Obese.. Really?

I almost didn’t post about this despite how mad it made me when I read the first article… But I saw a post on it today, which linked to another article about it w/ links to others and it has me going all over again lol.

Apparently a researcher at Wayne State University put out a study saying 1/3 of 9 month olds are obese.

Now I’m not going to say that its not possible for a child that young to be… its sad, but yeah… it does happen.  I’m also not going to say there’s nothing good in the study.  They did mention that exclusive breastfeeding, no formula or solids,  for 6 months can prevent obesity (yes there are studies there too). They also mentioned the importance of healthy eating (no McD’s for babies), not putting cereal in the baby’s bottle, choosing fruits and vegetables over juice. I will say MSNBC’s article (just read that one) has me scratching my head over saying they need them pureed.. but that’s a common thought now a days so.. eh. As much as I would have liked to see Baby Led mentioned (because it can factor in too) I didn’t really expect that.

So yeah.. some good mentioned in these articles.

My problem? My problem is how exactly they are coming up with who is obese and who is “overweight” and “at risk”.  They are going by percentages!

I’m sorry, but percentages aren’t worth… well I’m sure you can fill in the blank any which way you choose. Watching an individual baby’s growth pattern sure. A drastic drop or gain could show a problem. But babies aren’t clones. They’re individuals. They have different genetic factors.  So when you put them on a chart against each other… it doesn’t tell you a whole lot on its own.  Ok so your kid is smaller than a certain number of babies. Mine might be bigger.  If one of them is missing developmental milestones on top of being on an extreme end (or off of it) then yeah there might be a worry.  Plenty of diapers and meeting milestones = most likely there is not an issue.

But this study has decided (or the… people… in charge of it have) that a baby at the 95th percentile or above is “obese” and above 85 is “overweight and/or at risk”.

One article, MSNBC (and yes I’m going to link all 3 at the bottom here), does mention that high birth weight has nothing to do with obesity later on… and points out  that some of those babies thin out. Yeah, that’s true.  We have seen a drastic thinning out on Zavier lately.  I was going to say he slipped down to around the 85th percentile (so from “obese” to “at risk”) but since its not on our paperwork and I didn’t want to rely on memory I just pulled up the charts online to check… and going off of the CDC ones that these researchers used Zavier was just over the 95th percentile for weight at 6 months.  Good news I’m taking from that is proof our pedi uses the WHO charts lol.  Downside is I want to strangle someone even more now (call my child fat).  Note: want too = wouldn’t do it.


Like I said before you can’t tell that w/out looking at other factors besides numbers.  It just doesn’t work that way!

And… as my looking at numbers shows… a baby born over 10lbs, even after thinning out, is not going to just mystically magically (to use Baba’s phrase) jump down to 50%.  And if they did.. IT’D BE A MAJOR REASON TO WORRY! Just going from off the charts to 85th or 86th (by WHO charts obviously) was enough for our pedi to comment.  Thankfully she wasn’t worried, but still commented.

Now.. my other issue (getting past this whole thing being flawed and feeling more than a little insulted here) is what exactly is this gonna do to our kids?  We already have major weight complex’s here… So lets start labeling infants? Yeah that’s gonna go over well.  Our poor children…

Unfortunately we do have to address the whole obesity issue and focusing on proper nutrition from the start is a great way to do it, but not at their expense either…  Sure promote breastfeeding, eating healthy, not giving junk at such an early age.. exercise… but this is just going too far.

Links (in order I read them):

Yahoo News

Atlantic Wire



7 thoughts on “Obese.. Really?

  1. Marni says:

    This article really left me going ‘huh’ for a minute too. Crazy.

  2. Katharine says:

    I heard someone mention this article yesterday, and found myself looking up a kids BMI calculator. Then I thought..I’m being stupid. Yea, my son is in the 95th percentile for weight…BUT…he is also OVER the 100th percentile for height. Hes a big guy wearing 18-24 month size clothes for an 8 month old…and its most because he ‘looks fat’. Hes just big…and he doesn’t even move around yet.

    • Mama Kalila says:

      Exactly! We’re just behind you.. Zavier is wearing 12 to 18 month clothes…and is tall for his age. I forgot to put that in there, but length has a major role too.

      Arrg… Looking at the charts is giving me a headache. Anyway you look at it Zavier has gone down on them (going by his weight now). I’m 90% (LOL) sure that our pedi isn’t gonna care because obviously an 8 month old that has started walking (basically.. still 2 steps at a time) is doing just fine and is going to slim down some. He eats a ton… and he hasn’t lost any weight… but our 9 month visit was the one she flipped out over Kalila’s weight loss (was perfectly normal too for a BF baby and I knew that) and Ive been nervous about it happening again with him. I know it shouldn’t, but… you just never know how they’ll react.

  3. Stacy says:

    Layla was born 10th% for weight but got up to 75th within 2 mos. After that she stayed around the 70th to 80th% until she started crawling. Of course, they still aren’t taking into consideration that EBF babies grow differently, especially during the 1st 6 mos. Layla was also baby led on solids, only ever had purees when we took trips and she has leveled off to around 50th percentile since 1 and 1/2. These studies are really worthless in the end.

  4. Deborah says:

    Huh. Interesting. And good that pediatricians tend to ignore this junk! My baby was born a month early and was way low (<10%) in weight and something like 30% in height. At her 4 month checkup, she was 85% in weight and 95% in height. The doctor's reaction: Wonderful! Keep it up, girl! My own perspective is that it's reasonable to have these charts, as long as they aren't taken too seriously, but it would be more helpful to have height-weight charts (i.e., where does this child rank in weight among other children of similar height) rather than age charts.

    • Mama Kalila says:

      They do actually have those charts… at least the WHO does. Which pedi’s are supposed to be going by WHO charts for babies under 2 anyway now (so why they used CDC for this?). Was interesting, when I looked at Zavier weight per age he was 75 at 6 months (by WHO) and weight per length he was 50. Love that you have a supportive pedi, ours really is too… we had the one issue w/ Kalila’s weight and it could have gone much worse. She seems to have loosened up a lot lately too.

  5. Amy says:

    The part that bothered me was where it said that any baby that gains a lot of weight in the first few months is considered obese or at risk. Both of my boys gained like that until 6 months. Then, they didn’t gain ANYTHING! Once they became active, they never stopped and slowed WAY DOWN in their weight gain. Neither one was chubby, but they are tall since their dad is 6′ 4″. Johnathan was about 21 pounds at 6 months and finally got to about 28 pounds by about 20 months old and has been there since. He just turned 3 years old. Andrew did the same thing. He is 9 1/2 and FINALLY started really gaining weight in the last year or two.

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