Michelle is taking on obesity in kids. How perfect. She spoke before the Department of Health and Human Services to promote healthy eating, but what she really talked about was stress. It was the stress of being exhausted after a day of work, with no food in the refrigerator and grumpy kids. Why not call out for pizza? I believe in eating healthy food, and I do it because food takes good when you’re hungry. I want to avoid feeling bad, physically, when I don’t. But that takes nurturing in other ways, and setting limits. So Michele is teaching the basics of nurturing and limits — and EBT without even mentioning it. What a gal!
One of the most impressive studies on pediatric obesity was a 40 year follow-up of British children. During preschool they were grilled for every conceivable aspect of lifestyle that could promote weight gain. Forty years later the researchers looked at the correlation between early indices and later weight gain.
The type of food didn’t matter. How much they ate didn’t matter. What they snacked on didn’t matter. What mattered? Whether the parents KNEW what they ate. Was someone securely attached, mindful of them? When I read that study I began laughing, because these prospective longitudinal studies are rare and revered. The take home message had more to do with the parent-child connection than anything.
If you look back at your own childhood, and wonder when stresses mounted and instead of feeling securely connected, not indulged or deprived, you felt alone . . . lost . . . and then . . .hungry. If Michele can motivate parents to say “no” to junk food, and be so at Brain State 1 that they can nurture their children to the point that they kids don’t run to the corner store and buy candy, then how perfect. She addresses two problems at once. The symptom of poor diets in children and the problem, which is so much stress that parents are not in a brain state in which they nurture and set effective limits . . .