The Perils Of Being A Parent: Are You Overweight Because You Finish Up What Your Kids Don’t Eat?

For those of you who read my blogs regularly, or at least now and then, you may have noticed that I more or less took a vacation from writing this summer.  Sorry about that.  Anyway, I just want to call your attention to a light-hearted but what I think is an important article on obesity that was published in the NYT the other day (Wednesday, August 22, 2012).  The piece was entitled, “Drop the pasta, dad, and no one gets hurt,” and written by Matt Richtel.  Basically, the article is about Mr. Richtel’s decade long fight with overweight and high cholesterol.  It somehow dawned on him that he suffered from the “waste not want not” syndrome.  He couldn’t stand to see food left uneaten by his children.  It didn’t really matter if it was junk food or left-over high class cuisine, he ate it until it was gone.  He called himself “the mop-up guy.”  I know a lot of people like Mr. Richtel.  For some, the problem is nibbling while cooking, not mopping up.  For some it is nibbling at whatever food is sitting around.  As the author points out these types of stealth eating can add enormous numbers of calories to an otherwise very reasonable eating plan.  In the article, he discusses a number of very useful tips on how to deal with this problem.  Remember that significant weight gain and weight loss can result from ridiculously small changes in total daily calories consumed- roughly 100 extra calories taken in per day will result in weight gain of 1 pound per month.  You can do the math- that is 12 pounds in a year.  In 10 years, it is bad news.  The article is a fun read and a worthwhile one.

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