Sunday, March 10, 2013

Childhood Obesity

I have been reading some books on obesity in childhood. Children who have BMI's over over 30 before they start school. Babies of 6 months being continually hungry and so being fed formula and solids, their weight is then far too much for their age and size.

As far as I know I was a normal size baby. Photos of me aged 3 or 4 show a normal sized toddler, but by the time I got to school age at 5 I was already tubby. I loved my food and would also be ready for seconds. I did not seem to have a stop button when it came to food. We always had starch with our protein, meat and potatoes, rice and chicken etc. And we always had a pudding probably with custard.

I struggled with my weight and trying to fit into normal size clothes all my school years. I did not want to be fat but could not cope with alternative which as far as I could see was to be hungry all the time! Various diets were tried but they all ended in a binge and failure.

From what I have learnt about myself now, 50 years later, is that my body does not make enough gamma linolenic acid from any linolic acid ( sunflower, soya corn oils) that I consume. As most of my diet has been fat free for the last 50 yrs this is not surprising. After my early experiences in dieting the one food I never added back into my diet was fat and oils, until now.

Because I was short on GLA my body was not able to make the good prostaglandins PG1 and any omega 6's that were consumed went to make the PG'2 which are the inflammatory ones. I did  not have much fish oil either so PG'3 were also in pretty short supply. So the only EFA I was ingesting were the ones designed to make my obesity and inflammation problem worse.

I also had cravings for sugar and starch ( notably bread) in the afternoons which I believe were a direct result of the shortage of GLA. As soon as I started adding Evening Primrose and Borage oil to my diet the cravings and binge sessions stopped. From the very first day!

So my recommendations for the obesity epidemic is that all pregnant women should take EPO during their pregnancy so that the unborn child received the EFA he/she requires. While the mother is nursing she should also continue the EPO. This will also help with any weight gain due to the pregnancy.

Babies fed on formula are supplied with EFA in the baby milk. If a baby seems to be continually hungry then I have read that it is possible to pierce open a capsule of EPO and then rub the oil onto the thighs and arms of the baby where it will be absorbed. Please read up about this and check with a doctor first before you do this. Once the child is eating solids it is easy to add EPO to food and to try and cut out as many sources of sugar and starch and trans fat and empty oils as possible.

Children should never be put on a fat free diet. They should be given full fat milk and not skim milk. Water should be given instead of soda. No child should be given fruit juice unless with a meal and then it should be diluted with water. Butter is better and olive oil is good. Breakfast should be protein with fat. Boxed cereals should be banished from the breakfast table.

The last 40 years have been an experiment in how not to advise a population to be healthy. We can all see the results. Good fat and oils do not cause heart disease and do not cause obesity. In fact they do the opposite. They protect the heart by reducing inflammation and if the body gets the EFA it needs, the appetite reduces to normal and weight loss is possible. Calories have very little to do with it!

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