I read this today and it got me a little worked up.
“Childhood Obesity is Not the Problem”
I wanted to reply to the article, but there wasn’t enough room on the website comment section, so I have opted to make my response a post here.
To summarize, here is the simple response:
Childhood Obesity IS THE PROBLEM
I agree the images in the media tout the virtues of being a small size but I think that the commercials for fast food, sugary cereals, the latest candy trump any of the skinny images.
I disagree that there is a demand to be skinny. There are messages and images but everyone has their own filter. We take the message we choose to take. So many people are overlooking the “be healthy” message because their minds are being bombarded with the messaging from fast food outlets or food manufacturers.
Sorry, but childhood obesity is not a symptom…it is a result. It is the culmination of having an unhealthy lifestyle, which includes poor nutritional choices, a sedentary lifestyle and or a combination of those with many other underlying issues.
While skinny may not always be synonymous with healthy, obesity WILL always be synonymous with unhealthy. We should create a generation of kids that are terrified of being obese. They should want to be healthy, fit and have a body that looks good. No, not skinny, but good.
I was a fat child. I was an obese teenager. I never desired to be skinny. I dreamed of not being fat.
Ever since the eating disorders rage of the 90’s, society has been looking for a softer, gentler approach to pointing out the problems associated to over-eating, being lazy, poor choices and the like. Could it be that all the sugar-coating has helped lead to the epidemic that we are facing today? Perhaps all the kid glove, touchy feely approaches are allowing many people to think, “It’s ok. We don’t want to hurt their feelings.” The bullying that they receive from being over-weight is way worse than the tough approach. Trust me, I know!!
Do I think that some chubby kids are upset on the way they look and feel, yes. But, when their friends call and say lets meet for pizza or burgers they’re not second guessing that decision.
The psychological effects of me being an overweight child and teen have left a lasting effect on my life as an adult. What I would have given for someone to tell me to put down that donut or not to go to McDonalds and super size everything. It would’ve saved me years of pain. No one said anything. In private, I am sure I was a topic for discussion about what a shame it was that I was so overweight but no one stepped in—not the schools and not my family because they didn’t want to upset me. Guess what…a little upset done then with love, could have saved some later life pain.
A tough stand with love, compassion and caring will go a long way.
There is more than enough evidence and research to support the facts that childhood obesity increases the likelihood of adult obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer and premature death.
Remember the question that was posed at the end of the article, “Do we want healthy kids or just skinny ones?”
By asking the question as a one or the other, you are saying that we could have healthy obese kids and the two just don’t go together.
The answer is, we want healthy kids…healthy mentally, physically and spiritually. The result of obesity doesn’t fit into any of that.