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Archive for the ‘Childhood Obesity’ Category

Woman Plans to Give ‘Fat Notes’ Instead of Candy to Trick or Treaters

October 31, 2013

 

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When will people start realising that the kids of today have had enough of the food associated guilt trips? I have never seen a child motivated to change their eating habits on the back of a public shaming, and I probably never will:

Children in a North Dakota neighborhood may be slated to get an awful surprise this Halloween: A local woman is reportedly planning to hand out “fat letters,” instead of candy, to kids she thinks are “moderately obese.”

Valley News Live reported a local Fargo woman called into Y-94 radio recently and revealed her plan to take on childhood obesity by handing out letters targeting trick-or-treaters whom she considers obese.

“I just want to send a message to the parents of kids that are really overweight,” she told the station. “I think it’s just really irresponsible of parents to send them out looking for free candy just ’cause all the other kids are doing it.”

Valley News Live obtained a copy of the letter, in which the woman, who is only identified as Cheryl, writes, in part:

You [sic] child is, in my opinion, moderately obese and should not be consuming sugar and treats to the extent of some children this Halloween season. My hope is that you will step up as a parent and ration candy this Halloween and not allow your child to continue these unhealthy eating habits.

 

Click on the link to read The Unique Challenges that Body Image Represents for Females

Click on the link to read An 8-Year-Old’s Take on Body Image

Click on the link to read A Father’s Advice to His Daughter About Beauty

Click on the link to read The Call to Stop Telling Your Children they are Beautiful

Click on the link to read School Official’s Solution to Harassed Teen: Get a Breast Reduction

Click on the link to read Our Young Children Shouldn’t Even Know What a Diet Is?

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We Must Allow Parents to Parent

July 8, 2013

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The proposal to ban parents from packing a lunch for their children is sheer lunacy. Whilst some packed lunches clearly contain too much sugar and fat, this is none of our business.

What’s next? The Government providing consequences for children just in case parents spoil their children by not setting parameters? The Government recruits personal trainers to switch off family television sets and take the children for a run?

And anyway, the lunchbox ban will be limited to lunch. What about breakfast? What about dinner? What about snacks and weekend restaurant visits and holidays?

Why can’t we just allow parents to parent without them being restricted, judged or lectured? Surely, a much better approach is to educate and work with parents rather than taking away their ability to do what they think is right for their own children:

Parents who make packed lunches for their children should stop, as it is making them fat, government food advisers warn.

Restaurateurs Henry Dimbleby and John Vincent argue school dinners are healthier than packed sandwiches, crisps and fizzy drinks, in a report to be published next week.

The report will also suggest that take-up must rise to at least 50 per cent to improve nutrition in meals and to save school dinners.

The pair’s school lunch plan, which will be launched this week alongside education secretary Michael Gove, also puts it down to head teachers to improve quality and take-up of school lunches.

‘A lot of heads will feel exasperated by this,’ Ian Bauckham, head of Bennett Memorial Diocesan school in Tunbridge Wells, Kent told The Sunday Times.

‘Many focus on a limited number of high priorities and we already have a big agenda to raise academic standards.’

As reported earlier this year, cooking lessons at school will become compulsory for children ages seven to 14 from September as the Government aims to ensure they can make up to 20 dishes before taking their GCSE exams.

And don’t get me started with compulsory cooking lessons at school. Remember when teachers were charged with the responsibility of helping students to read, write and become numerate? Boy, times have changed!

 

Click on the link to read my post on Tips For Parents on Packing a Healthy Lunch Box

Click on the link to read my post Exercising Wont Help Overweight Children: Study

Click on the link to read my post School Weigh-ins Are an Insult Rather Than a Solution

Click here to read my post ‘Considered Too Obese to Keep His Kids‘.

Click on the link to read Charity Pays for Teen’s Plastic Surgery to Help Stop Bullying

Click on the link to read my post, ‘Sparing Young Children the Affliction of Body Image‘.

