Sunday, January 22, 2012

Yet another thing to scold pregnant women about

So, I read this article from the LA times via Balancing Jane (who has a good analysis of it), and I find it annoying on several levels.

Basically, the theory is that the obesity epidemic was caused by pregnant women in the 50s and 60s doing three unhealthy things: smoking, striving to gain as little weight as possible, and not breastfeeding.

First of all, though the article briefly mentions the growing popularity of fast food, suburban culture that leads to more driving, etc., it seems to come to the conclusion that these 50s and 60s moms are a larger cause of increased obesity. I have my doubts about that.

Further, the article clearly states that doctors were telling women to do these things. If that's the case, why don't we call a spade a spade here and blame doctors for the obesity epidemic? But no, we can't do that, of course. Because they're always right (well, except for all those times in the past when they were wrong, but they're right now! So listen to your doctor. Remember, they're smarter than you). It must have been those naughty pregnant women acting up again. Don't they care about the children?

Also, the expert behind the theory flat-out states that overweight women should not have children. I'd rather that jerks not have children, personally. Because, I don't think that being fat is so horrible that we should try to make sure fat people are never born. This is not to say that it's not important for individuals to try to be healthy - I'm a bit of a health nut, myself - but come on. I mean, let's look at this "unhealthy" generation that was born in the 50s and 60s - I know some excellent human beings that were born in those decades! Some of them are even *gasp* fat! And if they want to try to do something about that, that's up to them. But I'm glad they're on this planet, regardless.

There are many systemic causes for the health problems we're currently facing. I think our priorities need to shift to value health more. Blaming it all on mothers is both incorrect and unfair.

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