JAMA 100 Years Ago Section Editor: Jennifer
Reiling, Assistant Editor.
In a recent issue an English contemporary1 calls attention
to the mischief which is being done by the present standard that is accepted
as regards healthy babies. As this paper well says, at baby shows the prize
is practically always given to the fattest baby. There is a tradition current
among mothers, as far as the memory of man runneth, that fat babies are just
the pink of perfection. The surest index of this is that all manufacturers
of artificial infant foods advertise their wondrous virtues by photographs
of thoroughly rounded, and at times positively obese dumplings of babies.
Mothers are very proud of their young hopefuls if they are a mass of curves
and dimples with deep folds at all the joints and cushions of fat that conceal
their anatomy so effectively as to make them formless little masses of humanity.
They have been encouraged in this idea by the mistake of some of the classic
painters who have pictured babies of this kind as if they were models of all
that is finest in babyhood.
FAT BABIES AND HEALTH.. JAMA. 2003;289(14):1866. doi:10.1001/jama.289.14.1866