Why Do We Have Standard Eating Times (IE Breakfast, Lunch)?

Back in the day, every single meal had to be prepared from scratch. To feed large families, staff and/or communities more effectively there was division of labour.  A few people cook, others do different work and show up at given times to eat together.

A proper schedule is essential when many people have to physically live and work together in the same space and time.  It has nothing to do with biology, and everything to do with economics and practicality.  Also, don’t forget the benefits of the bonding that takes place when people gather for a meal. It makes for a stronger family/community.

Imagine a tribe where everyone ate at random, different times. Nothing would ever get done. Imagine a job that takes two people such as pulling a felled tree through the forest. You’re pulling it back to the tribe. Suddenly the other person decides he is hungry and goes and eats. You sit down for an hour and he gets back. You pull the tree some more then now you’re hungry. He sits down for another hour while you go off to get food.

You can see how this changes from region to region. Different places can have different appropriate times for lunch or dinner.  In Chile I’d have lunch at 1-2, but in Mexico most people have it at around 3-4, while in Canada I see them eat at noon. It’s not weird, but those times can be dictated by environment – the closer to the equator, the less likely things will be happening at noon.   Your job would also be a big factor; miners would probably just eat whenever they were hungry as there’s no sun to follow and timekeeping methods would be expensive to use (e.g candle clocks) while sailors would probably eat whenever they weren’t busy with other time sensitive jobs (e.g. fishing).  But it’s the industrial revolution and the mechanization of society that cemented concrete times for meals based on breaks and start/ends of shifts.

Yes, Men Gain Weight When They Become Dads, Study Confirms

Dad bod is real. Science says so.

Men who become fathers experience weight gain and an increase in body mass index, a measurement of body fat based on height and weight, according to a new, large-scale study that tracked more than 10,000 men over a 20-year period. Men who didn’t become dads actually lost weight over the same time period.

Source: Yes, men gain weight when they become dads, study confirms

Sleep deprivation, stress, convenience eating, feeling you don’t have to work as hard to find a mate…

Study: How Family May Be Making Their Kids Fat

When it comes to obesity, people often blame overeating and a lack of exercise. But your family also plays a big role in whether you’ll become overweight, according to a new study published in the journal Preventive Medicine.

Source: How Your Family May Be Making You Fat

The findings weren’t surprising to me.  For adults, it provides some insight into how we came to be what we are.  But these are circumstances beyond our ability as children to be able to do anything about.  There’s no value in blaming our parents.

The article is however a reminder of our ability to influence the young and impressionable.  You might not be a parent, but you can still be a role model.

Childhood Abuse Victims Don’t Always Grow Up to be Abusers

It’s a widely held belief that people who were abused as children are more likely to grow up to abuse their own children, but a new study in Science suggests a more complex picture. Different kinds of abuse and neglect have different patterns of intergenerational transmission, and there’s reason to think that certain families are scrutinized more than others, leading to biased reporting.

The widespread belief in intergenerational transmission is not completely unfounded. A number of studies have found evidence that abuse victims are more likely to abuse, but the overall picture is mixed: many other studies have found no such link. Understanding what causes child abuse is obviously vital to finding solutions, so it’s an essential question for researchers to resolve.

Source: Childhood abuse victims don’t always grow up to be abusers

Every once in a while, there’s a discussion about what women look for in guys.  One of the criteria is relationship with family – that being active with family can be a value some find attractive.  This thoroughly irritates me.  While I’m glad these people have never had to survive an abusive household, the belief is incredibly naive and demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of what relationships are or how they work.  The expression/slang I encountered recently – Disney girl – sums things up rather succinctly.  Cultural beliefs reinforced by media…  There are lots of stories about actresses who did not want to play the loving, supporting mother because it wasn’t always true.  And with the recent disclosure of stories that predate the Brothers Grimm, there’s “folklore” about fathers competing with sons.  The recent “tradition” is it’s only step parents…

Culture and media is no help to the abused for situations like this.  From the perspective of the abused, you question what you are doing wrong.  Why you deserve the treatment, and what you can do to change things for the better.  I’ve known a few, and there’s an underlying desire to be accepted by family.  Some attempt to incorporate themselves into the families of others, but not in the sense like cuckoos do.  Sometimes there’s acceptance, sometimes there isn’t.  The fundamental issue is the abused needs to come to terms with if the relationship can improve, and more importantly – accept what needs to be done if old patterns are repeated.

These are the realities the study abstracts about how abused manage not to perpetuate the cycle.  That we sometimes abuse the abused a second time as we dismiss them, or make uninformed judgements and decisions.  Some of the abused are able to make it through by themselves, but most need help and there’s lots of variables around getting legitimate help.  Even with help, there’s bound to be scars.  Some have to accept that parents are such by virtue of biology only.