Posts Tagged ‘Obesity’

Kids as Young as 7 Diagnosed with Anorexia

May 27, 2014




I think all teachers should be trained to see the signs and implored to report any student behaviour which may lead to anorexia:


AUSTRALIA’S obsession with obesity is feeding deadly eating disorders which are claiming victims as young as 7, including an increasing number of boys.

Experts told a national eating disorders conference on the Gold Coast yesterday of a “toxic culture” of body image which is causing huge physical, psychological and financial harm.

Obsessive dieting was costing lives and almost $70 billion a year in health and productivity expenses, the Eating Disorders and Obesity Conference staged by the Australian and NZ Mental Health Association heard.

Christine Morgan, CEO of l eating disorders charity The Butterfly Foundation, said Australian children as young as seven were being hospitalised for anorexia nervosa and bulimia.



Click on the link to read The Destructive Impact of the “Fashion Police” Brigade

Click on the link to read The Plus Sized Barbie Debate Misses the Point

Click on the link to read Study Claims that Being Attractive can give you Better Grades

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


Children Protected From Experiencing Anything Remotely Fun

January 17, 2013


Reflecting on my childhood (which wasn’t THAT long ago), I remember playing sporting games on our street with the neighbours, climbing trees, building Lego villages and riding bikes.

I was stunned when I first heard a class of grown kids that confessed to not being able to ride a bike. Sure, they are experts at driving a computerised racing car or skateboard on their game consoles. But an actual bike? Not a chance!

Why then, should I be surprised that many can’t jump or throw a ball correctly either:

Thousands of children are starting secondary school unable to run, jump, throw a ball or catch, the head of UK Sport has said.

Susan Campbell has claimed ‘physically illiterate’ children ‘hardly move’ by the time they are ready to make the transition from primary school.

And she said the legacy of the Olympics in the summer could be lost if teachers in primary schools did not receive specialist PE training.

She warned some 11-year-olds aren’t able to take part in the most basic of sports by the time they go to secondary school.

Baroness Campbell, chairwoman of UK Sport and the Youth Sport Trust, said sport should be taken as seriously as literacy and numeracy in primary schools.

And she has called for primary school teachers to receive extra training in PE.

Parents, not without good reason, are reluctant to give their children the opportunity of playing on the streets because of the many potential risks that exist. Whether these risks are as prevalent as we have been raised to believe is questionable. Whether these risks should be weighed up with the many benefits of having our children experience the joys of bike riding and outdoor sports is worth discussing.

Overweight Doctors and Nurses ‘Should Undergo Stomach Stapling Surgery’

December 31, 2012



The best rolemodels are the ones that act with integrity and treat others with respect. The best doctors and nurses take pride in what they do, give an excellent standard of care and are generally superb at what they do. I don’t care if they are fat, skinny, have a long nose or bushy eyebrows.

A recent report wants to point the finger at overweight medical professionals as if it’s easier for good doctors and nurses to stave off the difficulties of maintaining a trim physique. I don’t care what field you are in or what level of education you have maintaining a slim body is hard work and takes great discipline.

It beggars belief why a rolemodel must be slim before being kind, generous, caring and gratious:

Doctors and nurses who suffer from weight problems should be offered gastric surgery in order to retain credibility with patients on weight loss treatments, a report will say.

Overweight NHS staff ought to be given dietary advice and counselling as well as stomach stapling operations as they are setting a bad example for patients, the Royal College of Physicians said.

Over half of medical staff within NHS organisations are likely to be overweight, in accordance with statistics for the British population.


Click on the link to read Self-Esteem Crisis Even More Serious than the Obesity Crisis

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

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

Click on the link to read Most People Think This Woman is Fat

Click on the link to read It’s Time to Change the Culture of the Classroom

Click on the link to read Sparing Young Children the Affliction of Body Image


Self-Esteem Crisis Even More Serious than the Obesity Crisis

December 9, 2012



The focus on our obesity issues are becoming less interested in helping develop a healthier and fitter society and instead seem slanted towards shaming and belittling people who are struggling because of their weight issues.

This issue will not be properly addressed through stigmas and assumptions.

This shocking story is a case in point:

After a nice meal out, you might expect the check to hurt your wallet.

But you don’t expect it to hurt your feelings.

However, that’s exactly what happened to three California women on Thursday night, when their receipt came with the words ‘Fat Girls’ written across the top.

Christine Duran, Christina Huerta and Isabel Robles were having a good time at the Cameo Club Casino restaurant in Stockton but when they asked for the check they couldn’t believe their eyes.

