today in science

A friend of mine who is a domestic violence victim advocate (and who is currently rocking an internship at Sport In Society, if I may toot her horn for her) let me know about this gem.

I don’t know how you could pack more awfulness into a single article, under the guise of science.*

I’m just going to list them out, as bulleted lists are a shortcut around actual thinking:

  • OBESITY CRISIS
  • Calories in/calories out: “Perceptions of neighborhood safety are important [when considering child obesity] because children have fewer opportunities for physical activity if their parents fear for their safety outside the home.”
  • Making mothers solely responsible for their children (‘S PROBLEMS), a la controlling for variables such as “mother’s weight, smoking during pregnancy, and depression as well as the child’s television viewing and bottle versus breast feeding.”
  • Placing the onus of domestic violence on mothers’ shoulders (you are a BAD MOTHER if you can’t simultaneously suffer domestic abuse from your male partner and make braised kale with roasted garlic for dinner).
  • I’m going to stick with this one for another bullet, because, seriously?  The first line of the article?  “Children whose mothers said they were chronically abused by their partners were more likely to be obese by age 5 than similar children whose mothers did not report such steady family violence.”  So, it’s not the abusive father that’s messing up the kids – it’s the mother who is chronically abused that is responsible.
  • Completely eliminate links between socioeconomic status and food options. And domestic violence.  And the roles of women.
  • Being flat-out confusing.  We start with, “Children whose mothers reported intimate partner violence” and end up with, “children exposed to abuse of their mothers.”  Kindly clarify what in the hell it is you are talking about, plzkthx.

My friend elaborates, “[…] how nice it must be to be so privileged that you have never had to think about what an abused woman might go through, to the extent that you’re hypothesizing that intimate partner violence, where one partner exerts sometimes total control over the other, *might* “change the way mothers care for their children.”  Indeed.

The frosting on the failcake is this:  “[…] researchers urge doctors and public health specialists to be aware of domestic violence and neighborhood safety when thinking about ways to prevent childhood obesity.”

Fuck working to end domestic violence!  Just make sure the kids don’t grow up to be NASTY FATTIES!

*I’m depressingly sure someone will enlighten me.
ETA the link to the actual article.  Jeebus.

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