Obese Children Underfed?

Speaking of childhood nutrition, this study is just fascinating:

A study finds that obese children from poor families often don’t eat enough.

A 9-year-old should consume 1,400 to 2,200 calories daily to sustain growth, said Dr. Roberto Trevino, director of the nonprofit Social and Health Research Center. But in the study of 1,400 inner-city children, 44 percent were consuming less than 1,400 calories, and 33 percent were obese.

“They were not overeating,” Trevino said. “This study shows these kids were not eating enough, and when they did eat it was all the wrong things.”

Missing from the children’s diets were four key nutrients: calcium, magnesium, potassium and phosphorus.

This doesn’t actually surprise me as someone who has spent a lot of time trying to diet. There’s plenty of evidence out there that caloric restriction can actually contribute to obesity. As best I can tell, the relationships among weight, nutrition, exercise and metabolism are far from being completely understood. The link between vitamin deficiency and obesity seems really interesting. I’ve been bad about taking my vitamins lately; maybe I should get more rigorous about it.

As for Robin, at least I know he gets plenty of potassium. The little monkey ate three bananas this morning for breakfast. I actually had to go look up whether it’s possible to get too much potassium (not under normal circumstances, no). Bananas are actually like the perfect food: if you’re constipated they’ll make you go, and if you’re going too much they’ll make you stop. If you get more potassium than you need your body just filters it harmlessly out. Hooray for bananas!

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