Monday, October 8, 2007


On August 27 ABC’s Nightline, the discussion was centered around the start of school and what the nation’s schools are doing about childhood obesity. Nightline reported that a certain school district targeted over 100 families with overweight children, offering them a free exercise program.
Sound like a great deal? Only eight families took the schools up on their offer while others got mad.
One mom said that her son had genes to be larger while her son said it did not make him “feel very good” to have people think he was larger. Another parent said that this was an invasion of her privacy. Come on. Face reality and have some humility. If your child has an issue, be honest with yourself and the school – and your child – and do something.
Today’s schools have been made to teach more than the three R’s, and the question is, how far should the schools go in the childhood obesity problem. Blame has been placed on the bad food in school cafeterias as well as the junk food and pop sold in the hallways. All of this is nothing new. Kids being bombarded with ads has been given as a reason for childhood obesity as well.
All these things may contribute to overweight children, but I say, the bottom line in fighting childhood obesity is to build exercise into your family naturally and offer your children healthy food. Walk to the store. To the soccer game. Don’t drive your child everywhere. Ride a bike.
Families have to be ultimately responsible for their children’s health, but if the schools want to help, don’t be offended. Instead admit there is a problem and say, “Hey, Johnny, let us try this exercise program.” Have him invite a friend along. It is much easier at age 8 or 10 dealing with weight issues than at 20. Don’t keep worrying about self-esteem. Have your child be honest with himself now, deal with it, overcome it and that will build true self esteem.
And, offer fresh carrots and apples instead of prepackaged food. It will save money as well as the health.

Cornelia Seigneur aka Nellie

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