Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Confessions of a fat baby
Yes I have to admit it, I was a fat baby. I feel compelled to admit it after watching Today Tonight a few hours ago about the little baby whose child care worker labelled "fat and obese".
Of course in the usual fashion of these current affairs shows the story was a bit of sensationalism about what really amounted to foot-in-mouth disease by the child care worker. She should have kept her opinion to herself . But the truth is that we are hearing far too much about obese children these days and not enough about having a healthy diet. The focus is on the effect and not on the cause. Tonight's show also emphasised that baby Olivia was healthy and did have a healthy diet so the child care worker was way off target anyway.
Focusing on the child's shape is only going to cause more problems, isn't it? Isn't poor body image already a huge problem for many children and adults? Isn't it likely to cause guilt, inferiority, self-consciousness and for some kids depression and other emotional problems?
The top photo is not my fattest photo. It got worse than that and in another photo (blessedly I couldn't find it tonight) I'm standing side on and I look wider than I am tall at the ripe old age of two. The funny thing is that no junk food had ever passed my lips. KFC and Macca's hadn't even been invented yet. Mum always fed us on lots of vegetables and wholemeal bread. She couldn't afford much more than that. Lollies and soft drinks were not on the menu either.
The other funny thing is that as I grew taller and became more active, I slimmed down. By the time I was five, I weighed the same as when I was two, but had grown head and shoulders taller as you see me in the next photo. This is pretty common in kids from what I've seen.
The last funny thing is that from the time I was about 17 until the last few years my weight fluctuated hardly at all, apart from several pregnancies, and stayed around 53 kg. The last photo is pretty average for me for the last 35 years. In other words, obese babies don't have to become obese adults. That old "expert" theory about the number of fat cells you have as a child determining the number of fat cells you will have as an adult simply doesn't hold water.
I know I sound a bit "preachy" tonight, but this whole "obese" labelling thingy seems to be getting out of hand. It doesn't help the issue at all. The media often has a case to answer for their conflicting attitudes of sympathy for those with poor body image and disapproval for those who are overweight. How is that going to improve anyone's body image?
Mums with healthy, chubby little babies can just relax and thank God for their baby's good health.
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- Townsville, Queensland, Australia
- I have worked as a Biology lab assistant, Pathology lab assistant, geochem lab assistant, land tenure researcher, hospital and prison chaplain, parish care coordinator and part owner of a small business. I have studied some science (no degrees) and have a theology and a chaplaincy certificate. I still love science of all types and enjoy studying theology. Science and theology belong together. At present I am a work-at-home Grannysaurus.