Post Fat, Ergo Propter Fat

This article about a new obesity in children study contains a serious omission: if the study looked into genetics, the article doesn't mention it. The study as reported says that obese parents raise obese children 64 percent of the time compared to 16 percent of children of non-obese parents. The sample size was 150 children studied from age 0 to 9.But if they didn't look at genetic predispositions and family history coupled with examination of diets and other factors, there's absolutely no way to determine whether non-obese parents fed their children 2,000 calories a day and they burned it off or whether obese parents fed their children 1,000 calories a day and they still got fat. With an increasing body of evidence that obesity is a genetic predisposition along with certain propensities toward emotional states having a basis in genes, too, it's absurd that this study hasn't incorporated any of that science. It may have and the article elides it. The article says, The temperament of the child also played a role. Those who were highly emotional and prone to tantrums over food were more likely to become overweight. Or, conversely, there's a genetic correlation between those emotions (or even excess stomach acid) and the inability to convert food into energy instead of fat. It might be in the study, but the study's not yet available online and it's possible that it will be a subscriber-only offering. The study is quoted in the article saying, "Parents faced with an emotional child who has tantrums over food may feed the child to reduce the frequency of tantrums," the researchers said. This sounds like an entirely unjustified conclusion unless their observational research revealed this specific sort of behavior over time. And, Another risk factor was sleep. The study found children who were overweight slept about 30 minutes less each day compared to those who were not overweight. Or, children who are unable to sleep soundly gain weight. Sleep apnea and other sleep disorders interfere with the metabolism. The 30 minutes less each day is an average--what's the standard deviation? Were 30 children sleeping 6 hours a night and 120 children sleeping 9 hours a night? One obesity expert said, "None of these findings are particularly surprising but it is fascinating to see science backing them up." This isn't the kind of science that helps, frankly. It's speculation unless the study is entirely misrepresented.