When a member of a polycule gets pregnant, everyone faces new choices about how to adjust their relationships.
To be clear, neither Random House, nor Kellogg’s, should be fairly expected to do the right thing when it comes to health.
Kellogg’s job is to see food. Random House’s job is to sell books. Nothing more, nothing less.
Truly, not a single choice parents or children should be encouraged to make. All ultra-processed, sugary, junk (and some crackers and potato chips).
Again, no reason to expect either Random House or Kellogg’s to be doing the right thing by kids, but in my opinion, their clear partnership in doing the wrong thing here certainly doesn’t reflect well on either of them.
Walking school buses for kids are often promoted on the basis that if more kids were involved with them, their weights, fitness, and maybe even learning would improve.
Wouldn’t that be great? After all, it’s a relatively inexpensive intervention and one it seems everyone can at least theoretically get behind.
But does it work?
This is definitely not a good news story, nor frankly is it all that surprising, but here it is – recently the MOVI‐KIDS Study set out to explore whether or not there was an association between active transport in 4-7 year olds and their weights, fitness, and cognition.
The study involved 1,159 children in Spain and they were categorized on the basis of whether the active components of their school commutes totalled more or less than 15 minutes and then tested and measured to explore walking to school’s possible impact. Heights and weight were measured, a validated cardiorespiratory fitness test was administered, as were multiple batteries of validated cognitive tests. Efforts were also made to control for familial socio-economic status, as well as of course the children’s ages and sexes.
As you might have gathered, the walkers were found to be no better off on any studied variable with the authors very plainly concluding,
“Walking to school had no positive impact on adiposity, physical fitness, and cognition in 4‐ to 7‐year‐old children.”
Too bad. Truly.
I have to say too, I did scratch my head reading the next bit of their conclusion though,
“it would be of interest for future studies to examine the intensity and duration of ACS necessary to provide meaningful benefits for health and cognitive performance.”
I can’t say I agree with them here as I’m not sure lengthy, intense, daily school commutes for 4 year olds is something we need to explore regardless of their impact on anything. Moreover, I don’t need to see “meaningful benefits” to want to continue promoting more movement and play in our children, and if we buy into the need for same, we’ll risk the cessation of programs that don’t prove themselves to provide perhaps broader reaching or more dramatic outcomes than could ever be fairly expected of them.
The recently published Weight‐based teasing is associated with gain in BMI and fat mass among children and adolescents at‐risk for obesity: A longitudinal study is an important paper for many well-intentioned parents, educators, and physicians who think that weight based teasing might help motivate a child to make behaviour changes that will lead them to weight loss.
In it authors followed 110 children at risk or with overweight or obesity for 8.5 years and tracked their weight and its association with weight-based teasing. They found that after adjusting and controlling for baseline sex, race, age, socio-economic status, BMI and fatmass, kids who reported the most teasing gained the most weight (p≤.007). Quantified, the authors found that the most teased kids’ fat masses increased by 91% more per year (1.4lbs/yr) than those not reporting weight based teasing.
While it’s important to note that causality can’t be proven here, certainly these results fit with the notion that if any amount of teasing led kids to lose weight, we’d be seeing dramatic reductions in childhood obesity rates because weight is far and away the number one target of school based bullies, and even at home, 60% of kids with excess weight report being teased about same.
If you have a child with obesity, sadly you can rest assured that they’ll receive plenty of shame, blame, fear, and bullying from the world around them, and if you’re worried about your child’s weight, instead of burdening them with it, ask yourself what you as a parent can do to help, where if nothing else, one thing for certain you can do is to make your home a safe space where weight is not something anyone’s welcome to joke about or comment on.
(and if you live in Ottawa, and you have a child between the ages of 5 and 12 whose weight is concerning, and you’re interested in our office’s parent-centric, Ministry of Health funded, inter-professional, Family Reset childhood obesity treatment program feel free to call us at 613-730-0264 and book an appointment to chat)