An adult such as Paula Deen getting Type 2 diabetes is tragic enough, but people usually factor in that adults have more control over the factors that led to the disease. The often quoted figure that 1 in 3 children born in 2000 will be diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes is sadder when you consider that children don't have as much control over their risk factors
Even if fat children don't get Type 2 diabetes, they are still stigimized in ways that make it more difficult to eat better and get healthier.
Even if you weren't a fat kid growing up, you felt sorry for the fat kids. The taunting, teasing, and abuse. Children get teased all the time, but it never seem as bad as the abuse of the fat kids.
Being a fat kid these days is easier and tougher at the same time. Easier because the Internet can give you hope and allow you to be a kid who isn't judged on size, and you are not alone these days. Tougher because kids can take pictures of you with cellphone cameras and post pictures on that same Internet.
The kids in the PSA campaign in Georgia (home state of Paula Deen) to get kids to lose weight get the added stigma of being identified in videos and pictures as "the fat kid."
One young girl is concerned because she has hypertension. Another girl doesn't want to go to school because kids make fun of her.
We are anxious for the future generation, wanting them to be in better shape. Even as we list the numerous reasons for why our children are fatter than ever before — school lunches, video games, parental lack of knowledge, fast food advertising, lack of recess, too many organized sports — as a society, we tend to blame people who are fat, especially children.
The ad campaign notes that 75% of parents of overweight kids ignore the problem. In one of the videos, a young boy asks his mother why he is fat. One look at her gives you a good idea.
The campaign identifies children that are fat, and leads you to a Web site with more details. The Web site has some pretty good tips. Though, the tips are fairly mild, as in "your child is a little overweight and here are some good points." The kids in the campaign are not just a little overweight.
You likely have seen kids who weigh more than these children, but the kids that was selected are in a normal range of fat.
Identifying the problem is easy, once you get parents to recognize that a problem needs to be identified. The hard part is instituting change. These fat kids in the campaign made an extreme sacrifice. They have to go back to their lives and be the fat kids in real life, too. They have the added stigma of being a fat kid in videos and still pictures on how not to be.
Getting kids to eat better and get more exercise is a worthy goal, regardless of what weight your kids might be. The goal of the campaign is to stop childhood obesity. The goal should have been for all kids to be more involved in their health.
The girl in the video wonders what hypertension is; we would be better off if she learned that word while doing a report on health than hearing it from a doctor.