Second, there's this: One-third of 9-month-olds already obese or overweight:
The path toward obesity starts at a young age - even before babies transition to a solid diet, according to a new study.This kinda calls into question the whole people-are-so-fat-because-they're-sitting-around-watching-tv-and-playing-video-games-instead-of-exercising bit that so many have been yammering on and on about. What are 6 month-olds doing differently than their great-grandparents did at that age? Probably not spending less time on the treadmill. *
Almost one-third of 9-month-olds are obese or overweight, as are 34 percent of 2-year-olds, according to the research, which looked at a nationally representative sample of children born in 2001. The study is one of the first to measure weight in the same group of very young children over time, said lead researcher Brian Moss, a sociologist at Wayne State University in Detroit. The results showed that starting out heavy puts kids on a trajectory to stay that way.
"If you were overweight at nine months old, it really kind of sets the stage for you to remain overweight at two years," Moss told LiveScience.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), childhood obesity has tripled over the last three decades. In 2008, 19.6 percent of kids between the ages of 6 and 11 were obese.
But less is known about obesity rates in very young children. In fact, researchers hesitate to label children that young as "obese." Recent studies have raised the alarm about particularly large babies, however. One 2009 paper published in the journal Pediatrics found that babies who gain weight rapidly in the first six months of life are at increased risk of being obese by age 3. Another study, published in April 2010 in the Journal of Pediatrics, found that heavy 6-month-olds are more likely to be obese as 2-year-olds.
However, they are drinking lots of formula that has some form of corn syrup as it's main ingredient, along with other forms of highly processed corn as fillers. And that's different from what their great-grandparents were doing at the wise old age of 6 months. They're also probably going to be exposed to far higher levels of environmental obesogens than their forebears, both prenatally and in the environment throughout their childhood. Then there's the fact that genetics plays a role in weight, so it seems likely that a person with a higher target weight as an adult will also have a higher target weight as an infant. Then there's the fact that what counts as overweight and obese has changed dramatically since their great-grandparents were infants. Add to that the fact that almost every food that's marketed to young children, and even infants, is loaded with highly processed (probably corn) sugars, artificial colors and flavors, partially hydrogenated oils, and corn-based fillers, and you have the perfect storm.
Case in point: most fast-food restaurants, and even school lunch programs, have now replaced whole milk or 2% milk with skim milk that has processed corn starches and sugars added to it to try to simulate the flavor and texture of whole milk. This is widely cited as a way the restaurants and lunch prgrams have improved the health of the meal. It's so incredibly ironic. Let's remove the (basically) healthy natural fats in the milk, which young kids who are undergoing rapid growth and brain development really, really need, and instead add in cheap highly processed ingredients which have been linked to obesity and diabetes. Brilliant! Add to that the fact that studies show that people who eat full-fat yogurt for breakfast or snack on full-fat cheese actually consume fewer calories over the course of the day because they feel satisfied after eating it, and you have a widely believed, totally counterproductive myth concerning low-fat dairy product being healthier. What should we be worried about keeping out of our dairy products? Hormones, antibiotics, and pesticides. Carcinogens and obesogens. Now that is something to be afraid of.
*Add to that the fact that obesity and diabetes have dramatically increased in our pet population. Are the dogs and cats doing less reps? Seems unlikely.
Soooo...next time you hear someone mindlessly repeating the old Fatties-Are-Lazy line, ask them about the babies. Ask them about the cats and dogs.
And have a happy (healthy) new year.