Times Are Changing

Why are we so sensitive?

Last week I was surfing the internet on my lunch break and came across this blog about childhood obesity.  According to this blog there is a website that is all about childhood obesity, great!  The problem that people are having is the way that this website is advertising itself.  Child actors named Bobby, Tamika, Tina, Maritza and Jaden all share in black & white videos about how much it sucks being a child who is obese.  Mostly because it does suck being a kid and being obese.  Waddling across the basketball court in gym, not fitting in chairs the correct way and being out of breath from going to the bathroom.  How could it not suck?

The truth and stories that these paid child actors are telling and creating have gotten under some people’s skin.  Some say that these ads are just perpetuating the right for other children to bully the obese kids and that the ads aren’t solving the problem.  In the ads in themselves there are no solutions just children saying how they hate being bullied and have been diagnosed with scary diseases like diabetes and hypertension.  Okay, okay I admit these ads are sad and I can see where people are coming from with the harshness behind it, but my question is, why are we so sensitive to this issue?

The sad reality is that America has a huge (pun intended) obesity problem.  Adults and kids alike.  However, in Georgia alone (where the ads are being made and broadcast) the child obesity rate is  40%.  That’s almost half the child population in Georgia… one state… that’s it.  I’m sorry but this is a problem that we have to look at, we have to.  A short while back it was estimated that the generation after mine will be the first generation ever with a shorter life term expectancy than their parents.  The number one cause of that?  Obesity.  I understand the fear of bringing this problem to the light so drastically that it would have a cause and effect on bullying in school.  To me though, I’d rather we be focusing on a problem that should be fixed (that if fixed will ipso factso fix bullying issue) and save millions of kids’ lives now.

I was not a thin kid nor am I a thin adult.  I know what these kids go through.  I know what they are feeling, thinking and wondering.  Believe me that just because those are children actors it does not mean they do not feel what they are saying and unfortunatley, they were not hired and then made to wear a “fat suit”.  They were hired because they were obese.  For me, I am learning as an adult.  I took my health future in my hands.  I see parents with health problems, I see myself with good chances of getting health problems, and to all that I say no to my future kids. 

I refuse to have my kids go through teasing like I did.  I refuse to let them be concerned in their early twenties that they might loose me.  I refuse to let them grow up with grown up health problems because of the food and activity choices I made for them.  I refuse to let something overpower them without their consent.  I refuse all this because I made this decision from my own mind and opinion, not because of a TV ad.  So my question to you, are you going to be sensitive to an issue so huge it’s going to affect your children or grandchildren or are you going to look at it head on and say, “Not today, not tomorrow”?

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  1. * Paul says:

    Of course if Congress was not pressured into passing Children Nutrition bills that have pizza be a vegetable or potatoes of some form (french fries) be on school menus multiple times in a week, we might be able to make in roads in to fighting this. Writing to our Congressional representatives to me is worthless. I have done so a couple of times and only receive stock answers back. Nothing to indicate they even saw my letter let alone hear what I am saying.

    | Reply Posted 10 years, 8 months ago

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