Exercising Wont Help Overweight Children: Study

September 30, 2012

 

A recent study suggests that we forget about getting overweight children to engage in physical activity and instead focus on healthier eating.

Eating less, not forcing children to do more exercise is the key to combating the childhood obesity crisis, experts have said, as a study shows youngsters compensate by becoming more idle at other times.

A major review of research into childhood exercise programmes has found that enforcing extra activity on children does not affect how active they are overall, as they simply do less at other times of the day.

This means that extra exercise programmes will not reduce the childhood obesity crisis and policies should focus on what children eat instead, experts said.

There are no quick fixes to losing weight. Enrolling your children into an extra-curricular sporting activity may be a good start, but it is unlikely to be sufficient. Physical activity doesn’t just involve football practice, it also involves spending less time in front of a screen and more time in the fresh air. It encourage children to walk to the local shops or library instead of depending on a lift.

The key to any life changing decision is balance and common sense. A change of diet might be paramount to weight loss but other factors should not be ignored.

Click on the link to read my post School Weigh-ins Are an Insult Rather Than a Solution

Click here to read my post ‘Considered Too Obese to Keep His Kids‘.

Click on the link to read Charity Pays for Teen’s Plastic Surgery to Help Stop Bullying

Click on the link to read my post, ‘Sparing Young Children the Affliction of Body Image‘.

School Weigh-ins Are an Insult Rather Than a Solution

August 27, 2012

 

I hate the idea of school weigh-ins. Intended as a wake-up call to parents that changes need to be made to the way they look after their overweight children, this method will cause an enormous amount of embarrassment for children. I could think of nothing more humiliating for a young child struggling with body image issues than to be weighed at school.

Researchers in Victoria have called for compulsory weigh-ins for school children as part of the fight against obesity.

The Deakin University research, published in the journal Pediatric Obesity, calls for all young students to be weighed regularly at school to help collect official data and to confront parents about the health of their children.

The research also calls for an opt-out program to encourage high participation rates.

How would teachers like to be weighed?

What about politicians? There are plenty of rotund politicians around.

What? You don’t want to be weighed? Why not? It’s embarrassing?

Precisely my point!

 

Click on the link to read my post, ‘Sparing Young Children the Affliction of Body Image‘.

Click here to read my post ‘Considered Too Obese to Keep His Kids‘.

Click on the link to read Charity Pays for Teen’s Plastic Surgery to Help Stop Bullying

Welcome to the Generation of the Knee-Jerk Reaction

July 12, 2012

Education and support have been thrown out the window in favour of control and over-regulation:

Authorities in Victoria are now using concerns about extreme obesity as justification for removing children from the care of their parents.

The Department of Health Services has removed at least two children from their parents’ care this year over the issue.

Associate Professor John Dixon, from the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, says the number is expected to rise in the coming years.

“We’ve got to understand that as the waistlines of our kids grow, we’re going to have these extreme case of obesity,” he told News Breakfast.

Professor Dixon says sometimes removing the child is the best option.

“It’s not the obesity itself that would lead to a child being removed from their home, but it would be a range of circumstances that would make it difficult for that child to be managed in the best way at home,” he said.

“[Obesity can be the result of a] whole range of environmental issues, the food, the lack of transport, all sorts of things.

“But it also can be symptomatic of dysfunctional circumstances… where there’s problems; mental illness, siblings with disabilities, that really make family life for some of these children very complex indeed, and produce that rare circumstance where they may be better off out of home for a while.

“Thinking of the rights of the child, the best interests of the child, if it’s counterproductive to be at home, then in very rare circumstances that child may be best off not at home.”

Click here to read my post ‘Considered Too Obese to Keep His Kids‘.

Discussing Weight Issues with Your Children

July 2, 2012

I am of the opinion that one shouldn’t need to discuss ‘weight’ with issues with your children. I prefer a more positive approach where healthy food and exercise is promoted rather than “negative talk” which is likely to make the child even more self-conscious.

