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Old 04-28-2006, 05:20 PM
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Default Raising Kids In A Fattening World

>* Children's Exercise & FitnessThe blowup over what came to be known as the "fatty letters" took administrators at the East Penn School District, near Allentown, PA, by surprise.

When they decided in the fall of 2001 to notify parents of students with weight problems, they planned to be discreet. The letters, explaining that overweight and obesity could lead to serious health problems and advising parents to talk with their pediatricians, went out without fanfare. But word got out. Way out. Suddenly, the "fatty letters" and the firestorm they stirred up among indignant parents were making headlines worldwide.

"We simply wanted to alert parents that there are health problems that kids are susceptible to when they have weight problems," says East Penn's director of pupil personnel services, George Ziolkowski, PhD. "We didn't realize this was going to turn into such a big thing."
The Supersized Kids
But childhood obesity is a big thing--a big story--and for good reason. The percentage of overweight and obese children has been rising at an alarming rate. An estimated 13 percent of American children, ages 6 to 11, and 14 percent of adolescents, ages 12 to 19, are overweight or obese. And many more children are at risk.

"There's no question that this has reached epidemic proportions," says William Dietz, MD, PhD, director of the division of nutrition and physical activity with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Since 1980, the percentage of American children who are overweight has doubled, and the percentage of adolescents who are overweight has nearly tripled."

It's no coincidence that the same 2 decades that brought us soaring obesity rates also brought us cable TV, home computers, the proliferation of fast-food restaurants, and the verb "supersize," says Melinda Sothern, PhD, director of the Childhood Obesity Laboratory at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge and coauthor of Trim Kids (HarperResource, 2001). "Add to it that many schools no longer offer recess or physical education; school lunches are high in fat and calories; and there are vending machines and foods such as French toast on a stick that you can eat anywhere and everywhere."
Kids with Adult Problems
Kids aren't the only ones getting heavier. In the US, rates of adult overweight and obesity are even higher--at 61 percent--than rates of childhood obesity. For kids, though, the toll can be particularly high. Often the targets of peers, they're more likely to suffer from depression and low self-esteem and to become obese adults.

Then, like their adult counterparts, they run an elevated risk of weight-related health problems such as bone and joint problems, asthma, and type 2 diabetes, once known as "adult-onset diabetes" because it was so rare in kids. Today, some cities report that half of all new cases of type 2 diabetes are diagnosed in kids, Dr. Dietz says.

"It's not primarily the family's fault that childhood obesity rates are rising; we live in an environment that causes and promotes obesity," says Dr. Sothern. "But the fact is, the family has to do something about it."
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Old 04-28-2006, 08:14 PM
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Thanks for that one bunny!!! I totally agree with it. Sometimes I don't think parents notice or they don't want to notice that their kids are overweight. Everyone seems to be bigger these days, so people don't notice the fat so much because it isn't so obvious. Kudos to the school with the fatty letters. But, maybe it wouldn't have caused such a stink if they would have just sent the letters to everyone. Then no one is singled out. Weight is such a touchy subject anyway. But, obesity has become a big reality.
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Old 04-28-2006, 08:23 PM
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PARENTS SHOULD START PAYING MORE ATTENTION TO THEIR KIDS INSTEAD OF SHOOOING THEM OFF TO WATCH TV AND EAT SNACKS-THEN THEY ARE SERVED DINNER
I HAVE A FRIEND WHO INSISTS HER KIDS ARE JUST BIG BONED BUT TRULY THEY ARE OBESE AND IT IS THE CHILD THAT SUFFERS. ONE OF HER SONS WAS JUST DIAGNOSED WITH TYPE 2 DIABETES AT 9 YEARS OLD. HE MUST BE 50-60 LBS OVERWEIGHT. REALLY SAD
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Old 04-28-2006, 08:30 PM
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I am in ABSOLUTE agreement with you christine!! you nailed it. We need to play outside more with our kids. Parents better wake up. A child that gets diabetes---type one or type two---has a very big risk of blindness, kidney failure, and sooooo many more problems. Their life expectancy decreases as well. They may cry if you take awaay the fast food and the crap and make them move, but they will thank you later----and it will NOT kill them. obesity can and does. I learned in the very short time I have been a parent that parenting is a very rewarding job, but also a very difficult job. Sometimes, the best decisions we make for our kids are the hardest. But that is our job. Sometimes my little guy will get soooo mad at me. But if I know that telling him no is the best answer for his well being, I stick to it. He will get over being mad at me. I learned that. I used to cry when I made him mad. i don't anymore.
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Old 04-28-2006, 08:38 PM
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SOUNDS LIKE WE'RE ON THE SAME WAVELENGTH.....I CAN'T TELL YOU HOW MANY FRIENDS THINK I'M TOO STRICT JUST BECAUSE I WON'T LET MY 9 YEAR OLD RIDE DOWN A BUSY STREET WITH HIS BIKE OR LET MY 7 YEAR OLD GO OVER SOMEONES HOUSE FOR A SLEEPOVER....
DIET AND EXERCISE CHOICES ARE LIFELONG AND IT HAS TO BE THE PARENT WHO IS THE PRIMARY SOURCE.
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Old 04-28-2006, 08:59 PM
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We are definitely on the same page, with lots of things. I have had 3 and 4yr old's knock on my door wanting my 4yr old son to come and play. I always say no. My kids are not allowed to run up and down the road. I need to SEE where they are, who they are with and what they are doing. We live in a small community, but I still don't let mine wander. I had a neighbor that put her kids out early in the morning, and I would see them all over the hollow where we live. Never saw mom. I would give them koolaid and a sandwich sometimes, but I never saw them go home all day. Then, when it would near dark, their mom would scream at the top of her lungs for them to come home. Anything could have happened. These girls were about 6 and 8 maybe. I just wouldn't feel comfortable with that. Mine has never slept over anywhere. When I was growing up I only stayed a few places. Usually with cousins. I want to know what food goes in their mouth and when. Who made it too. I don't care if anyone thinks I am weird or strict. Normally I worry what people think and say about me. But when it comes to the kids, I don't care. We doon't have gangs or anything around here, yet, that I know of. But leaving kids on their own too much can lead to trouble I think.
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Old 04-29-2006, 01:35 AM
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I don't think you are "weird" or "strict"...I think you are trying to react to the realities of the world we live in and take care of your children as best you can... just my two cents, lol.


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