2012.08.24 13:27

Drop the Pasta, Dad, and No One Gets Hurt

(*.104.48.48) 조회 수 32943 추천 수 0 댓글 0


Prev이전 문서

Next다음 문서

크게 작게 위로 아래로 댓글로 가기 인쇄


Prev이전 문서

Next다음 문서

크게 작게 위로 아래로 댓글로 가기 인쇄

Drop the Pasta, Dad, and No One Gets Hurt

Published: August 21, 2012


They sit there, five little pasta shells, nestled in a shallow bath of melted butter and Parmesan: the remains of dinner for my toddler son and daughter. I cannot help myself. I reach over, grab the pink plastic bowl and scoop a bite into my mouth. At that moment, I realize something has gone terribly wrong.

@nestle: to move into a comfortable position, pressing your head or body against someone or against something soft

A decade ago, my cholesterol hit two-alarm levels, and several doctors encouraged me to adopt a healthier diet. I 
purged the salami and hot dogs from the fridge and learned to love egg whites and low-fat cheese. Still, my cholesterol edged up. I redoubled my discipline.

@purge: eliminate

But now there are two small people whose tastes skew the dinner and snack menus: buttery cheese and fatty salami, pasta, salty hot dogs, French fries, Goldfish crackers. None are daily staples, but they are hardly strangers.

It’s in the middle of shoving the rest of the pasta shells into my mouth that I realize how far I’ve
backslid. I play garbage pail at dinner (proudly, hate to waste that extra bite), and when I’m making a good-night snack for one of my kids, I usually make one more for myself. A few days ago, I considered eating a piece of mozzarella my daughter had dropped. Onto the pavement. At the zoo.

@pail: bucket

Sure, a lot of guys can gain weight once they’re married, and then when their wives are pregnant (no woman should drink a milkshake alone). But I discovered there is scant research about what happens to parental diets and weight when children come on the scene, though one nearly decade-old Duke University study found that a father’s risk of obesity rises 4 percent with each child (and a mother’s rises 7 percent).

Truls Ostbye, a professor of family medicine at Duke who led the research, said the rise in men’s weight was more surprising; women have hormonal changes. But the study didn’t reach conclusions about the reasons for the phenomenon. He said he could only speculate why fathers gain weight: time for exercise drops, more snacks around the house, less time to prepare food.

insidious,” he said. Then again, on a positive note, he said that our nutrition challenges could result from sharing more family meals. “There’s something kind of nice,” he said, “eating as a social function.”

@insidious: unpleasant or dangerous and develops gradually without being noticed

But there is certainly more going on, I thought. As I hunted for answers, I reached out to dads who blog about food and cooking, and nutrition experts. They offered some suggestions for getting my diet back on track, and shared some theories about why fatherhood can lead to dietary backsliding.

“It fits me to a T,” moaned Mike Vrobel, father of three in Copley, Ohio, and the author of DadCooksDinner, a blog chronicling his nightly efforts cooking things like T-bone steak with olive oil, garlic and rosemary marinade; foil-pouch green beans; and footlong hot dogs.

And he makes carbs, lots and lots of carbs. Not that he likes it that way, but his three children love them, especially his oldest, Ben, 11.

“He’s a very
picky eater across a bunch of cultures,” said Mr. Vrobel, 44. “Tortillas with nothing on it, white rice with nothing on it, bread with nothing on it.” Not long after Ben was born, Mr. Vrobel, who is 6 feet 3 inches, dropped to 180 pounds from a high of 260 after rigid power-dieting, portion control, death to carbs.

@picky: difficult to please and only like a small range of things

Then “my weight started to drift back up,” he said. “I’m now at 225, or 230. Maybe 235.”

When a crime is committed, prosecutors theorize about motive and opportunity. As Mr. Vrobel and I talked, we realized the “opportunity” that had emerged to change our diet: our refrigerators and dinner tables had begun to bend to the
palates of our children

@palate: the top part of the inside of mouth

As to motive, why lick the pasta bowl clean? We agreed that we both felt a desire to not leave uneaten food, to be the garbage pail. Any of us might do it as we clear the table, but I find it an oddly manly feeling, like drinking that last shot to prove something. Maybe it’s something inherited.

“My dad’s favorite move was to say, ‘Are you done with that?’ while he was already spearing it with a fork,” Mr. Vrobel said. “That’s my job, and I do enjoy it. Portion control was so much easier before kids.”

