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Obesity not responsible for kidney stones in children

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From a Reuters artilce, Obesity Not Behind Kidney Stones in Kids, Study, by Genevra Pittman:

While heavier adults are more likely to get kidney stones than slimmer ones, that doesn't seem to be the case in kids, according to a new study.

The finding seems "counterintuitive," say researchers who have noticed an increasing number of both adult and kid patients with kidney stones as obesity levels have been on the rise.

As someone who's been following issues related to weight for, oh, pretty much the entire 30 years that I've been reading the news, I was not surprised to hear that the increased incidence of kidney stones in children is not related to obesity. Why? Because it's been known since the eighties - if not longer - that kidney stones are actually caused by weight loss methods, especially low-carb dieting and weight loss surgery. That's why a higher incidence of kidney stones is associated with obesity; because fat people are more likely to diet and have weight loss surgery.

Correlation doesn't equal causation, and in this case even though there's overwhelming evidence that the causation is "counterintuitive," - that kidney stones are caused by weight loss attempts, not by being fat - it is still being confused in the media and probably by some poorly informed doctors as well. Most people assume being fat must always cause health problems and dieting must always solve them. Except, that's not always true. Sometimes it's the other way around. Any undergrad with access to a research librarian could figure out the direction of causation here, yet it's apparently a mystery even to the "researchers" cited in the quote above.

So, what's causing the increase in kidney stones in kids? My guess is that many parents are feeding their whole family low carb, that kids fed that way tend to be thin, and that they also tend to get kidney stones. Because, let's face it. The habits that can keep people thin are not always heathy.

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