‘I got the bill, and I was like, why does the receipt say, “fat girls?”‘ Duran told News 10.

She said her pals thought she was joking at first.

‘I was laughing at her, and she was like, “I’m serious.” I’m like, “No, it does not say fat girls, let me see it,”‘ Huerta said.

Duran showed the receipt to her friends who finally believed her.

‘I’m looking at it. I was like, “Oh, heck no,”‘ Robles said.

The ladies quizzed their waiter when he returned to their table but he denied any involvement.

He said that Jeff, whose name was on the receipt, must have typed the offensive slur into the computer as he was taking their order. But he said Jeff had gone for the night.

The three women, upset and outraged, demanded to see a manager.

‘He had a smirk on his face, like it was funny, but he was trying not to laugh,’ Huerta said, describing the manager.

The manager told the women he was sorry for what happened and offered to discount their bill by 25 per cent. But the ladies were unimpressed by the offer.

‘He was like, “Well, I can do 50 per cent,” and we were just like, “Are you serious?”‘ Huerta said.


Father Considered Too Obese to Keep His Kids

June 23, 2012

A person should never lose his children because of their weight:

The problem with being a credible hulk is no matter how credible the story, he’s still a hulk.

Such is the hard truth for an obese Ottawa dad deemed too fat to keep his kids.

We’ll call him Dad because he can’t be named or identified.

Dad, 38, claims there’s no adequate oversight of Children’s Aid judgements in this province.

His two sons – age 5 and 6 – have been put up for adoption. He’s not been granted custody because – among other things – he’s 360 lbs and has been as much as 525 lbs.

It appears the judge used Dad’s obesity as a major reason as to why he can’t have custody of his kids. That’s created a lot of chatter and created a debate about whether obese people make good parents.

The judge may have some good reasons for not allowing this man to be with his children but his obesity should not be a factor.

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.

5 Ways to Get Kids Active

June 19, 2012


I heard a very surprising fact on the radio the other week. A nutritionist asked the listeners what they thought the leading cause of death was. Like most, I thought the answer was something like heart disease, obesity or cancer. It was none of the above. Apparently, the leading cause of death is inactivity.

That’s why it is so vital that we help our children to become more active. Here are some helpful hints by Steve Ettinger, a children’s fitness expert and author:

Be creative

Whether you live in an urban, suburban or rural environment, use the space, time and resources you have to find ways to exercise. For example, if you live in the city and don’t have access to outdoor space, find indoor activities. Ettinger also says if kids are sitting in front of the TV, challenge them to exercise in short spurts during commercials. It is a far better solution than having them get up to snack on junk food.

Schedule time to exercise

Writing down time to exercise makes it much more likely that you will do it. Even if it’s just playing at the park, schedule that time in your calendar.
Ettinger also says children who eat poorly will naturally not have as much energy and as high of an activity level as children who eat nutritiously.

Get involved as a family

One of the best ways to get children to exercise is for the family to participate together. Find something that everyone enjoys doing, such as bike riding or going for a walk around the neighborhood, and do it together. That way, there are fewer safety concerns because kids aren’t out by themselves, and everyone in the family – including yourself – gets to benefit from moving around.

Find something your kids enjoy

One reason kids stop exercising is that they are forced into activities they don’t enjoy. If your child doesn’t like a particular activity or organized sport, be patient and take the time to explore different options. Ettinger says if kids find activities fun, they will usually stick with them. He also says it’s best to find an activity for children before age 10 – otherwise, inertia will become a habit.

Educate yourself

Modeling proper nutrition and exercise is the best way to teach your kids about maintaining a proper weight and a healthy lifestyle. Ettinger says he is amazed by the number of parents who have misconceptions about proper nutrition. Seek out resources so you can learn the basics and incorporate these lessons into your own life.

Click on the link to read my post on 6 Strategies for Promoting Healthy Food to Kids.

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.

Issues Relating to Kids and Video Games

January 3, 2012


Excessive video game use and high rates of video game addiction lead to much anguish from concerned parents. Many parents never saw the addictive pull of video games as an issue when they bought consoles for their kids or allowed them to have a computer in their bedrooms. I read a very interesting piece by writer, Scott Steinberg, on the major issues relating to children and video games.

He examines some of the most common concerns parents have about video games:

– Amount of Play Time
– Age Appropriateness
– Health and Obesity
– Addiction
– Safety Concerns
– Violence, Aggression and Misbehavior

The issue of particular interest to me was the video game addiction section. Video game addiction is not a term we hear very often, but I’m afraid it will be widely familiar in the next few years.

