Monday, January 28, 2008

Mother's diet shapes offspring's future weight?

Another study of rats, not people and another despicable attempt to prey on the anxieties of pregnant women. The full report is not public yet but all these creeps seem to have discovered is the earth-shattering finding that fat mothers have fat children. Anything to do with genetics? No mention of genetics. That would be against the prevailing religion. And do mothers on a restricted diet get all the nutrients that the baby needs? Even if the baby appears to be OK, is the individual concerned OK in the long term? No mention of that! It is totally inappropriate to be making recommendations to the public based on this scrap of unreviewed research. But we see that the article below is full of confident recommendations from attention-seeking knowalls who obviously would not know the meaning of scientific caution

Australian scientists have made the world-first discovery that a pregnant woman's diet determines whether her baby grows into a fat adult or a skinny one. The research suggests women who are overweight before they fall pregnant, and during it, may condemn their children to a life of overeating and obesity. It reveals that a mother's diet during pregnancy affects the baby's brain circuits, determining appetite and energy expenditure in their offspring. "This suggests that mothers should think twice about overindulging, or using the excuse that they're eating for two during pregnancy," University of NSW professor Margaret Morris said.

Unlike previous studies, the groundbreaking work highlights the pre-natal period as a critical time for "programming of post-natal and adult appetite". It found that even before a woman falls pregnant, she is potentially "programming" a child's future appetite. "The major finding is the dramatic increase in body fat in offspring of overweight and obese mothers," Professor Morris said. Mothers fed a high-fat diet had offspring that were heavier, with more body fat and altered appetite regulators in the brain, meaning they overate, she said.

The results are supported by a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition last year. It found that mothers who eat junk food during pregnancy may produce children who crave the same foods. Professor Morris will present her findings at the Australian Neuroscience Society conference in Hobart this week. She said the study was particularly relevant, given that about 30 per cent of mothers enter pregnancy in an overweight or obese condition.

The study was conducted using overweight female rats who mated with healthy males. The females continued to be fed a high-fat Western diet during and after pregnancy, Professor Morris said. "The mums were overeating for that whole period. We found the offspring were a third heavier than the rats fed a low-fat diet," she said. Professor Morris said the brain pathways regulating appetite in rats were similar to those in humans, suggesting similar trends could be expected in people.

Sydney University nutritionist Dr Jenny O'Dea said it had become "quite well accepted" that a woman's diet during pregnancy impacted on the fetus. "We also know that obesity during pregnancy more often than not causes gestational diabetes and high blood pressure," Dr O'Dea said. She said that although nutritional needs were high during pregnancy, women should not be "eating for two".

Professor Morris studied mothers who were already overweight before they fell pregnant. The experiment results also found their offspring were showing signs of developing diabetes at a young age.

The findings are particularly relevant for overweight mothers, highlighting the importance of maintaining a normal weight before and during pregnancy. Further research will examine how methods of intervention during breastfeeding can reverse bad nutritional habits and overeating.

Susie Burrell, a pediatric dietitian at The Children's Hospital at Westmead, said the study sent a powerful message to women planning to fall pregnant. "They need to get their weight under control before conceiving, and those who are pregnant need to have minimum weight-gain during pregnancy," Ms Burrell said. She said an increasing number of women were overweight before they fell pregnant, creating a "snowball effect". "Their babies are more likely to have a high birth weight. This then leads to lifestyle diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease."


Anything you really like is now an addiction

Last summer at their annual policy meeting, the American Medical Association considered having "excessive video gaming" formally certified as a psychiatric disorder and listing it in the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the bible of mental diseases to which psychiatrists are addicted. Official bureaucratic legitimization will accomplish a vital goal of the professional psychotherapy community: enable the condition's victims to get medical coverage so psychotherapists can suck insurance companies dry with their $400-per-hour behavior-modification and rehabilitative-therapy programs.

Used to be we knew what addiction was - the inability to kick booze or cigarettes or drugs. But then a second tier of addictions was identified, and we were introduced to the shocking, secretive world of obsessive gamblers and caffeine freaks and sex addicts and suburban chocoholics

Since those relatively innocent days, our world has exploded with addictive behaviors. Now we are all substance abusers, tormented with bottled water syndromes and new-car-smell obsessions and iPod fixations and ringtone manias and Britney-watching compulsions and reality-show fanaticisms and cutesy-wutesy baby-talking to your poochie-woochie dysfunctions.

This is professional stalking at its worst - the endless cycle of concocting supply to satisfy escalating demand. Not only are new addictions being discovered every day, but new discoverers of new addictions are being discovered as well. Everybody, it seems, knows what addiction is. What people used to call "food cravings" the American Heart Association now calls "carbohydrate addiction. AOL did a survey claiming that people are addicted to e-mail. (And, since AOL is a major supplier of e-mail access, doesn't that make them pushers?) The Web site reported on a Harvard Business Review study under the title "Rise of the BlackBerry-Addicted Work Zombie.

Computer-industry professionals, in fact, seem to be exceptionally proficient, and prolific, at identifying addiction. After coining a new discipline, psychotechnology (not to be confused with technopsychology), they quickly identified such human aberrations as Internet Addiction Disorder (IAD), Internet Behavior Dependence (IBD), Internet/Computer Addiction, Online Addiction, and addiction to Web-surfing.