A new report says parents are concerned that talking to their child about their weight will lead to an eating disorder.

This figure rises to 65% of parents who identify their child as being overweight or obese.

More than 1,000 parents with a child aged 5-16 responded to the Let’s talk about weight survey on Netmums and shared how they feel about bringing up the topic of weight with their child.

I do understand that the problem is more complicated than just advocating health over weight loss. I also realise that children are too smart not to realise that healthy lifestyle measures are a result of their weight issues.

What is your opinion? How should parents discuss weight issues with their children?

Click on the link to read my post, ‘Sparing Young Children the Affliction of Body Image‘.

We Should be Promoting Health Instead of Focusing on Obesity

June 21, 2012

It seems that we have given up on promoting healthy lifestyles and educating our students about nutrition. It’s now all about avoiding obesity:

The American Medical Association on Wednesday put its weight behind requiring yearly instruction aimed at preventing obesity for public schoolchildren and teens.

The nation’s largest physicians group agreed to support legislation that would require classes in causes, consequences and prevention of obesity for first through 12th graders. Doctors will be encouraged to volunteer their time to help with that under the new policy adopted on the final day of the AMA’s annual policymaking meeting.

Award Slim Kids Higher Marks: Dukan

January 4, 2012

It is disgusting how some sections of society treat overweight kids. As if the stigma of being overweight in a “body beautiful” obsessed world isn’t hard enough. I am sick to death of reading negative ideas when trying to solve childhood obesity. The latest negative idea, which seeks to reward slim kids by giving them extra marks for no other reason than their body mass index readings, not only compromises the fairness of the exam process but makes children already suffering from feeling neglected and judged, feel like dirt.

Pierre Dukan, the nutritionist behind the popular but controversial Dukan diet, has suggested that France tackle child obesity by giving extra exam marks for slimness.

Dukan, who has sold 8 million copies of his diet book worldwide, made the proposal in a 250-page book called ‘An Open Letter to the Future President’, which he sent out on Tuesday to 16 candidates for France’s presidential election.

The plan calls for high school students to be allowed to take a so-called “ideal weight” option in their final year exams, the “baccalaureat”, under which they would earn extra points if they kept a body mass index (BMI) of between 18 and 25.

Those already overweight at the start of the two-year course would score double points if they managed to slim down over a period of two years.

“It’s a fantastic motivator,” Dukan told Reuters.

When we even consider adopting methods like Dukan’s we do a monumental disservice to kids struggling with their weight. These kids are often well-mannered, generous, talented and caring individuals. These are traits we should be focussing on, not weight! You will never see a suggestion that caring, empathetic, selfless and considerate kids get extra marks. These qualities pale into insignificance compared to a person’s weight.

When we employ negative inducements to entice children to lose weight, we not only make it harder for them to succeed but we also make them feel not good enough.

My view (as espoused in my novel) is that whilst I hope our overweight children are successful in losing their excess kilos, either way, let’s not let weight distract us from the qualities and unique characteristics of the person.

Whilst childhood obesity isn’t ideal, ignoring who the child is and concentrating on how much they weigh, is infinitely worse.

Law Requiring Schools to Weigh Students Must Be Repealed

October 24, 2011

You have got to be kidding me!  How can so-called intelligent adults pass a law so downright cruel?  Sometimes I think adults take advantage of the resilience of children.  They think they can impose great humiliation on poor, naive children, without any long-term cost.

Well I have news for you – children, like adults, don’t like being made to feel ugly, different or unworthy.  So why on earth would you pass a law that mandates schools to weigh children so that their weight can be compared with others?

A state law requiring schools to measure a child’s height and weight to find out how they stack up against their peers has generated plenty of controversy, but not a lot of local participation.

School officials say the law’s aim to combat childhood obesity is a worthy cause, but its approach is questionable.

