Has the Fat Lady Sung?

     How young is too young to start worrying about your childs weight? ABCs Elizabeth Vargas asked, teasing a story by Lisa Stark about the World Health Organizations new measurements for body mass index (BMI) on the April 27 World News Tonight.

     Under the new guidelines for the first time, Stark announced, the body mass index will be used for American children under two.

     Starks report, however, ended up a surprising departure from the medias usual scaremongering.

     I dont think that this is another one of the millions of things that Americans need to obsess about, said Bill Gallagher, the father of a 15-month old boy. Yeah, added mother Anne Favret, as long as children seem to be healthy and growing well, I think most pediatricians will tell you theyre fine.

     While Stark reported that doctors insist that its never too early for keeping track of a babys BMI, she also included some advice from Dr. Christopher Bolling of the Cincinnati Childrens Hospital, who cautioned parents not to overreact by putting their toddlers on a restrictive diet.

     Under age two, you never want to limit cholesterol or fat. Those are important nutrients for brain growth and blood vessel development, said Bolling.

     The solution, concluded Stark, its all about common sense.

     While Starks report was balanced, the Business & Media Institute has weighed the medias overall treatment of the obesity epidemic in the scales and found it lacking.