Even as new addictions are being discovered, all the trusty old dependencies are exploding exponentially. CNN quoted a UN report that used the phrase "runaway train of drug addiction" and followed it with "5 percent of the world's population aged between 15 and 64 used drugs at least once in the previous 12 months.

The implication is that partaking of a governmentally disapproved substance once a year makes one a drug addict. This would be like counting every shopping-cart door ding as an auto accident or declaring every blink, wink, and nod as an instance of sexual abuse.

Funny how neither the UN nor the AMA nor the American Psychiatric Association has ever concluded that any psychiatrist who has psychoanalyzed one person between the ages of 15 and 64 during the past year is afflicted with the runaway train of psychoanalization addiction

Why are hardworking business people called "workaholics" while people who invest thousands of hours raising millions of dollars while telling hundreds of lies just to get elected to public office are never called "powerholics"? Why is it that people who incessantly use a PDA to communicate with people have their handhelds referred to as "crackberries" while people who incessantly use their rosaries to communicate with the Blessed Virgin never have their handhelds referred to as "bead speed"

Perhaps, then, the definition of "addiction" has more to do with contrived self-serving sociopolitical constructs than with medicine. Addiction is in the eye of the professional beholder, who can charge $400 an hour to "cure" it.

Then again, maybe not all addictions are bad. Case in point: While Republicrats are control freaks hopelessly addicted to taxbucks and world empire, people who call themselves "libertarian" are addicted to a philosophy of maximizing freedom and minimizing coercion. In the meantime, something has to be done about those delusional sufferers hopelessly addicted to reading opinion articles such as this one.



Just some problems with the "Obesity" war:

1). It tries to impose behavior change on everybody -- when most of those targeted are not obese and hence have no reason to change their behaviour. It is a form of punishing the innocent and the guilty alike. (It is also typical of Leftist thinking: Scorning the individual and capable of dealing with large groups only).

2). The longevity research all leads to the conclusion that it is people of MIDDLING weight who live longest -- not slim people. So the "epidemic" of obesity is in fact largely an "epidemic" of living longer.

3). It is total calorie intake that makes you fat -- not where you get your calories. Policies that attack only the source of the calories (e.g. "junk food") without addressing total calorie intake are hence pissing into the wind. People involuntarily deprived of their preferred calorie intake from one source are highly likely to seek and find their calories elsewhere.

4). So-called junk food is perfectly nutritious. A big Mac meal comprises meat, bread, salad and potatoes -- which is a mainstream Western diet. If that is bad then we are all in big trouble.

5). Food warriors demonize salt and fat. But we need a daily salt intake to counter salt-loss through perspiration and the research shows that people on salt-restricted diets die SOONER. And Eskimos eat huge amounts of fat with no apparent ill-effects. And the average home-cooked roast dinner has LOTS of fat. Will we ban roast dinners?

6). The foods restricted are often no more calorific than those permitted -- such as milk and fruit-juice drinks.

7). Tendency to weight is mostly genetic and is therefore not readily susceptible to voluntary behaviour change.

8). And when are we going to ban cheese? Cheese is a concentrated calorie bomb and has lots of that wicked animal fat in it too. Wouldn't we all be better off without it? And what about butter and margarine? They are just about pure fat. Surely they should be treated as contraband in kids' lunchboxes! [/sarcasm].

9). And how odd it is that we never hear of the huge American study which showed that women who eat lots of veggies have an INCREASED risk of stomach cancer? So the official recommendation to eat five lots of veggies every day might just be creating lots of cancer for the future! It's as plausible (i.e. not very) as all the other dietary "wisdom" we read about fat etc.

10). And will "this generation of Western children be the first in history to lead shorter lives than their parents did"? This is another anti-fat scare that emanates from a much-cited editorial in a prominent medical journal that said so. Yet this editorial offered no statistical basis for its opinion -- an opinion that flies directly in the face of the available evidence.

Even statistical correlations far stronger than anything found in medical research may disappear if more data is used. A remarkable example from Sociology:
"The modern literature on hate crimes began with a remarkable 1933 book by Arthur Raper titled The Tragedy of Lynching. Raper assembled data on the number of lynchings each year in the South and on the price of an acre's yield of cotton. He calculated the correlation coefficient between the two series at -0.532. In other words, when the economy was doing well, the number of lynchings was lower.... In 2001, Donald Green, Laurence McFalls, and Jennifer Smith published a paper that demolished the alleged connection between economic conditions and lynchings in Raper's data. Raper had the misfortune of stopping his analysis in 1929. After the Great Depression hit, the price of cotton plummeted and economic conditions deteriorated, yet lynchings continued to fall. The correlation disappeared altogether when more years of data were added."
So we must be sure to base our conclusions on ALL the data. But in medical research, data selectivity and the "overlooking" of discordant research findings is epidemic.

"What we should be doing is monitoring children from birth so we can detect any deviations from the norm at an early stage and action can be taken". Who said that? Joe Stalin? Adolf Hitler? Orwell's "Big Brother"? The Spanish Inquisition? Generalissimo Francisco Franco Bahamonde? None of those. It was Dr Colin Waine, chairman of Britain's National Obesity Forum. What a fine fellow!


1 comment:

Deborah said...

I agree. This study by Australian scientists with rats is such a croc! They studied the behaviour of pregnant rats and their offspring and then make the giant leap that overeating during pregnancy must create pathways in the brain of the developing human foetus which will lead to overeating and obesity.

All these studies do is put additional pressure on pregnant women and make them feel guilty if something goes wrong with the pregnancy.