The law measures body mass index, which is calculated from height and weight and given as a percentile. It’s generally a snapshot of a person’s overall body fat, but many argue it doesn’t take into account individual body types or other health risks.

Schools are required to take those measurements for students in kindergarten, third, fifth and ninth grades, then report that data to the Ohio Department of Health and mail the results to parents.

State education officials say similar health screenings, such as hearing and vision tests, have been done for many years with the results kept private.

What if the law was to include Ohio politicians?  What if they were forced to step on the scale in front of their peers and were measured for all to see?

Yes, privacy might be assured, but children aren’t stupid.  They know why they are being measured, and the humiliation of the procedure will not be lost on the overweight.

This plan is doomed to failure.

My wish, as idealistic as it sounds, is to make our children comfortable with who they are, regardless of their weight.  Whilst I strongly advocate educating children about healthy eating choices and encouraging active lifestyles, I am even more concerned about the inner wellbeing of the child.  To me, the tragedy is not that there are obese children, but that there are children who feel unworthy, ugly and hopeless because of their weight.

It’s time to get rid of the scales and let our children know that their worth is not the sum total of what they weigh, but rather, who they are and how they treat others.

Tips for Parents on Helping Their Children Overcome Obesity

September 19, 2011

It was great to read a list of suggestions by Joanna Dolgoff M.D. with suggestions for parents with obese children.  It was a welcome departure from the “name, shame and threaten” methods being employed by some sections of society on parents who clearly require support.

These suggestions are steeped in common sense and encourage a positive approach:

What Parents Can Do to Help

Be supportive: Overweight children need support, acceptance and encouragement from their parents. Children’s feelings about themselves often are based on their parents’ feelings about them. It is also important to talk to your children about weight, allowing them to share their concerns with you.

Don’t use food as a punishment or reward: Withholding food as a punishment may lead children to worry that they will not get enough food which may result in overeating. When foods, such as sweets, are used as a reward, children may assume that these foods are better or more valuable than other foods. For example, telling children that they will get dessert if they eat all of their vegetables sends the wrong message about vegetables.

Set a good example: Children are good learners and they learn best by example. Set a good example for your kids by eating a variety of foods and being physically active. Involve children in food shopping and preparing. Children may be more willing to eat or try foods that they help prepare.

Teach healthy habits: Teaching healthy eating practices early will help children approach eating with the right attitude: Food should be enjoyed and is necessary for growth, development and essential energy. Guide their choices rather than dictating foods. This will help your children learn how to make healthy food choices. Encourage your child to eat slowly. A child can detect hunger and fullness better when eating slowly.

Cut down on some fats: Reducing fat is a good way to cut calories without depriving your child of nutrients. Simple ways to cut the fat in your family’s diet include eating low-fat or non-fat dairy products, poultry without skin and lean meats, and low-fat or fat-free breads and cereals. However, make sure not to cut out healthy sources of fat such as walnuts, almonds and avocado.

Healthy snacking: You should make snacks as nutritious as possible, without depriving your child of occasional chips or cookies, especially at parties or other social events. Healthy snacks include: applesauce, carrot sticks with hummus, peanut butter on apples, yogurt, dried fruit, fruit juice popsicles, low fat cheese etc.

Increase your physical activity: Regular physical activity, combined with healthy eating habits, is the most efficient and healthful way to control your weight. Some simple ways to increase your family’s physical activity include the following: Plan family activities like walking, dancing, biking or swimming.

For example, schedule a walk with your family after dinner instead of watching TV or playing video games. Overweight children may feel uncomfortable about participating in certain activities so it is important to help your child find physical activities that they enjoy and that aren’t embarrassing or too difficult.

Instead of judging parents with obese children negatively, I feel it is important to encourage, educate and support parents.  Dr. Dologoff’s list is a reminder that the answers lie with positive change and the adcocation of healthier living.


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