Given one single wish, that he gets to make in front of the best and brightest people with all the resources in the world, he chose to confront the childhood obesity epidemic armed with information and education.
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Listen, I took some slack for The Girl Revolution: Fit Girl Series I ran last year. Too obsessive, one reader said in her email.
The thing is, childhood obesity has very serious health consequences for our children. Especially for our daughters who reach puberty between 100 and 110 pounds, whether that happens at 6 or 12. Outward signs of puberty are beginning in some girls as early as 6 and still being considered medically normal.
You know, and I know, that we have listened to adult men claim they have a right to have sex with children because they look older than they are, “She looked like a grown up, look what she was wearing!” I’m ashamed to say which of my own friends and family members have said this about junior high girls.
We’ve listened to this disgusting and inexcusable line from men who have sex with 12-18 year olds.
These girls’ crimes? They grew breasts. Visible signs of “looking older.”
Nothing cultural has changed – men are still using this piss-poor excuse for inexcusable behavior, and we’re still letting them get away with it because the girls look “sexual” as soon as breasts appear on their bodies. But now girls are looking older earlier than ever before it’s time to decide whether we’ve heard enough “she looked older” B.S.
You tell me if it’s a serious concern that 8-year-olds develop breasts because they are gaining weight too fast. Think back: bra snapping, cat calls, harassment in school, older men asking if you “need a ride,” inappropriate touching, sexual name-calling, attempts to seduce, etc. Yeah, you were there.
Add to that the serious concerns about future breast cancer risks (increases if she starts her period early, doesn’t have a child before age 30 and doesn’t breast feed), diabetes, rising health care costs, pre-existing conditions of the health insurance industry (they’re blatantly rejecting obese children).
Tribe, we have a problem that needs serious addressing.
Visit the Obesity Thunder website to see all sorts of videos around the issue.
I read all these stories that suggest Kate Moss should be burned at the stake for saying her motto is, “Nothing tastes as good as thin feels.”Sarah and the Goon Squad has a funny, light-hearted and compelling post about it. Instead of being outraged, I seriously considered adopting the motto, repeating it to my daughter as often as, “did you brush your teeth?” and taping it to my fridge to help my whole family stop rationalizing the junk food that goes into our mouths.
Here’s the thing: No one in this family is at risk for becoming Anorexic or Bulimic. In fact, to put the “fears” about our food issues into perspective: Only 1-3 percent of girls in this country suffer from anorexia nervosa and another 1 percent suffer from bulimia nervosa.
Conversely, 16 percent of girls are overweight and another 15 percent are tipping the scales in high risk weight categories (meaning one or two more “yeses” to the stop at McDonalds will push them into the next category up.) There is an Obesity Epidemic in this country. There is a Childhood Obesity Epidemic in this country. This is a serious personal concern as well as a national concern for the well-being of one-third of our children. Not to mention the future of America as these children join the approximately 127 million adults in the U.S. are overweight, 60 million obese, and 9 million severely obese. That’s 64.5 percent of U.S. adults, age 20 years and older, who are overweight and 30.5 percent of us are obese.
My thinking is that if the motto, “Nothing tastes as good as thin feels” is effective, (and judging by the size of Kate Moss, it just might be) it wouldn’t kill America to adapt it as our National Freaking Motto.
The 2-4 percent of us who fall victim to becoming too thin and suffering from anorexia and bulimia should obviously seek treatment for those tragic diseases. Why shouldn’t the majority of Americans, who face the opposite eating disorder, yet just as damaging and far more expensive (health insurance and national health cost crisis, anyone?) seek treatment ? Or at least not have a hissy fit over the motto of a skinny girl as we ask our children to “pass the Cheetos?”
It’s a little like never letting our kids go outside to play so we can keep them “safe,” even though there is only 1 in a million chances that something terrible and irreversible will ever happen to them. One in a Million. All the while, saddling them with an obesity problem they’ll have to combat for the rest of their lives, not to mention the higher health insurance premiums they’ll have to pay.
When I was in college I lived on a pack of cigarettes, a cup or two of coffee and one $1 hamburger a day. I’d go to the grocery store and spend like $20. Ramen and Kool-aid were good choices, because you could get 10 for a $1. That’s 10 meals right there.
No. I was just broke. I was a “starving student.”
I ain’t that poor anymore, so I ain’t that thin anymore either.
Since that Oprah show about how the developing world’s girls and women really live, I’ve been thinking how anorexia and bulimia and other disordered eating patterns are pretty high brow, upper-class, spoiled problems to have. It’s downright ungrateful. It’s narcissistic. It’s insane.
And Obesity? We’re so prosperous we’ll eat ourselves to death? I don’t even know what to call that in the face of the way the majority of the world lives. What a luxury! Even the poor of our country can become morbidly obese from eating more food than they want or need. You can get fat on our food stamp program.
There are people in the world who are actually starving to death. Lots of them.
Imagine the hours and energy we’ve devoted to diets, weight-loss, treatment centers, support groups, whining and complaining about our images in the mirror in the face of the poverty much of the world faces.
“Disordered Eating” has to be the understatement of the year.
The Mormons do this thing called “Fast Sunday.” The first Sunday out of the month, they fast – go without food – and donate what they would have spent on food for those meals to the hungry. The actual hungry. The ones who might starve to death.
Imagine if all the dieters and “disordered eaters” made this a practice in 2009. If all the dieters and self-loathers and “disordered thinkers” fed someone starving – who would we be then?
When I imagine it, I visualize all the disordered eaters might become spiritually satiated.
The protein in one egg is a nutritious gift for a hungry child, and you could help a hungry family with a starter flock of 10 to 50 chicks. A good hen can lay up to 200 eggs a year — meaning plenty to eat, share or sell. For$20 you can buy a family a flock of chicks.