Obese Kids? Get Help for Mom
Thursday, July 14, 2011
San Diego Union-Tribune -- Michelle Obama's campaign against childhood obesity has called upon parents to pay attention to their children’s body mass index, or BMI, at annual pediatric checkups. But this initiative is incomplete and potentially dangerous. America’s children are being weighed down not only by excess pounds, but by a surprising culprit: their parents’ lack of a healthy work-life balance.
Concentrating on BMI is simply not effective. It’s an inaccurate and highly problematic tool to assess obesity and especially the associated diseases. BMI doesn’t consider muscle mass, ethnicity, age or gender, nor does it distinguish between lean body mass and fat mass. In fact, BMI wasn’t initially intended to measure obesity, and especially not in the case of children. (Full Story)
Adina Batnitzky is an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of San Diego.