How I Lost 12.5 Pounds & Regained My Soul

Naked, as in truth, and uncensored, I share my daily quest to survive as a woman and artist, while dealing with the complications of a full life, meddling in politics, loving my children to excess, totally permanently married and on a never-ending diet. While my soul is in constant need of repair and redemption, I struggle to do the right thing. In the meantime, let's all double the love. (Love, not sex, you fool). All posts are copyrighted material.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Men messing with physiology in babies... not a good thing...

Good morning, my slinky little felines~

Here is more on the 'obesity' issue in this country and our fear of fat people.

Why do people get fat? We habitually divide the causes of obesity into two categories: genetic predisposition (having lots of overweight relatives) and lifestyle choices (eating too many chips or even, according to a recent study, having fat friends). A new field called developmental programming maintains a third possibility: that obesity, like many aspects of our physiology, can be traced to the months just before and after birth, when the brain and other organs are still fine-tuning themselves.

This early adjusting appears to be extensive. The “thermal environment” a young child encounters — how hot it is at home — may determine the number of active sweat glands he’ll have for the rest of his life. The flow of stress hormones from a pregnant woman to her fetus can “program” the developing brain, making it more reactive to stress in infancy (and perhaps even adulthood). Appetite and metabolism are also influenced during this period, the theory goes, and once set are exceedingly difficult to change. The evolutionary advantage of such a mechanism is clear: If a fetus or newborn senses he is entering a world of scarcity, for example, he’d better prepare himself to hang on to every calorie.

But what if it is possible to change the settings? Michael Cawthorne, director of metabolic research at the Clore Laboratory at Britain’s University of Buckingham, argues that if we act early enough, we may be able to program babies’ metabolisms to provide permanent resistance to excess pounds. He and his colleagues are trying to develop a baby formula with an astonishing property: to turn newborns into those enviable people who can eat what they want without getting fat.

As far-fetched as this sounds — another British biochemist has called it “science fiction” — it is based on emerging knowledge about how appetite and metabolism are regulated. The hormone leptin appears to act very early in life to program the hypothalamus, a gland in the brain that helps keep food intake and energy expenditure in balance. By influencing the set points at which the hypothalamus suppresses hunger and stimulates calorie-burning activity, leptin may increase the body’s long-term tendency to use up calories rather than conserve them as fat.

Cawthorne would supplement infants’ formula with leptin during the period in which their metabolisms are being calibrated. He speculates that this kind of treatment “will help people cope better with an abundant food environment.” Experiments with animals provide support. A study led by Cawthorne’s associate Claire Stocker found that rat mothers given leptin during pregnancy and lactation produced offspring that were resistant to obesity. “The science is too immature to apply to humans yet,” says Sebastien Bouret, a developmental-programming expert at the Saban Research Institute of Childrens Hospital Los Angeles, “but it’s a very promising field of research.”


It's not that we chubbettes wouldn't like to help our children, but how far are we going to take this? Messing with the brain chemistry and hormones of our infants? It is scary.

Clark County Diva



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