ScienceDaily (2008-10-27) -- More than four in 10 parents with underweight and overweight children mistakenly believe their children are in the average weight range, according to University of Melbourne research.
You'd think I would be pretty good at the weights and measures thing.
But actually, with Mr B, I was way off. I knew he was on the chunky side -- not fat, he'd been a turkey as a baby, but he was more solid (built like a fire plug), stocky, sturdy... only, when he was assessed for growth, he was 75%ile for weight, and 25th%ile for height. That's, er, way up there in the percentiles for weight for height. (He dropped toward a better balance once he was diagnosed and on a better diet, by the way.)
Granted, so was Mr G, who then hit his growth and went the other way - lean bean, slightly on the skinny side of average. That one, at least I got okay. He looks about right to me, but he measures lean, and I registered that he is in fact a bit skinnier than average a long time ago. He is also narrow, so lean would be appropriate (he's not just low body fat, he's thin bone structure). Kinda like the entire paternal side of the family. So, score there.
And then I looked at Miss R's back the other day and noted she's not just solid, she's starting to add padding, with a crease. Crud. When did I miss that she was developing more body fat than muscle? Yeah, she's a kid, so I'm not going to put her on a diet - but I will note that the sweet tooth thing isn't serving her well. We follow the general advice in Ellyn Satter's books (such as, Child of Mine: Feeding with Love and Good Sense), which is that self-regulation is the goal - at least that's my paraphrase. She should get the chance to choose what to eat, and learn how her body works - even if that means some mistakes are made. She has always preferred the carbs (while Miss M ate all the meat). It shows in their bodies - or maybe how their bodies are structured shows in their diets? Miss M has low iron, so eats meat. Miss R... hmm, no knowing, is there? Chicken or egg?
Miss M is probably around average, even stepping back and double checking mentally with some skepticism.
It reminds me a bit of the problem my grandmother had, where she assumed my sister (the vet over at the vet on the edge blog) was F.A.T. - as in, sent her size 22 clothes when she was still a kid. That's even though she's built on the same model as her son (our dad). Er. Yeah, she was one of the parents/others who can't read body mass index. Body-mass-index-blind?
Anyway, I'll be watching a bit on the things that come in for food, and making sure I don't encourage too much comfort-eating (though we also follow the 'varied is normal' approach to diet, which means there's definitely SOME comfort eating, and some stress eating, and some choosing smaller portions, and some choosing larger portions). I guess really I'll just be watching to make sure she's not stuck in just ONE pattern, and has the range to choose many approaches to eating.
Meanwhile, watching for the growth spurt - I recall all the 'dad-model' kids would chunk up a bit before shooting up. Even true for our bean pole child.
And I'll try to notice if I'm misreading the body mass index.