  • Addiction– For some kids, there is a real danger of becoming too involved in playing games, or even in living too much of their lives in the virtual world of the Internet. In rare cases, true symptoms of addiction can develop, and such kids can require direct help from their parents, peers, and professionals to have a healthy, balanced life. While a change of environment and routine can sometimes be enough to break kids out of an addictive mindset, the reality is that it’s hard to prohibit kids from using technology on a regular basis, since it’s such an integral part of daily life. Many experts encourage parents to become more engaged in the addictive activity in an effort to better understand the problem and prospective solutions. They also encourage families to seek out professional help should children exhibit warning signs of addiction. Several of these warning signs, according to the Search Institute, an independent non-profit organization dedicated to creating healthy communities, and other sources, include:
  • Playing for increasing amounts of time
  • Lying to family and friends about video game usage
  • Thinking about gaming during other activities
  • Using video games to escape from real-life problems or bad feelings, as well as anxiety or depression
  • Becoming restless or irritable when attempting to stop playing video games
  • Skipping homework in order to play video games
  • Doing poorly on a school assignment or test because of time spent playing video games

I urge parents to spot the signs before the addiction gets completely out of hand. It may even be worth reading Mr. Steinberg’s book, “The Modern Parent’s Guide to Kids and Video Games,” which will be free to download at in February 2012.

Parents’ Stress Damaging the Development of Their Children

December 22, 2011

Author David Code goes beyond warning parents about the effect their stress has on the lives of his children. He even blames their stress for “damaging their development and altering their DNA, because of crushing worry and anxiety.”

“Stress is highly contagious,” says David Code, an Episcopal minister and author of Kids Pick Up on Everything: How Parental Stress is Toxic to Kids. “Parental stress can weaken the development of a child’s brain or immune system, increasing the risk of allergies, obesity, or mental disorders.”

So calm down and socialize more. Resolve to start the new year with peace on hearth – it’s not only good for your health but your children’s physical and mental health too.

If you really want to make your kids happier, forgo the Xbox or iPad and invite friends over. The greatest gift you can give your children is your own, healthy relationships with other adults, Code says.

“That Xbox or iPad will placate the kids for a while, but soon they’ll demand even more. Far better to take the kids over to your friend’s house – you and your friend can relax with a drink while both sets of kids entertain each other. That means better social skills for your children, and lower stress levels for you as you ‘scratch that primal itch’ to bond, which reduces your stress,” he adds.

According to Code, research shows children can catch their parents’ stress just like they catch a virus. “Children are like little sponges, soaking up the free-floating stress in today’s anxious households until their developing nervous systems hit overload, at which point they act out, or develop symptoms of mental or physical illness.”

The mind-body connection strongly factors into almost every child’s behaviour –the parent’s mind affects their child’s body “through a kind of emotional pipeline,” Code says. The more stress a kid picks up from the parent, the more ill health – even if the parent is unaware of his or her own anxiety.

Personally I think Code goes over the top with the prognostications of DNA damage but I agree with his main contention. There is no doubt that stress from parents has effects on their offspring.

Code offers the following advice:

Steps to raise healthier kids, according to author David Code:

• Set up a no-screens-after-5 p.m. night: Turn off all screens, big and small and socialize.

• Socialize more with other parents while your kids play together. “If I could wave my magic wand and reduce the stress of today’s parents, I would give them a glass of wine, a friend, and an Italian village square to go socialize in every evening.”

• Bring on the potluck: Once a week dine with friends. “Since you have to make dinner anyway, a weekly potluck doesn’t suck that much time away from your current schedule.”

• Exercise with your spouse. Build muscle and your marriage too. “It’s easier to discuss tough topics and get emotional when you’re side by side on the treadmill or jogging down the street. It’s easier to be emotional in motion.” Even a short evening stroll together is great marital maintenance.

• Take a vacation every three months for a complete change of pace and a healthier family.

• Practice the daily vacation – lunch hour. “Instead of building stress over eight hours, you’ll start over again after lunch and not get so wound up by quitting time.”

• Establish the one-minute instant intimacy builder with your spouse. “When you both get home from work, while changing or preparing dinner, share your highlight and ‘lowlight’ of the day. Try to focus on one moment in time,” he says, adding that sharing one specific lowlight each day builds bonds because we won’t feel so alone in our suffering.

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