izhilzha (izhilzha) wrote,

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Childhood obesity (aka weird things you hear on the radio)

This post isn't going to be funny, probably; it's basically just that I heard something on the radio today that made no sense whatsoever to me, and that I disagree with, "science" or no "science."

Feel free to leave this one alone (oh, and no flaming; I will delete such comments).

There was a family-related medical spot on the radio as I was driving to work this morning. As a response to the so-called epidemic (I'm still not sure that's an accurate term--though it is an effective one in terms of creative imagery) of childhood obesity, a medical doctor gave as her medical opinion that portion control should be practiced very young. So far I'm with her; that only makes sense. Kids shouldn't be able to just eat what they want when they want, and how much they want.

Then she said, "A good way to measure the portion is a tablespoon per year of age."

Now, maybe, just maybe, she meant that to be of more than one type of food, not a total for the meal. But there was no clarification made. It sounded like she was saying that's a good meal size.

That's just illogical. I know that I ate probably four to six times that much per meal when I was a kid, and I was as thin as a rake until I hit 15 and started filling out. Ditto most of my siblings.

It's true that my mom is into eating healthy: whole grains (white bread? what's that?), fruits and veggies, very little sugar and candy only on holidays. Lots of dairy to make up for the meat we couldn't always afford.

But I always figured that if you wanted to make sure your kids didn't become obese, the best thing to do is what my parents did: three regular sitdown meals and two snacks inbetween (3 if you could a snack at bedtime), healthy food in healthy variety, and not allowing eating to simply become a habit. To enjoy eating, but not let it rule you.

"A tablespoon per year of age" seems like one of those quick-fix attempts to solve a situation that was created more by lack of family rules and good habits than by a desire to eat to a feeling of satisfaction.

It's too little too late, if it's not blatantly unhealthy (depending on the kid's metabolism--I guess mine must have been pretty darn high).

I just don't like it when people tout something like that, which flies (to me) in the face of reason. Not in the basic idea, but in the ridiculous boundaries it tries to set.
Tags: habits

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