New View on the Origins of Our Obesity Predicament

December 24th, 2011 by MorganDowney Leave a reply »

As readers know, there is a certain disconnect about when the obesity    epidemic began. Personally, I am quite persuaded that the historical record for the increase in human weight and height (the two parts of the BMI formula) goes back at least 350 years. (See, The Techno-physiological Revolution). On the other hand, something seemed to happened in the United States around the 1970s to send the rates skyward. There are no end of theories, all of which have some plausibility. So now comes Melinda Sothern, a well-respected and highly published obesity researcher, with a new look at mothers in the 1950’s. (Ouch! That’s a little close to home.) Her thoughts in this article do meet up with current research on genetic and, especially, epigenetic factors influencing the development of obesity. 

Many knowledgeable researchers have avoided going into this territory, not because of the science but because of the fear of being blamed for blaming mothers. This is not an inconsequential factor as parents may defer medical care for fear of being blamed for their child’s weight problems. (See the Cleveland obese boy incident.)

Sothern’s experiences and scientific credibility gives impetus to seriously consider her thoughts on the origin of our current predicament, given in this article in The Republic, ’50s women may have triggered obesity epidemic | The Republic