Monday, March 1, 2010

Bad grandma, fat kids: part two

I'm not against grandmas. But another study says grandmas influence when their daughters stop breast feeding and start solid food, and not for the better. And the result is increased risk of childhood obesity. The tendency over the last, oh, I don't know, couple of decades has been for longer breast feeding and later introduction of solid food. But grandma tells daughter to do it as it as been done since the angel with the flaming sword told Eve how to do it. Read your bible; it's there.

The grandma stuff was a side issue. The main point of the study was to compare blacks, whites, and hispanics for feeding patterns, to look for influences on childhood obesity.
When compared to Caucasian women, the researchers found that minority women were more likely to be overweight when they became pregnant and Hispanic women had a higher rate of gestational diabetes, both risk factors for childhood obesity. Although the prevalence of two other risk factors—smoking and depression—during pregnancy was higher among African-American and Hispanic women, those rates dropped considerably when the researchers adjusted for socioeconomic status, suggesting that at least those two risk factors may be impacted by income and education levels.
When researchers looked at other risk factors during children's first five years, they found that African-American and Hispanic infants are more likely than their Caucasian counterparts to be born small, gain excess weight after birth, begin eating solid foods before 4 months of age and sleep less. During their preschool years, the study suggests, minority children eat more fast food, drink more sugar-sweetened beverages and are more likely to have televisions in their rooms than Caucasian children.
One commonly held theory is that the presence of these and other risk factors is caused by limited access to health care, poverty and low educational levels. However, when Taveras and her colleagues adjusted for socioeconomic status, they found that the prevalence of many of the risk factors remained the same.
Which risk factors stayed the same, dammit! I'm not going to buy access to online journals for all this stuff (except Child Development, which I do subscribe to), so I rely on summaries like this on on Eureka Alert, and it's mildly infuriating when they don't say which risk factors are independent of socioeconomic status.

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