This week there has been a lot of publicity about the research that associates obesity to children having tonsillectomy surgery. The idea that a child might gain weight because they had their tonsils removed makes me wonder if the right questions were truly asked. Were the children obese prior to the surgery? Does the family have a weight issue? What is the child's diet and exercise like prior to the surgery? All these can affect the future of the child.
The problem with research is that it is trying to prove an outcome and although the research might prove the question is it truly the reason for the association? Was the outcome then to say we should not do a tonsillectomy because then the child might have weight issues? What would be the affect of continuously having sleep apnea? They are more likely to have learning problems, mood problems, weight problems, long term health issues including diabetes and hypertension. I believe all these outcomes would be significantly worse.
Maybe the question should be are we teaching wellness care to parents and children? There is so much information that contradicts each other on the internet; where many parents get their medical advice. There needs to be more information for them to gather on how to help children sleep. There needs to be information about bedtime routines and the effect of sunshine and dark as a way to help sleep.
I will be adding suggestions for sleep routines and ways to help children and parents with their health issues through better sleep. When we lack sleep we crave more, move less, remember less and are very cranky. We need to get back to the old fashion forms of wellness that include sleep.