San Francisco school food reformer Dana Woldow has lately been amusing me by emailing links to every media story she comes across regarding newly discovered causes of childhood obesity (or obesity generally). In just a few days she was able to amass this list of possible causes:
- having a working mom;
- having a mom who’s obese when pregnant;
- a child’s bad habits (not his genes);
- starting solid food too early;
- having a tonsillectomy;
- lack of sleep;
- economic insecurity;
- DNA methylation (whatever that is);
- chemicals; and
- my personal favorite . . . indoor heating.
And here are two more that I came across during the same time period:
There’s obviously intense interest surrounding the study of obesity, but to what end? While some of these studies might lead to practical advice (like waiting to offer solid foods to an infant), it often feels as though we’re losing sight of the big picture — namely, too much cheap, highly processed food in our diets and too little activity in our daily lives.
Am I naive to think that if we addressed those two problems, we could worry a little less about the tonsillectomies and the indoor heating?