Anthony Fabricatore, 37, the senior director of research for Nutrisystem and a former obesity researcher at the University of Pennsylvania, says that portion control is key. But he confessed that he’s had trouble exercising it since the birth of his sons, now 6 and 2. His cholesterol has been rising to borderline numbers.

He finds himself polishing off his son’s whole-milk yogurt before having his own breakfast, and at night digs into the box of
ginger snaps. He isn’t sure why he does it.

“I’m a psychologist and somewhat of an obesity expert,” he said. “This should be easier for me. It’s not strictly rational. There’s a lot of biology and a lot of emotion.”

The same patterns can be true, of course, for moms. But Mr. Fabricatore said that dads would often tell themselves that they could exercise and burn off the extra calories. Apparently, doing knee bends at the zoo to pick up my daughter’s discarded mozzarella doesn’t count.

So what to do? Here are a handful of solutions from father-bloggers and nutrition experts.


Want to avoid being the
mop-up guy at dinner?

@mop: a piece of equipment for washing floors

“Portion the food out on the stove, before you start eating,” Mr. Fabricatore said. “Add a little distance and effort to get a second helping.”

And try portioning the food in the fridge, like cutting the block of Cheddar into small containers. That’s the advice of Rena Wing, professor of psychiatric behavior at the Alpert Medical School at Brown University, where she studies weight loss tactics. Her point: when portions are big, our appetites can follow. “Do the prepackaging for yourself,” she said.


Professor Wing said people make up all kinds of excuses to keep eating. And she laughed 
knowingly when I talked about the idea that I, and other dads I talked to, feel as if we don’t want to waste food.

Your eating food is not helping anyone else who is starving,” she pointed out.

But, I countered, there’s also a job to be done, in the same way some college guys rise to the challenge of downing the last beer.

“Being the big man on campus is one thing, being the garbage pail doesn’t seem quite as positive,” she said, adding that I should do some “cognitive restructuring.” A little humor might help, too. “To the extent that someone is feeling good because they’re still in a college mentality, you could poke fun at it,” she said.

Is it just me, or is she challenging me to a hot-dog eating contest?


John Donohue, 43, who edited “Man With a Pan,” a book about fathers who cook family dinners, offers a way to please children without having to get the waistline of his pants let out: he makes a single meal that everyone can customize.

For instance, he might roast a chicken with thyme, red peppers, onion, garlic and red potatoes. Then he divides the meal into different serving plates: chicken on one, potatoes on another and a salad. Mr. Donohue’s two daughters, ages 5 and 7, can choose what they want with their chicken, and he can mix to his own specs.

“I can have more salad, and they can have more potatoes,” said Mr. Donohue, whose blog is Stay at Stove Dad. He uses the same strategy when making, say, a big salad so the girls can pick the things they like and he can mix all the vegetables together to make something filling. “It keeps the healthy option on the table,” he said.


Once I became aware how much my children were dictating my diet, I started reading nutrition labels, especially the cholesterol information. It’s a bad idea to obsess about labels, said Adam Drewnowski, director for the Center for Public Health Nutrition at the University of Washington.

Obsessing about a single nutritional measure (cholesterol, salt, sugars or even saturated fats) is losing currency as a way of assessing diet, Dr. Drewnowski said. Better to think in terms of your whole diet, allowing the sprinkle of Parmesan so long as the big picture is healthy.

@obsess: keep thinking about it and find it difficult to think about anything else

Also, he said, recognize that your children are simultaneously growing and moving all the time. They crave energy-dense foods that you may not need. So don’t try to purge your house of those foods.

Now that some of the fatty foods are going to stay in the house, here’s a look at my options for living with them.

One: I become an
ascetic, a monk, taking deep cleansing breaths before I open the fridge to free myself of the desire for leftover chicken fingers. Not going to happen.

@ascetic: have a way of life that is simple and strict, usually because of their religious beliefs

Two: I
indulge my taste buds, my paternal machismo and my aversion to wasting any food slathered in butter, arteries be damned. Good plan, except that will just speed my transition to a balanced diet of anti-cholesterol meds.

@indulge: allow yourself to have or do something that you know will enjoy

@aversion: dislike them very much

@slather: put something on in a thick layer

@artery: tube in body that carry blood from heart to the rest of body

Three: Muster some of the very same discipline I’m trying to teach my children. We don’t let them gorge on television, and they generally go to bed at bedtime.

@muster: gather as much of it as you can in order to do something

@gorge on: eat lots of it in a very greedy way

I can pick my spots, too. I can scrape some uneaten kid food into the actual garbage pail.


  1. Hogeon's English Presentation - 2012.11.12.

    의욕 가득했던 2012년ㅋㅋㅋ 추억 돋네... 5년 전의 나 그리고 지금의 나 지난 5년 간 나는 나의 꿈을 향해 몇 발자국이나 내딛었는가?
    Date2017.02.01 CategoryEnglish Views5428
    Read More
  2. No Image

    When Capitalists Cared

    When Capitalists Cared By HEDRICK SMITH Published: September 2, 2012 IN the rancorous debate over how to get the sluggish economy moving, we have forgotten the wisdom of Henry Ford. In 1914, not long after the Ford Motor Company came out with the Mode...
    Date2012.09.04 CategoryArticles Views113063
    Read More
  3. No Image

    Unified system of Romanization

    Unified system of Romanization By Robert J. Fouser Quietly, ever so quietly, displeasure with the current Romanization system of Korean is seeping into the news. The issue stands with Chinese characters as the most contested Korean-language issue of ...
    Date2012.09.04 CategoryArticles Views96654
    Read More
  4. No Image

    August 23, 2012 - How Much Food Do We Throw Out?; West Nile Virus Outbreak

    How Much Food Do We Throw Out?; West Nile Virus Outbreak Aired August 23, 2012 - 04:00:00 ET CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: Some of this food can end up on your plate, but how much of it could eventually end up in the trash? The answer might surprise you. I`m...
    Date2012.08.24 CategoryCNN Students News Views56292
    Read More
  5. No Image

    No sea change for East Sea

    No sea change for East Sea By Andrew Salmon Talk about news of earth-shaking international importance. In Monaco last week, the International Hydrographic Organization ― the body that sets official geographic place names for maps ― rejected Korea’s de...
    Date2012.08.24 CategoryArticles Views33598
    Read More
  6. No Image

    Full-Time Work Means Better Health for Mothers

    Full-Time Work Means Better Health for Mothers By KJ DELL'ANTONIA “This is not about advice for women,” the University of Akron sociologist Adrianne M. Frech said of her latest research, which showed that women who work steadily full-time after the bi...
    Date2012.08.24 CategoryArticles Views23758
    Read More
  7. No Image

    Drop the Pasta, Dad, and No One Gets Hurt

    Drop the Pasta, Dad, and No One Gets Hurt By MATT RICHTEL Published: August 21, 2012 They sit there, five little pasta shells, nestled in a shallow bath of melted butter and Parmesan: the remains of dinner for my toddler son and daughter. I cannot hel...
    Date2012.08.24 CategoryArticles Views32943
    Read More
  8. No Image

    US-China rivalry over Africa

    US-China rivalry over Africa Frank Ching Africa has become a major theater in the global rivalry between China and the United States. This was evident during Hillary Clinton’s visit to the continent, during which she spread the message of democracy an...
    Date2012.08.24 CategoryArticles Views127338
    Read More
  9. No Image

    Pyongyang blowback

    Pyongyang blowback By Andrew Salmon In 2001, following the 9/11 terrorist attack, a term used by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency entered common currency. Throughout the 1980s, the Mujahideen, that loose conglomeration of Afghan tribal forces and ...
    Date2012.08.23 CategoryArticles Views50042
    Read More
  10. No Image

    Wet Dogs Shake Dry in Milliseconds

    Wet Dogs Shake Dry in Milliseconds If you’ve ever bathed a dog, you know firsthand how quickly a drenched pup can shake water off. Now researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have found that furry mammals can shake themselves 70 percent dry...
    Date2012.08.23 CategoryArticles Views31502
    Read More
  11. No Image

    August 20, 2012 - Strike in South African Mine Turns Deadly; The One-Square-Meter House

    Strike in South African Mine Turns Deadly; The One-Square-Meter House Aired August 20, 2012 - 04:00:00 ET CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: Whether you are starting a new week or a new school year, we welcome you to CNN STUDENT NEWS. Hello, I`m Carl Azuz. Today,...
    Date2012.08.22 CategoryCNN Students News Views27726
    Read More
  12. No Image

    Falling off a high cliff?

    Falling off a high cliff? By Robert Klemkosky # US govn’t doesn’t concern their fiscal problem, they are not likely to talk about it for re-election. Falling off a cliff may be harmful to one’s health or even life if the cliff is high enough. In the U...
    Date2012.08.22 CategoryArticles Views32323
    Read More
Board Pagination Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Next
/ 7