Thursday, May 13, 2010

Overweight and Obese Kids eat Less than their slim peers

Totally destroying the image of the fat kid overeating which has been so popular on the American scene, a new study out of Canada found that actually overweight and obese kids ate less calories than their slimmer peers (those of us who have fought a weight issue all of our lives are familiar with this one, having had to watch slim folks down huge portions of pizza while we munch on a carrot!).

The researchers studied over 12000 kids aged 1-17 and had a mathematical formula to adjust for self reporting inaccuracies (parents reported intake for kids 5 and under).

The study was reported on at the Pediatric Academic Sciences 2010 annual meeting. (Note: a sign-in may be required to read this article on Medscape - registrations are free)

"Our study provides the surprising finding that older overweight children report consuming fewer calories than their healthy weight peers. The finding indicates that intervention strategies solely targeting energy intake in older children may face difficulties," study presenter Asheley C. Skinner, PhD, assistant professor of pediatrics, Department of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine, told Medscape Pediatrics.

This result was similar to the results of the unpublished studies of activist and educator, Russ Williams. Williams interviewed 6 caterers who had catered conventions for NAAFA (National Assn for Fat Acceptance) as well as many other conventions attended by average weight patrons. He found that 3 of the caterers stated the amount of food consumed at NAAFA conventions was equal to that consumed at other conventions but 3 of the caterers reported that the amount of food consumed at NAAFA conventions was significantly less than consumed at other conventions.

Isn't it time we kill the TV stereotypes and accept that people who become obese may have strong genetic and physical reasons for their size?


Regina said...

Thanks for the study link. As a fatty, I have had more than my fair share of eating far less than my average size counterparts. What I'm wondering is, is it possible that obesity is just another stage of the evolution process? Could it be possible we are on the precipice of a major shift in the human body's advancement? it just that the obesity faux panic has been brought on by 30 years of diet and exercise?

What do you think?

wriggles said...

These results remind me that it makes more sense to see metabolism holistically.

It has been made partial to serve calories in/out. Hunger and appetite have been split off and assigned as "personality traits"-to serve weight loss diet culture's sorry soul-instead of being seen as functions and/or parts of our overall metabolism.

How we actually function is far more interesting (not scary)-why would fat children eat more than slim children and then at a certain point swap places?

And isn't it fascinating that (at least at a certain point) fat and thin (underweight) children seem metabolically to be functioning in a similar way?

Here's to the day when we are freed from the stultifying yoke of calorie manipulation dumbing down and can concentrate on pursuing, erm.... you know... actual knowledge.