Teen pregnancy makes you fat!
TEEN pregnancy makes you fat. That’s according to the latest research at least. Getting pregnant under the age of 19 makes you fat in later life. This research suffers from the same problem that an awful lot of economics research suffers from: getting correlation and causality confused.
‘When taking care of teen mums, we often have so many immediate concerns – childcare, housing, school, social and financial support – that we don’t often think of long-term health effects.’
After controlling for factors such as race, education and background, the scientists found women who gave birth before 19 had a 32 per cent higher risk of obesity than women who had given birth at age 20 or later.
The survey by the University of Michigan of US women aged between 20 and 59 is believed to be the first to identify teen pregnancy as a predictor of obesity.
There’s a problem with this. For we know that fat birds are more likely to engage in risky sexual behaviour. Every young man out on the pull understands this entirely of course but perhaps academics don’t.
OK, so, it’s cruel to use the phrase “fat birds” but it is still indubitably true. There really is good research which shows that the less attractive young women perceive themselves to be then the more likely they are to have sex without a condom, to pick up STDs and so on. And yes, getting preggo is indeed a likely outcome of “risky” sexual behaviour.
The reason behind all of this is that sexual behaviour is indeed that favourite economists’ thing, a market. And you have to operate in a market with whatever it is that you’ve got. Stunners can hold out for committment: those less favoured need to be offering the legover rather earlier in order to retain a bloke.
I do not insist that early pregnancy will not make you fat: only that this research seems to have missed something really rather important, that being fat might lead to early pregnancy.
And yes, this discussion is indeed distinctly sexist. But then we’re talking about human sexuality here which is one time when it’s entirely appropriate to be sexist.