Tuesday, December 14, 2010

told you so, Mrs. Obama

i'm just stealing liberally from an article i read online. I've raged before about the WAR on childhood obesity. Here we go:

A new study has shown that the massive push to keep kids from becoming obese has created a new problem. According to the report issued today, the kids of the US are starting to develop more eating disorders, something that has largely been blamed on the fact that so many people are pushing children away from the obesity issue. It seems that now the kids are so afraid of becoming obese that they are losing perspective.

The doctors who are treating these eating disorders have noted that scaring children into living healthy is probably not the best way to go. Often children will take extreme measures to avoid something that they consider to be scary or dangerous.

Schools all over the US are reporting that eating disorders are on the rise and many say that they are having a difficult time getting many students to even eat the healthy meals that have been specifically designed to keep them safe

Many thanks to all the researchers who did the work for me. One thing they forgot to mention -- if kids are eating to the extent that they become obese, what's going on? perhaps therapy would do as much as, if not more, than an apple to help them heal.


  1. Amen to this article and your words of wisdom that are paired with it! Obesity - similarly to eating disorders is something which is rarely about food. If people eat that much (or indeed that little) or any other way which is not beneficial to the way we were designed then there is something more at work here. That is the route of the problem and what we need to address.

  2. Environment pulls the trigger is what I've heard. Well this push is like making that trigger a feather.

  3. Can I just add that gym class is also no way to combat childhood obesity? Seriously, is there anything worse for a kid's self-esteem--especially kids who are overweight--than the shameful feeling imposed by those friggin' Nazi gym teachers on kids who can't play their stupid team games?

    Don't get me going...

  4. You are right about this one for sure!! I think that people should focus less on food and more on doing healthier activities -- when I was a kid we played outside after school (even if we weren't in sports, and even the kids who didn't care about sports) instead of sitting in front of the TV. While there is nothing wrong with watching some TV, it seems like that is all kids do these days (that and video games). They need a better balance of activities and then the food issue won't matter so much. Kids can eat plenty of calories while they are growing, they just need to be active too.

  5. lucy sparrow; i agree, 100%. i think they're taking the wrong approach, overall. of course, good nutrition is vitally important, but there are so many equally aspects to address.

    Eat for Fun; well said. i guess it's just way too hard to address the most serious issues. it's probably a lot easier to say "eat fruit", than figuring what to do about poverty, loneliness, depression, fear, anger...

    VLL; i was the most uncoordinated kid ever. there was nothing i liked less than gym. and my gym grade brought down my GPA - can you imagine being graded for your athleticism in an academic environment? you make great points!

    kris; thanks so much for writing. all the sitting in front of the computer doesn't help all around. i fear we're going to forget how to communicate in person! i agree with you about the exercise and getting outside. being active really helps mood too.

  6. As a teacher, I've been privy to seeing what they're actually doing in the schools. They've replaced sugary sodas with... diet sodas. Is that really healthier? I think not. And they've replaced candy bars with... granola bars. As you're probably aware, most of these are merely candy bars pretending to be nutritious. It's sad. Instead of a war on obesity, I wish they'd do a push for healthiness. Oh- another thing coming down the way? We, as teachers who monitor the lunch room, will soon be asked to send home feedback to parents about their students' lunches. A kid doesn't have any veggies? We're supposed to put a green token in Little Johnny's lunchbox to let you know that we know that you didn't pack a balanced lunch. It's creepy and it totally ignores the fact that the greatest leading factor in obesity is low income... it's cheaper to buy high calorie, high fat, psuedo food than it is to buy your apple. Sigh. I know our first lady is trying to help, but you have to be careful with how you measure success. And as we all know here on your blog, it's not about weight. It's about health. Great post!