Sometimes I think the pharmaceutical and diet industry sit around a table ala Austin Powers and do evil laughs every time the medical community posts research that say we should worry if our babies are fat. The diet industry needs new customers and the pharmaceutical industry needs more money for diet drugs that don't work.
According to the Institute of Medicine, having a fat baby is no longer a good thing, it's a bad thing. It's will cause your child to be scum of the earth. No they won't become a politican, they will be fat. Oh, when they say baby what they really mean is toddler. And when they say beware of the fat baby they really mean mom is bad. Mom feeds baby too much, mom doesn’t stay home and cook because dad can’t ever cook. For he is a manchild in his man cave. (Stereotyping men as being useless is another rant.)
I am disturbed by encouraging toddlers to diet. I’m sure if a rep from IOM saw this, I would get the standard responses. It's a lifestyle change. They aren't dieting, they are eating less! Do you want all these babies will die (How about instead of wasting money on making fat babies thin, we work to decrease infant mortality). However I have to wonder what will happen with the parents of a child who doesn’t become slim after food monitoring; mandatory exercise, lectures from the doctors (I’m sure every child will love to have “The Talk.”) Will less food become next? Oh wait it is already here. IOM is encoraging portion control.
Now take a look at what their panel is recommending
Pediatricians should track weight gain at every routine visit
Cut down the time children spend watching TV or using the computer or cell phone
Encourage children in preschool and child care to get more physical activity
Make sure children get enough shut eye
Encourage mothers to stick with breastfeeding for at least six months
Make sure kids are getting the right food portions for their age
Chop off the first and last one (or change the last one to enough servings of fruits and veggies) and what do you get? You get good recommendations for everyone even adults (with the exception of breast feeding) that don’t include stigma and encourage healthy eating no matter what size the child is.
Children are remarkable if you don’t fuck with their hunger cues. It’s okay for parents to make sure children get the right food (i.e. no you can't have more ice cream but you can have an apple) but arbitrarily deciding how much is too much may end up with it being too little. And with our fat = evil culture, I’m sure parents will end up limiting food intake. Portion control will encourage dieting at an even younger age. (See my post last week about children as young as 10 vomiting for weight loss.)
And guess what? Some children are fat and stay fat, some children are fat and grow out of it. Some children are thin and remain thin, some children are slender and get bigger and some kids are thin and become fat. (I’m the last one not a fat baby or toddler.) Like adults accept that even children comes in all shapes and sizes.