When you've finally managed a lifelong rollercoaster weight problem at my age, 71, you see a headline in the newsfeed and sigh. And, then, you wonder, what if?
It focuses on recent research study that suggests pediatricians begin following a child's BMI earlier than 2 years old.
Apparently, they now have research that suggests charting BMI stats starting at 6 months old can predict those who may struggle with a later obesity problem from those who simply have “baby fat” and lose it as they grow older.
The study, presented Friday at the national Endocrine Society meeting in Boston, is the first to show that weight gain during the baby years differs in those who eventually go on to develop obesity, the authors said. The authors reported that the body mass index ratings in children who become severely obese by age 6 began to differ from children who remain normal weight as early as 4 months of age.
4 months of age.
When I look back at one of my baby photos one in a vehicle of transport of some sort, I am imagining my pediatrician (who lived next to us) taking my BMI and telling my mother, “Alice, you better watch it with this one. She might have a weight problem.”
But, no, that wasn't on his mind back then. He did tell my mother and very early on, perhaps, even 4 months old, that she was going to have her hands full because my responses to his reflexes test (or whatever) suggested I was going to try and rule the household.
(Thanks, doc. Truly. You couldn't have just left it as “spirited”? And, PS, you gave out hotdogs at Halloween and every single Halloween I threw up until we moved to a new neighborhood.)
He would later prescribe, at my mother's insistence, dexedrine pills to give to me at age 11 so I could slim down.
And, slim down, I did. For the first time but most assuredly not the last. I slimmed down, alright, and just remember having no appetite whatsoever and enough energy to build the Brooklyn Bridge by hand if it hadn't already been constructed in the late 1800's.
A breezy count of lifetime slimdowns? Easily at least 8-10 (with countless other diet attempts that were not successful) until this last period of 7 years at a stable, healthy weight.
If he had told my mother that she'd better watch out for me as ruler of her domain and as a future fat girl?
” What might have been?”, I ask myself this morning?
She would have needed medication.
That's all I know for sure.
PS. Eleanor Wachtel interviews three writers on her Writers & Company podcast about their faces and what they say about their identity and sense of belonging. I love this podcast.