It is the weekend, which means that I spend less time online and more time baking delicious and fatty foods. Which is kinda pertinent to the article that I just came across, on Business Week (via Jezebel) on the effect on BMI of children of working mothers.
I found the article on Business Week to be lacking in commentary and I tried to find the original study so that I could read it. I was somehow irked that the researchers would provide the equivalent of a moral judgment on working mothers (THEY MAKE THEIR KIDS FAT, OMG!), because good science tries to remain objective and just rely on data analysis, not point out social commentary on family dynamics.
Well, I didn’t find the study (not yet available online and considering it is an academic paper, chances are it will never be available to the general public without a subscription to sites that host such material). However, I did come across the next best thing available, the Press Release issued by the institution that led the research, the Society for Research in Child Development.
And here’s what Business Week left out: 1) the press release mentions “working parents” on more than one occasion, especially in terms of possible solutions to the problem, and 2) more than blaming the mothers themselves, the study points out food availability issues, socioeconomic factors and education. To sum it up in a couple of paragraphs, entirely left out by Biz Week’s more incendiary journalism:
The reasons for these findings are not entirely clear. According to the authors, one possibility is that working parents have limited time for grocery shopping and food preparation. This may contribute to a greater reliance on eating out or eating prepared foods, which tend to be high in fat and calories.
Given that more than 70 percent of U.S. mothers with young children work, the importance of providing support to these families is clear. Based on their findings, the researchers call for efforts to expand the availability of affordable, readily accessible healthy foods, and to support and educate working parents about strategies for providing nutritious meals despite busy schedules.
So, it seems that pretty much through the same scientific methods used in the reporting of this study, working mothers can make you as fat as reading Business Week. Who would have thought?
Editor’s Note – Red Light Politics kindly shares posts from her blog with us through a Creative Commons license. I encourage you to enjoy her company there as well. ~O.