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JAMA 100 Years Ago
April 9, 2003


Author Affiliations

JAMA 100 Years Ago Section Editor: Jennifer Reiling, Assistant Editor.

JAMA. 2003;289(14):1866. doi:10.1001/jama.289.14.1866

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.