Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The O Word

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in Beverly Hills with eating disorders."

The card above is by Callahan. If you like your humour on the black side, I urge you to check out his website.

I discovered Callahan when travelling in the U.S. a few years back and I came across this particular card when I moved my office on the weekend (who knew I had so much stuff?). It seemed appropriate to accompany this post.

Childhood obesity is the topic du jour these days. Every week, it seems a new study comes out to explain why we're facing this epidemic. This week's study highlights working mums as an underlying reason for childhood obesity. A case of 'too many hours working, not enough time to cook or supervise healthy activity', coupled with the 'working mum guilt factor'. Working mum is time poor and so 'treats' the child with all kinds of unhealthy food items. Notice working dad was missing in the equation. Hmm. Went down like a lead balloon in some quarters.

In the hands of the press, many studies serve only to fuel inflammatory headlines screaming of the dangers of the childhood obesity epidemic and to trigger over the top anti-obesity interventions. Remember the lunch box police? The ban on advertising cheese to children? The Supermarket Nutrition Nannies?

I'm not wanting to minimise the problem. It is an issue that will have serious consequences longterm if not addressed. Diseases commonly seen in middle age, Type 2 diabetes in particular, are now being picked up in adolescents. Scary indeed. The flipside, however, is where will all this hysteria will end?

I flicked on the television the other day and happened to catch Oprah's show about children becoming obesessed with weight and appearance. A four year old who asks constantly if she's too fat? Who refuses to eat breakfast because she doesn't want to add any weight? Another who worries she's not pretty enough? With talk of weighing kids in schools, my own daughter has come home and asked if her weight is okay? If you think this is an isolated problem, check out the increasing popularity of the pro-anorexia sites, as documented by Dr. Anonymous.

What the?

Will the upshot of this intense focus be a whole new set of problems, where we worry that our kids aren't eating, having driven our children towards to the other extreme of unhealthy eating?


Patient Anonymous said...

Funny card. And since we shared similar opinion on Deb's site you have now been blogrolled! Well, that and I like your blog too...



SeaSpray said...

Hi Healthpsyche - great card! I bookmarked his site. I've never heard of him but will enjoy now.

I have struggled with weight my entire life and seemed to have been predisposed to it on the maternal side of my family. There has always been so much conflicting and misinformation out there that what's a girl to do? Really! I have finally come to the point that I believe "everything in moderation" and DIET mentality does not work.

I am totally annoyed at the concept of SUGARED cereals. When My oldest son was younger I belonged to a food co-op and would only bring in whole grains and the healthiest foods. Somewhere along the way, I caved and let him get the sweet stuff. It's more difficult as they get older. Lot's to say here but don't want to take up your space.

Did you see the "Supersize Me" documentary where this healthy guy lives only on McDonald's food for a month? He became so ill!

Have a wonderful day!

P.S. Do you like Gary Larson's "Far Side" comics? He cracks me up!

jumpinginpuddles said...

healthy eating isnt about working mums or dads its about the inblance society places thin on one hand fat on the other, even home cooked cooking can be fattening.
Good to see society is as sexist as it always was, working mums yep blame them, guess no one thought to also say that sometimes stay at home mums can screw up the diet also or stay at home dads etc etc

Dr. Deborah Serani said...

Excellent post, HP. And I'm going to go visit the link to Callahan.

Alison said...

Isn't it interesting that we are "plagued" by two major problems in our culture today - anoerexia and obesity. Fatty and skinny. We eat too much or we don't eat enough. I wonder what it actually means?

Thanks for the Callahan link, it looks very good.

healthpsych said...

Hi PA,

Don't think I'm blogstalking you but I just agreed with you on ShrinkRap too! :) Am adding you to my blog roll today. Thanks for the add.


Hi Seaspray,

Callahan always gives me a laugh, although some people may find him offensive. Big far of the Far Side too. You might also like Leunig..see http://www.leunig.com.au/

I saw Supersize Me and I felt pretty sick by the end of it (and I hadn't eaten anything!)


Hi Deb,
Thanks. I think you'll like Callahan!

Absolutely, it's a lot more complicated. Seems like people are looking to apportion blame somewhere....

Hi Alison,

Ah, if only we had the answer to that one, we could write that bestseller and retire!

The Little Student said...

Hah, I thought that card was hilarious, although I doubt I would admit that to anyone in real life!

healthpsych said...

Hi Little Student,
It's not politically correct humour, that's for sure!