Thursday, December 29, 2011

Hating your mother means you're twice as likely to grow up fat

It's difficult evaluating a study that is not yet online but this could easily be a social class effect. The underclass often have poor relationships with their children and also tend to be fat and have fat children. That could be controlled for by partialling out parental weight from the correlations but who knows if that was done? There is an extensive summary of the study here and no controls are mentioned. More magic knowledge of the causal chain apparently. The title of the journal article is: "Quality of early maternal-child relationship and risk of adolescent obesity"

Children who have a poor emotional relationship with their mother are more than twice as likely to become obese, research claims.

A study found toddlers who struggle with their mothers are at higher risk of being grossly overweight by the time they are 15. Those who had the worst emotional relationship were almost two-and-half times more likely to be obese at 15 than those with a strong bond. Meanwhile, only 13 per cent who had close bonds in their formative years became obese.

U.S. researchers studied nearly 1,000 toddlers and their mothers at play then rated how strong the bond was between mother and child.

The participants were then assessed for obesity at 15. The prevalence of obesity in adolescence was 26.1 per cent among children with the poorest early maternal-child relationships according to the research, which will appear in the online Journal of Paediatrics next month.

Ohio State University epidemiology professor Sarah Anderson said eating comfort food throughout childhood could be linked to youngsters not being given the right tools to deal with stress.

She said: ‘It is possible childhood obesity could be influenced by interventions that try to improve the emotional bonds between mothers and children rather than focusing only on children’s food intake and activity.

‘We need to think about how we can support better-quality maternal-child relationships because that could have an impact on child health.

'A well-regulated stress response could influence how well children sleep and whether they eat in response to emotional distress – just two factors that affect the likelihood for obesity.’


A CDC Recommendation Could Save Children’s Lives

Meningococcal meningitis: This is a dreaded disease that can be lethal within hours of the onset of symptoms. For those who survive, it can have very serious consequences such as blindness, deafness, and even amputation of arms and legs.

Fortunately, in April 2011 the Food and Drug Administration approved a vaccine for this disease for children aged 9 months through 23 months. A vaccine for use in older children was previously approved.

However, for the age group of 9 months to 23 months, the Centers for Disease Control’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has recommended that only children with certain risk factors receive the vaccination. These include children with immune deficiencies, those traveling to countries in which the disease is epidemic, and those in a defined risk group during a community or institutional outbreak.

Although rare, the disease is endemic in the United Sates and springs up without warning. Those who are not vaccinated when it initially presents in a community will be the first to contract it. This is analogous to the situation with airplane passengers. Airline accidents or high-turbulence incidents are rare, but when they do occur, those passengers not properly restrained are at highest risk of injury or even death.

In such cases, it’s essential to measure any potential inconvenience against the likely risks. The side effect of taking this vaccine is some skin irritation, but vaccination is the only way to prevent this type of meningitis. In the past, when vaccines received approval from the FDA indicating they were safe and efficacious, the CDC would review them and ultimately add them to its recommended vaccine list. The CDC is moving much more slowly on this vaccine, and there is fear it will be recommended only for the high-risk children when indeed all unvaccinated children are at risk.

If the vaccination is not placed on the recommended list, pediatricians are unlikely to recommend it to parents, and many won’t even notify them of its existence. Thus parents won’t even have the option of choosing it for their child.

The CDC should give parents the choice of whether to immunize their children aged 9 months through 23 months against meningococcal meningitis. Placing it on the recommended list is the only way to do that.


No comments: