Dear Grandparenting: I can remember when my granddaughters began worrying about their weight. They were still in grade school and it struck me as odd for someone so young.
Chloe was so skinny at 14 that I asked if she had an eating disorder. I think she took that as a compliment because she smiled. Abby was even skinnier if that’s possible. She didn’t eat regular meals. She “grazed” and ate a little of this or that when she felt like it.
All that changed sometime in 2019 or 2020. The girls started eating things like doughnuts and Fritos. Chloe learned how to bake and got real good at double layer 12-inch cakes. Both filled out fast.
I think the girls went pleasingly plumb to flat out fat. They don’t listen. Both are somehow convinced that boys prefer fuller-figured girls in hard times. That’s a new one on me. Is there anything to it or just another phase my granddaughters are going through? Val Beemer, Dover, Delaware
Dear Val: Your question has actually been a topic of some interest among social scientists and scholars ever since America’s Great Depression some 90 years ago ushered in hard times all around. And while there is no unanimity if opinion, there is some support for your granddaughters’ theory.
According to Dr. Leif Nelson of New York University, a “resource scarcity” of cash and food drives men to judge fuller-figured females as more attractive, since they presumably have access to money and meals.
Researcher Terry Pettijohn II takes a slightly different approach. In his “environmental security” hypothesis, men gravitate toward curvaceous fuller-figured females they regard as mature, strong and protective during hard and uncertain times.
While we’re on the subject of weight, we would be remiss not to remind family members of concerns for overweight and obese adolescents and teens across America that put them at risk for poor health. It is simply good common sense to know what your grandchildren are eating.
Grand remark of the week
Tom Witski from White Plains, New York reports that son Joseph, age seven, “brought the house down” when he spoke at a 50th wedding anniversary celebration for the boy’s grandparents.
“The secret to their long marriage,” began Joseph, “is that neither one has died yet.”
Tom said it got the biggest laugh of the evening.