Waddling back to school: how much did we fatten up our kids via lockdown?

Lockdowns and school closures were advertised as being for the protection of children (as are the current measures limiting kids’ activities). How did Americans do in terms of protecting children from a virus that attacks the fat? “Steep BMI Increase for Kids, Teens During the Pandemic — Largest increases were among children with overweight/obesity” (MedPage Today, 9/16/2021):

Kids and teens’ rate of body mass index (BMI) increase almost doubled during the pandemic compared with prior years, and the percentage with obesity also increased, researchers found.

Among those ages 2 to 19 years, the monthly BMI increase rose from 0.052 (January 2018-February 2020) to 0.100 (March 2020-November 2020), reported Samantha Lange, MPH, of the CDC, and colleagues.

Moreover, the estimated proportion of those with obesity rose from 19.3% in August 2019 to 22.4% in August 2020, the authors wrote in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Do the credentialed geniuses at the CDC recommend fully reopening activities for children, encouraging them to participate by not requiring masks, etc.? Of course not!

“These efforts could include screening for BMI, food security, and other social determinants of health by health care providers; increased access to evidence-based pediatric weight management programs and food assistance resources; and state, community, and school efforts to facilitate healthy eating, physical activity, and chronic disease prevention,” Lange and co-authors wrote.

Why let kids in the frozen Northeast do indoor sports without masks this winter when instead they could be encouraged to consume more services from “health care providers”?


12 thoughts on “Waddling back to school: how much did we fatten up our kids via lockdown?

  1. The CDC recommendations are a good example of the Aquinas/Greenspun Prime Mover Theory:

    “Nothing positive can ever happen without the state making a five year plan.”

  2. Another fun Law School story: At one point, they had to hire a bunch of new Legal Writing professors because a bunch of the old ones quit in protest after they were denied a raise. I think they deserved a raise, because they worked harder than most of the professors did, by far: the students coming out of undergraduate College quite often did not know how to write, read, spell or do research well enough to be 1Ls. Be that as it may, a new group of LW instructors was duly recruited (for a bit more money) and one of them was Black (actually two, but I’m focusing on just one.) He was a bit of a casual dresser to better identify with some of his students, so that he didn’t look too intimidating to them. He often wore a Hoodie and jeans to work.

    Well, one night I was in the building rather late finishing up the day’s work for my very activist Dean (who always had a lot more plates in the air than she could really keep spinning) and so was he. A couple of days earlier while he stayed late one night decorating his new office, someone on the faculty had *call the police* on him, because they saw: “Black Guy Walking Down Hall In Professor Office Section Of Law School In Evening After Doors Are Locked Wearing A Hoodie Must Be Bad News.” He was a little upset by that, I can’t really blame him. The person who called the police had not been found and had not come forward when it was discovered: “Oh, that’s just one of the new Legal Writing Instructors.”

    That night, given those circumstances, he took an unusual interest in the fact that I was there late. He asked me what I was doing. Then he walked up to me and placed his body so that his face was approximately 2 inches from mine – uncomfortably close for almost any social situation. He spoke directly into my face: “You heard anything about who called the cops on me the other night?” I said: “I haven’t heard a thing, man. But I’ll tell you what: it wasn’t me.”

    Two days later one of the professors finally stepped up and admitted it was them. Constitutional Law. White. Jewish. Very much in favor of Diversity and a big supporter of the new Assistant Dean for Diversity the University had just hired. Also scared to death of actual Black people, at least when she was alone in her #SafeSpace.

  3. Sorry, those two comments should be moved to the top thread about questions you have to answer. I don’t know how I accidentally posted them in this one.

  4. Also note the “with obesity” language in one of the quotes – as if it’s something the poor victim catches & is helpless to do anything about. No – they’re obese, they don’t have obesity.

    • @ScarletNumber: And I’ve been thin before too. But I’m not now, and I deeply regret it. I have a doctor who wants to perform major surgery on me. He said: “You need to lose 50 pounds if you really want this to have the best chance of working.” Which really means: “If you want to live through this, you’d better lose some weight, lard ass.” And he’s right.

    • ScarletNumber: My cousin worked on animated Garfield TV shows back in the late 1980s and said that the reason Garfield wasn’t funny was that the creator didn’t want to offend anyone. Most things that are funny, my cousin explained, will offend at least some people. Compared to today, of course, Americans were not easily offended in the late 1980s. Nonetheless, ethnic jokes were already risky to broadcast, as were jokes that depended on less-than-flattering aspects of female human behavior. What did that leave as potential material for Garfield? “Fat people are the only group in America that you can still make fun of,” my cousin said.

      Have you considered that thin people actually should hate fat people, from a purely rational point of view? Thin people have to subsidize fat people in health insurance, in airline tickets, in clothing purchases (same price regardless of size, despite larger sizes consuming more material), etc.

    • That site is pushing semaglutide, which apparently is experiencing an Internet wide “grassroots” campaign recently. I honestly wonder if taking up smoking or nicotine plasters for weight loss is safer, provided that you stop after a year or two.

      You are right though that some people are genetically advantaged by just eating the right amount naturally. Overweight people do not only feel hunger (that’s the easy part!) but the brain simply shuts down and you don’t have any intellectual output while losing weight. Which can cost you your job.

      However, I like philg’s challenging approach, because pitying yourself won’t accomplish anything either and there’s no shortage of sites which are politically correct.

  5. If the “challenging approach” were effective their would be studies backing it.

    What do you mean by pitying yourself?

    Their are people who have lost massive amounts of weight and then weight is regained it all back 1-2 years later. Is it because they weren’t subjected to enough ridicule or public shaming?

    • I’m overweight and I don’t feel ridiculed or shamed. I enjoy the delightfully irreverent tone that was widely present on the Internet up to around 2010 and had been part of the hacker culture. (The original post was shaming government lockdowns, not obese people.)

      I’ve also gained during the lockdowns, started cutting calories 3 months ago (at 6 kg loss as of now, going for another 15 kg). Yes, it is suffering. As I said above, the mental performance is the worst thing, I don’t care about hunger.

      Try a modest loss of 0.5 kg per week, that’s sustainable. For me the trick is massive amounts of black coffee with sugar (but count the calories!).

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