigarettes. It was the cigarettes doing the damage, not the coffee. In epidemiology, this is known as a confounder. There are all sorts of statistical magic that you can work to take this into account. Something tells me this wasn't the researchers' priority. Because, dude, obesity is the root cause of all evil in our society.

Women have been going through pregnancy and childbirth for hundreds of thousands of years. Don't you think that our bodies instinctively know what to do? Or that women, eager finally to be able to eat what they want, let themselves gain too much weight because they've finally been granted permission to eat like a human? And what's four times more likely? Four times more likely than one overweight toddler is four overweight toddlers. In the grand scheme of things, is it really that big of a deal?

Get real, people.

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1 comment:

mary said...

We come in all different sizes! They don't seem to have figured that one out yet. I wonder, do researchers come in only one size? Nah! They're different too.

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I'm a science writer, a jewelry design artist, a bookworm, a complete geek, and mom to a wonderful kitty. I am also recovering from a decade-plus battle with anorexia nervosa. I believe that complete recovery is possible, and that the first step along that path is full nutrition.

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nour·ish: (v); to sustain with food or nutriment; supply with what is necessary for life, health, and growth; to cherish, foster, keep alive; to strengthen, build up, or promote


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