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Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Law of Unintended Consequences: Michelle's Attack on Childhood Obesity

Michelle Obama reminds me of Hollywood actress/traitor turned exercise guru, Jane Fonda. Just like Jane and her body worship, Michelle loves showing off her biceps in sleeveless dresses. And we all know she serves her hubby arugula when he isn't chowing down on barbecue and gourmet pizza.

But if you were a fat kid, how would Michelle's attack on childhood obesity play out in real life? Peggy Howell of the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance paints a grim picture of the consequences of attacking obesity instead of urging all children to focus on a healthier diet and lifestyle. Considering the reality of eating disorders and obsession with body image, especially in girls, Howell makes a cogent point. Stop talking about fat kids and instead go swimming or take a hike.


Dymphna said...

I've thought the obesity campaign was cruel. I heard one "expert" on TV say that fat kids were a national emergency and a danger to the nation. How ridiculous. It's bad enough to be picked on at school but to be singled out by adults as evil and dangerous is just horrible.

Anonymous said...

I was a chubby child in elementary school, but I was not picked upon. Later I realized how unhealthy it was. I also realized why I was that way. My grandmother used to let me have too many starches at one sitting. We would go to a local buffet resestaurant, and I would have mashed potatoes, french fries and potato chips all on the same plate along with the meat and no or not very many vegetables. Not good! Later when I entered highschool, I got into sports and lost weight and became very strong and healthy. Doctors are finding out now that sports in highschool can even help a person when they are older since they build up good habits and strong bodies and immune systems when not done to excess. We should not pick on people, but we should not encourgae them to be overweight either. We need a healthy balance. BTW, I did not vote for President Obama.

Anonymous said...

The problem isn't Michele Obama, the problem is that we as a nation are FAT. The message isn't that you shouldn't ever have ribs or chips or sweets, it is that you need to have a healthy and balanced lifestyle of foods and exercise in order to maintain a lifelong weight goal. If more parents took the time to provide this sort of lifestyle for their kids then the issue of the first lady promoting healthy eating and exercise wouldn't be here. No one should ever make fun of someone who is fat, but it is a huge disservice not to point out the health issues associated with childhood obesity. While I am not a liberal, this is one policy of the administration that I can't believe gets any flak. It's so obvious that we are failing our children as role models when it comes to food. And if I had arms like Mrs O, I'd wear sleevless shirts, too!

Mary Ann Kreitzer said...

I think you have to be careful how you frame the issue. Look at the number of young folks suffering from eating disorders because of the focus on the body beautiful and their sense that they are too fat.

I agree that a healthy lifestyle is important, but you need to encourage it without putting the spotlight on and ridiculing fat people, especially kids. Frankly, I wish people were as concerned about committing mortal sin as they are about being fat.

Anonymous said...

We do need to worry about mortal sin, but gluttony is also a sin, sometimes serious. That is not to say all heavy people are gluttonous. Sometimes it is caused by the thyroid or the medication people are taking, but it should be treated. Also, when I go to a health provider and the receptionists are all obese, I am not impressed by that at all. When I used to go to one Catholic Hospital all the employees were of the right weight or just slightly overweight, while the Kaiser Hospital I go to now has many obese receptionists. It does not give the impression that they are following good health programs, and their doctors advice. These are young people, too, not elderly.