Is Pediatrics the new Onion?

There are a few more laughs in the Onion usually but the Onion seems to have the firmer grasp on reality as well. But Pediatrics just keeps plugging along. Never a dull day when Winickoff and company are waxing wise. And what is the latest?

As reported in WebMD, the July print issue will feature a number of new insights into the risk parental smoking poses to child development. (These are not yet available online but I just cannot wait to report on this almost certainly important work.)

From study number one we have the following gem (to quote from WebMD): Mary-Jo Brion, PhD, of the University of Bristol, tells WebMD by email that babies exposed to smoke may be prone to rule breaking, such as lying, cheating, bullying, and disobedience.

From study number two we have: The study’s key finding, she says, is that paternal smoking clearly seems to be associated with higher childhood weight as assessed by body mass index. And -Jonathan P. Winickoff, MD, MPH, of Harvard Medical School, says the conclusion that paternal smoking also may influence “the developmental in utero origins of childhood obesity seems to be a novel finding.”

Novel, as in fiction?

Or from Doctors Lounge: Winickoff, co-author of the commentary, said it’s not true that smoking makes people skinnier. Instead, it boosts the weight around their bellies and hips, he explained. One theory is that secondhand smoke could do the same thing to those who are exposed, like the kids of dads who light up.

Alright, well that would explain why right along with the drop in smoking rates obesity is now at an all time low?

We’ll save the real analysis for when the articles become available.

You know, sometimes I feel a little bad about singling out Winickoff, but its just like that whack a weasel game, and his head just keeps popping up.

– Paul L. Bergen

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  • Elaine Keller  On July 10, 2010 at 11:21 pm

    The bad news is that both my babies were exposed to smoke. I wasn’t able to quit until March 27, 2009 when I switched to an electronic cigarette.

    The good news is that they must have been the exception to Winickoff’s rule. They are now ages 34 and 38 and are valued employees and loving husbands and gentle fathers. Never once was I called into the principal’s office because one of them was lying, cheating, bullying, or disobedient. Since nearly 40% of the U.S. population smoked when they were babies, there must have been a lot of parents in the principals’ offices during the 70’s and 80’s.

    Smoking has now become centered among the lower socio-economic groups. Gee, you don’t think that family life (i.e., parental behavior), rather than parental smoking, has a bigger impact on the behavior of the kids, do you?

  • Michael J. McFadden  On February 19, 2011 at 7:53 pm

    Mr. Bergen,

    We at Wonderful Weasels Wacky World strongly resent your connection between our clients and this Win-a-cough fellow. Our clients have been grossly insulted and will be instituting a lawsuit, payable in rabbits. If you want to whack your win-a-cough please do it only in the company of consenting adults.

    – MJM


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