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"Each of us must come to care about everyone else's children. We must recognize that the well being of our own children is intimately linked to the well being of all other people's children. After all, when one of our children needs life-saving surgery, someone else's child will perform it. When one of our children is harmed by violence, someone else's child will commit it. The good life for our own children can be secured only if it is also secured for all other people's children. But to work for the well being of all children is not just a practical matter-- it is also right!" - Lilian G. Katz, Phd.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

New in the "I told you so" Department:

Headline: Nature Trumps Nurture in Child Obesity

Apparently, researchers have found that a child's weight is 77% due to genes. The researchers found it very surprising, but they must not have had overweight kids.

Of course, the article did have to have a cautionary aspect to it:

Bad Genes Don't Make Obesity Inevitable

The findings do not mean that becoming overweight or obese is inevitable for children who are genetically susceptible, but it does mean that these children may need some extra support, Carnell says.

"It may be that genes influence behavior through appetite or by making it harder for some people to resist food," she says. "So while one child might be perfectly OK living in a home filled with [potato chips] and cakes, another might find it very challenging."

She adds that diet, lifestyle, and other environmental influences play a major role in obesity, especially for genetically predisposed children.

"This type of genetic predisposition could not be expressed if there wasn't so much food around," she says. "We would all be skinny. It is our environment that is allowing our genetic susceptibility to express itself. It would benefit everyone if we did more as a society to encourage activity and healthy eating, but it would be especially beneficial for children who are highly susceptible to their environment." [emphasis added]

So, if we all lived in a food scarce environment, we would all be skinny. Wouldn't food scarcity be an unhealthy condition? And, for the record, skinny does not equal healthy.

I know it may be a novel concept, but why don't we start accepting that people come in all shapes and sizes, and that size does not dictate health or lifestyle?