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Home » Health

Mom’s having a crappy day, kids. Here, have some Oreos

Submitted by on Wednesday, 8 April 2009 4 Comments
Frustrated with the world? Stressed by the times we live in? Fine, but don't take it out on your kids by feeding them junk.

According to the latest research from the It's All Mom's Fault Department, that's what  moms with bad attitudes do.

"We found that mothers who were emotionally unstable, anxious, angry, sad, had poor self-confidence or a negative view of the world were far more likely to give their child sweet and fatty foods," psychologist psychologist Eivind Ystrom said in an article at Medical News Today.

Peachy. It takes two to tango - at least, it does stateside and I'm assuming it does in Oslo as well - but one gender is shouldering the blame, not to mention getting none of the credit when things go right.

"At the same time,"  Ystrom continued, "there was no link between maternal personality and how healthy a diet the child got in the form of fruit and vegetables."

Doesn't that once again put mothers at the corner of Can't Win and Hopelessly Screwed. If kids eat junk, it's our fault. But if they eat healthful diets, it must be happening because the toddlers are savvy enough to rise up and demand their vegetables.

The cliches get worse: Mothers of boys who send their children to day-care were more likely to feed their kids crap. So were smokers who have many children.

Oh, those evil working moms who could stay home and take care of their own kids if they didn't keep popping those puppies out.

The study was quite extensive for research so one-sided - 27,763 mothers of 18-month-olds were asked how much of certain foods their children ate. Only 10 percent of Norwegian children were born to single women in 2007, so it seems improbable that the entire sample was made up of moms going it alone.

There was a token swipe at dads near the end of the news release: "Unfortunately we could not study the fathers, but it is likely that this also applies to them."

Could not study the fathers or did not? It would seem to be a fairly simple matter in a country where 90 percent of the mothers have partners to be able to figure where the dads arefood.

Were they all off enjoying a drink after work while the moms supervised homework and answered the questions? Or were they all snoring on the couch as mom pulled her hair out trying to juggle kids, dinner and the questions?

Those responses are, of course, as biased as the research. As any research will be that insists on looking at only the mother's role in child-rearing instead of examining entire families.

Copyright 2009 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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4 Comments »

  • Donna BT said:

    Yeah, who funded this BS study?!

    It’s all mom’s fault when kids don’t eat right? They should have talked to me. It seems like I’m the only one in our household that cares whether everybody (Dad included) has had their daily fruits and veggies.

    And, re: your line about dads: “Or were they all snoring on the couch as mom pulled her hair out trying to juggle kids, dinner and the questions?”

    …THAT struck a chord.

  • Debra said:

    Yeah, Donna, been there, done that a few times on the couch-snoring, too. I used to patiently – or not – explain it, “There is only so much ‘relax’ in this house, and when you use it all, I don’t get any.”

  • Rose said:

    Wow, what a one sided study!

    I just had to comment that you had me cracking up when I read “because the toddlers are savvy enough to rise up and demand their vegetables.”

    After dealing with a screaming tantrum because I wouldn’t let my 3 year old eat her share of the bacon… and everyone elses… The image of her screaming for the green beans was just what I needed. :)

  • Debra said:

    Funny thing is, Rose, my youngest DID used to steal my asparagus and creamed spinach and salad. But then he turned 3, figured out his brother threw fits about veggies and decided he wanted to be like the cool kid. There is no asparagus love in this house anymore.