Fat chance I’ll be weighing up my baby’s future health
The world is going to hell in a hand basket. Actually, make that a baby basket. Right now there is a new “tool” for expectant parents on a prominent parenting website that couldn’t be more damaging or ridiculous if it tried.
The tool basically determines whether or not your infant child is at risk of obesity. It works by typing in both parents’ Body Mass Index, whether they smoke or not and their socio-economic status.
And it’s touted as a helpful, informative and even insightful and trustworthy source of information for expectant parents. What a load of codswallop.
What’s the inference here? That you abort a baby at risk of obesity because of a couple of numbers you typed into a dodgy looking internet calculator? The only thing useful about this so-called “tool” would be avoiding it altogether.
What hope do you have of being a good parent, ready to educate your children about health and body image if you can’t get through the gestation period without first checking that they won’t turn out fat?
“Absolutely terrible! Just crazy! They are sending out completely the wrong message,” said Louise Adams, a clinical psychologist who specialises in health and weight management.
Adams told The Punch good parenthood requires people to place emphasis on safety, protection and healthy eating. Not size.
“Being larger is not necessarily a disability and health risks can be present at every level of BMI. Among US adults 20 years and older, 23.5% (approximately 16.3 million adults) of normal-weight adults were metabolically abnormal, whereas 51.3 per cent (approximately 35.9 million adults) of overweight adults and 31.7 per cent (approximately 19.5 million adults) of obese adults were metabolically healthy. Not only that, people don’t die from being overweight. They die from cardiovascular disease and diabetes,” she said.
The other glaring issue here of course, is the notion that the best parents are people who take a loving, sensible and responsible approach to life and health.
Not only that, surely the most important part of having a baby must be feeling excited about the new life that you’re bringing into the world. So where’s the tool that predicts stuff like personality traits or even a happiness meter? Isn’t that what most people really want for their offspring?
It’d definitely make a better story than telling your kid that instead of painting the nursery before they were born, you both sat around the laptop predicting how fat that they’d be.
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