Jun 17 2015

Childhood Obesity Meets Bad Parenting

What happens when childhood obesity meets bad parenting? You get overweight kids. And at least one bummed out blogger. (That would be me.)

Fat Boys on Vinyl

Check out the lede from this New York Times story:

Not only was the 16-year-old boy 60 pounds overweight, but a blood test showed he might have fatty liver disease. At last, his mother took him to a pediatric weight management clinic in New Haven. But she did not at all like the dietitian’s advice.
“I can’t believe you’re telling me I can’t buy Chips Ahoy! cookies,” said the mother, herself a nurse.

You “can’t believe” it? Lady, according to this story, your kid might have liver disease. And your response is that you “can’t believe” the dietitian is telling you that perhaps the cause is cookie-related? Read more »


Jan 26 2014

No Vaccines Means We Get Diseases Back

This NPR article is upsetting, and not only because looking at the constantly moving graphic is giving me a headache.

DaddyTips Rant

(This isn’t a full-on rant, but me expressing my opinion tends to lead to someone feeling like I’m ranting. Hence the graphic.)

I used to write a lot about the anti-vaccine folks. Here’s a post from 2010 that links to a piece I wrote for AOL ParentDish about the retraction of the Lancet study linking vaccinations to autism. And here is the very first Babble Podcast I did way back in October of 2008.

In that podcast I discussed how perhaps Jenny McCarthy is not the person to whom we should be looking to for medical advice of any kind. (I also wrote and recorded the theme song. I’m very talented.) McCarthy was very vocal about the link between vaccines and autism. Her proof was debunked. More on that in a moment.

Ante Up For Autism

Ante Up For Autism (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In addition to being the year when I recorded a podcast, 2008 is also when the Council on Foreign Relations began “tracking news reports” of disease outbreaks. Diseases that had been all but wiped out, if not wiped out entirely.

From NPR.org:

Since 2008 folks at the think tank CFR have been plotting all the cases of measles, mumps, rubella, polio and whooping cough around the world. Each circle on the map represents a local outbreak of a particular disease, while the size of the circle indicates the number of people infected in the outbreak.

As you flip through the various maps over the years, two trends clearly emerge: Measles has surged back in Europe, while whooping cough is has become a problem here in the U.S.

Whooping cough is back? Seriously? Preventable diseases should stay prevented. So much of the anti-vaccination information has been proven to be 100% false. (It’s possible that all of it has been debunked; I don’t know and therefore am not going to make such a broad statement.) What’s left is parental fear. Statements like “I believe vaccines are bad” don’t have any basis in scientific reality. Are doctors always right? Of course not. I don’t have a gall bladder because a certain doctor couldn’t be bothered to examine me for six months. Eventually the thing grew to the size of a football, became gangrenous, and I needed immediate emergency surgery or I would have died. Does that mean I no longer go to the doctor? Well, I no longer go to THAT doctor. But I haven’t thrown out all science, or the scientific method. Nor do I pretend that I am a scientist.

We should all be able to agree that whooping cough is bad. Whooping cough was gone. That was good. Now whooping cough, which is bad, is back. That is bad. Why is whooping cough back? Because some parents, based on bad information disseminated by a number of people, Jenny McCarthy being one of the more famous ones, are afraid of vaccinating their kids. That’s not good. At all. Stop it.

Here is a Public Health Report document from 1916. The text is as follows:

PATERSON, N. J.

Whooping Cough — Prevention of Spread — Affected Children Under 10 Years of
Age Required to Wear Arm Bands. (Reg. Bd. of H., Mar. 7, 1916.)

1. No parent or guardian of any infant under 10 years of age suffering from the
disease commonly known as whooping cough shall permit any such infant to appear
in the street or in any other public place within the city of Paterson, N. J., unless
such infant shall wear and expose upon the arm a band of yellow material bearing
upon it the words “Paterson health department — Whooping cough.” The band
shall be in a form to be prescribed and supplied by the board of health, and shall
be worn for a period beginning with the earliest recognition o” the disease and con-
tinue until danger of infection is over, but in no event less than six weeks.

2. No parent or guardian of any infant under the age of 10 years suffering from
whooping cough shall permit any such infant to board any street car or other public
conveyance or to visit any house other than the house in which such infant resides,
or any store, school, Sunday school, or building of public assembly.

3. Any parent or guardian violating any of the provisions of this ordinance shall
be subject to a fine of $10 for each offense.

