Monday, July 07, 2008

Just when you thought you'd heard it all...

...CNN reports that the American Academy of Pediatrics is recommending low-fat milk for 1-year-olds and CHOLESTEROL DRUGS FOR 8-YEAR-OLDS.

8-year-olds, Dude.

Could I just remind everyone that the rate of "childhood obesity" in the U.S. leveled off in 1999, meaning this "epidemic" we keep hearing about is a complete load of horse shit? And could I also remind you that the BMI standards defining "overweight" and "obese" were lowered (from 27 and 32, respectively, to 25 and 30) after an NIH report that came out in 1998, based on research funded (natch) by the weight loss industry and pharmaceutical companies? No wonder "childhood obesity" rates leveled off in 1999 -- they were level before, then millions of people (both adults and children) became "overweight" or "obese" overnight when the BMI standards were lowered in 1998, yielding a big jump in the percentages, and then they were level again. Could all this obesity hysteria really be based on a statistical trick designed to make more money for the diet industry, you ask? Yes. Yes, it could.

Before I blow a gasket and become one of those obesity-related casualties we keep hearing about, I'm going to just go back to the specifics of this CNN article. Here are some things that are causing my left eyebrow to arch so high that it may just migrate right off my face:

(1) The AAP spokesdoctor quoted in the article, Stephen Daniels, "has worked as a consultant to Abbott Laboratories and Merck & Co." -- "but not on matters involving their cholesterol drugs". OHHHHH, thank god he wasn't working on matters involving their cholesterol drugs. Because you might think he had some impure motives in recommending his former employer's cholesterol drugs to 8 year-olds if he had worked on matters involving their cholesterol drugs, but since he didn't work on matters involving their cholesterol drugs, I can't see any possible conflict of interest, can you?

(2) Cholesterol screening is now "recommended sometime after age 2 but no later than age 10". Yes, you read that right. They want you to have your 2-year-old's cholesterol screened.

(3) "The academy has long recommended against reduced-fat milk for children up to age 2 because saturated fats are needed for brain development. 'But now we have the obesity epidemic and people are thinking maybe this isn't such a good idea,' said Dr. Frank Greer..." Yeah, who gives a shit about brain development, people??? WE'VE GOT AN OBESITY EPIDEMIC HERE!!!!1!11

(4) "...the academy recommendations say low-fat milk is appropriate for 1-year-olds 'for whom overweight or obesity is a concern'. Daniels, a pediatrician in the Denver, Colorado, area, agreed that could include virtually all children" (italics mine). Two thoughts. First: ARRRGH!!! Second: do you think they literally mean '1-year-olds for whom overweight or obesity is a concern'? Because I don't know a lot of 1-year-olds, but I'm guessing most of them aren't concerned about overweight or obesity (yet) (although in Australia they're putting 3-year-olds into compulsory diet and exercise programs, and 5-year-olds are being diagnosed with anorexia, so I guess weight-conscious 1-year-olds wouldn't surprise me much at this point).

(5) "With one-third of U.S. children overweight and about 17 percent obese, the new recommendations are important, said Dr. Jennifer Li, a Duke University children's heart specialist. 'We need to do something to stem the tide of childhood obesity,' Li said." Yeah, you know, that tide that came crashing onto the shore about, oh, NINE YEARS AGO WHEN THEY LOWERED THE BMI CUTOFFS, THEREBY ARTIFICIALLY CREATING AN OBESITY EPIDEMIC.

Um, excuse me, have we managed to colonize Mars yet, or is there some other planet I can relocate to? Because this one is really starting to freak me out.

As if all this weren't enough, Cookie Monster is cutting back on cookies to set a good example for all those little fatties out there, letting them know that "A Cookie is a Sometimes Food". This happened a while back, but I only heard about it from Cookie Monster's recent appearance on the Colbert Report. I thought it was a joke, but it's true -- Cookie Monster is on a diet changing his lifestyle.

Is nothing sacred?


Anonymous said...

okay I can see if a family has high cholesterol keeping an eye on the kids and MAYBE having them eating a more conservative diet in perhaps to help but to just pit them on a pill just because of the potential? To me it is sounding like doctors just want to throw a pill at it for a cure all when that may not be the answer to start out with for and eight year old. try all alternatives first before the pill.

Mary said...

I agree. They do say something in the article about encouraging weight loss for kids "at risk" for high cholesterol before prescribing cholesterol drugs, but I'm not sure that's any better -- for one thing, who ever said that being fat causes high cholesterol? And second, 8-year-olds on a weight loss diet?

Jennifer said...

my kids are 9 & 3 1/2 and are of average weight and height, has their share of cookies, ice cream, and chips. But they also has their fruit and veggies and meat too. If there were a high occurance of high cholesterol in either family, of course their diets would be watched closer and be a little stricter on not eating so much of certian things (diet in this context is just regular eating habits and not to restrict caloric intake).