Discuss: Can Babies Be Obese? (A NPR Article)

1/18/2016

Discuss: Can Babies Be Obese? (A NPR Article) — a Modern Mrs.
This past Friday night, NPR shared an article on their Facebook page that caught my attention. It was titled, "Can Babies Be Obese?" To summarize, it was a question posed by Anthropologist Barbara King, listed under the Science section as a commentary piece. While quoting sources, and stating average birth weight and other statistics, there was an additional question posed, which was... if a baby is 'chubby' (for lack of a better word), does that put them at risk for obesity moving forward?

Will a chubby baby be an overweight adolescent? Will that carry into adulthood? Or...

Is a chubby baby, quite simply and harmlessly, just chubby?

After reading this article, I returned to their Facebook page to view the comments. There was some outrage and concern, but more so, there were mothers stating facts pertaining to their children. For example, one mother's firstborn was a chubby baby who grew up to be a very slender teenager, whereas her secondborn wasn't chubby, and struggles with weight issues in his adolescence. Others generalized America's issues with food quality are passing onto our babies — that they're destined to be overweight before they're even born.

King concluded her article by touching base on fat shaming. Though it seemed more like an insincere nod to avoid conflict to me, it still begs the question:

Whatever happened to the affectionate phrase, "baby fat?"

I mean, it had to come from somewhere, right? Just as adults come in different shapes and sizes, and fit a healthy BMI, shouldn't babies as well? Can't a baby just be chubby, and not obese?

I, for one, don't correlate a chubby baby with becoming an obese child/teen/adult. I think there is a quite obvious division between chubby babies, and those few (at least as far as I'm aware) babies that are genuinely overweight. I'm worried that this concern that's being created will have detrimental effects — that scared mothers will be calorie counting for fear their child will have weight issues from which they'll never be able to recover.

I now turn this discussion over to you! What are your feelings on this matter? Do you have any personal experience you'd like to share? Please leave your comments below.

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