(Source: Internet Archive/JSTOR)

Armbands for kids! Doesn’t that sound fun? That was the best we could do in 1916. It is now 2014. We’ve come a long way, baby. Get vaccinated.

Small Pox

Zero deaths. That’s the goal.

(Above image from The Prelinger Archives.)

How Vaccine Fears Fueled The Resurgence Of Preventable Diseases : Shots – Health News : NPR.

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Sep 22 2013

Should I Stop Holding Back?

Believe it or not, I hold back a lot. Should I stop? Is it time to to really tell the world (whoever is listening/reading) what I actually think?

DaddyTips—Thoughts on Dadding

Some have told me that no good will come of me expressing my views. Not that I’ve never expressed an opinion. I was particularly harsh to Lance Armstrong, but I felt that he deserved it. (Plus I was ahead of the curve on that story.)

Ultimately this is a parenting blog. It is called DaddyTips. The original idea was to offer, you know, tips. That isn’t always easy because a lot of parenting advice comes from my actual experiences as a father. Why is this an issue? Because I don’t like writing about my kids too much. I don’t use their names, I don’t post their photos, and I think they have a right to privacy.

Note: I know this isn’t what everyone does, and I respect people who make different decisions on this matter. Except for Jon Gosselin and Kate Gosselin. Them I find irritating and always did. Here’s the proof. Notice what I wrote at the end, that perhaps Jon could get a regular job. I wrote that in 2009. This has now happened.

And yes, quoting yourself is tacky but it makes fact-checking easier. I will keep writing that until somebody tells me to stop.

Anyway, back to the original topic of whether or not I should hold back. Someone suggested to me recently that they thought I was out of control. There’s a lot more to that story that I’m not going to share because it’s too personal and involves details I prefer not to discuss in public. I have always felt strongly that one way to avoid being “out of control” is to vent. Get it out. Rant, if that helps.

I don’t know. It’s difficult to decide.

Is there a tip here? There is. The tip is to consider whether or not sharing certain things on the Interwebs is good for you or for your kids. It might be. Or not. But like Dora says, let’s stop and think for a minute.


Jan 18 2013

We Were Ahead Of The Curve On Lance Armstrong

DaddyTips Rant

 

Flashback time. We’ve never been fans of Lance Armstrong. Back in May of 2010 we wondered, “Are we done with Lance Armstrong now?” Remember when Floyd Landis accused Lance of doping? And all those folks who defended Lance? Now Lance is saying he lied.

He made his confession in a TV interview with Oprah Winfrey, which is very celebrity of him but probably not a great idea since he said under oath that he hadn’t used any performance enhancing drugs and that’s, like, perjury, according to published reports.

Here’s one of the reporters he lied to, ESPN’s Rick Reilly, talking about how he’s none too happy with the former cyclist.

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

This is the full interview if you like that kind of thing.

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

I don’t need to watch it. Maybe eventually I’ll look at a clip of the important part. For now it’s enough to say that we were ahead of the curve in terms of the “Lance Armstrong is a douche” story.


Aug 20 2012

Video Games Suck, Part One

DaddyTips Rant

I like video games. I’ve been playing them for most of my life, which is also most of their lives. That is, I’ve been playing video games almost as long as video games have existed.

Games have become infinitely more complex as the years have marched on. There have always been games that flat out suck. But now they suck for different reasons. Here’s one. There are more. But we’ll start with this one.

Video Games Suck, Part One — Everything Must Be Online

What’s wrong with going online? Aren’t you blogging? You couldn’t do that offline. I mean, you could. But then nobody would read what you wrote. Hasn’t the Internet democratized everything, eliminated all strife in the world and made the planet a more wonderful place?

OK, now I’m just being obnoxious. Let’s stay with how the Internet has contributed to the suckification of gaming, especially for kids. Read more »


Jul 02 2012

No Flash On New Android Versions? Why? (Off-Topic)

DaddyTips Rant

Excuse me whilst I go off-topic for a moment to discuss the fact that Adobe has decreed that they will not be making a new version of Flash for new versions of Android. This is… frustrating.

I’ve wanted an Android Tablet for a long time. A big reason is because I want to be able to use my Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited subscription on it. Read more »


Dec 06 2011

Kourtney Kardashian and ‘Teen Mom’ Farrah Abraham Bitter Twitter Battle

DaddyTips Rant

Kourtney Kardashian and ‘Teen Mom’ Farrah Abraham engaged in a Bitter Twitter Battle recently. This may be a sign that the end of the world is nigh. We also think it’s tacky. Read more »