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Old 07-05-2006, 05:25 PM   #1
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Afraid To Call Them Overweight?

The are at risk of being overweight!?!

Experts debate whether children should be called obese

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CHICAGO, Illinois (AP) -- Is it OK for doctors and parents to tell children and teens they're fat?

That seems to be at the heart of a debate over whether to replace the fuzzy language favored by the U.S. government with the painful truth -- if kids are obese or overweight, telling them.

Labeling a child obese might "run the risk of making them angry, making the family angry," but it addresses a serious issue head-on, said Dr. Reginald Washington, a Denver pediatrician and co-chair of an American Academy of Pediatrics obesity task force.

"If that same person came into your office and had cancer, or was anemic, or had an ear infection, would we be having the same conversation? There are a thousand reasons why this obesity epidemic is so out of control, and one of them is no one wants to talk about it."

The diplomatic approach adopted by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and used by many doctors avoids the word "obese" because of the stigma. The CDC also calls overweight kids "at risk of overweight."
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Old 07-05-2006, 05:43 PM   #2
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Kids are sensitive and at that age that really hurts. I think if you can help them try to lose weight without words that could potentially hurt them, that would be best. A sensitive doctor and sensitive parents should be able to do that.

Obviously being made fun of by other kids hurts even more, as do the potential side effects of being overweight, obese, whatever. I don't know, I just remember what it's like to be a kid (especially a teenager) and it makes me feel protective of kids. I understand the point in being direct but I still want to protect them, can't help that feeling.
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Old 07-05-2006, 05:47 PM   #3
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Call them obese, already. Tell it like it is.

While strong language like that could be embarassing to some people, it could also act as a wake up call to people who need to lose weight for the sake of their good health. I figure if it might help the kids get healthier, it's worth putting a temporary dent in their self image (in a worst-case scenario).
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Old 07-05-2006, 05:48 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by MrsSpringsteen

Obviously being made fun of by other kids hurts even more, as do the potential side effects of being overweight, obese, whatever. I don't know, I just remember what it's like to be a kid (especially a teenager) and it makes me feel protective of kids. I understand the point in being direct but I still want to protect them, can't help that feeling.
I'm reminded of the movie "The Weatherman" and how sweetly the Nicholas Cage character worked with his overweight teenage daughter. It was both hilarious and touching.
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Old 07-05-2006, 05:49 PM   #5
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There's a difference between overweight and obese. Obese means your health is at stake and it needs to be approached honestly.
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Old 07-05-2006, 06:02 PM   #6
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i like the idea of calling a spade a spade, but since weight and body image and self-esteem are so inextricably intertwined in our culture, i think sensitivity is required when talking to a young teen about their weight -- would you care to induce an eating disorder in an impressionable child, probably every bit as unhealthy as being obese?
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Old 07-05-2006, 06:03 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by XHendrix24
Call them obese, already. Tell it like it is.

While strong language like that could be embarassing to some people, it could also act as a wake up call to people who need to lose weight for the sake of their good health. I figure if it might help the kids get healthier, it's worth putting a temporary dent in their self image (in a worst-case scenario).


perhaps offer them tips on how best to purge after a meal?
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Old 07-05-2006, 06:08 PM   #8
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I think there is a way to lovingly tell a child that they are obese and need to lose weight or it will make them sick. The whole family could engage in healthier eating habits and activities so the child wouldn't be made to feel bad about him/herself.
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Old 07-05-2006, 06:47 PM   #9
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Kids are sensitive, yes, but their health is important. A little hurt for health's sake would be better in the long run.
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Old 07-05-2006, 06:52 PM   #10
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Tell it like it is. Would you rather have your feelings hurt or have a heart attack, Diabetes.
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Old 07-05-2006, 07:12 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by Justin24
Tell it like it is. Would you rather have your feelings hurt or have a heart attack, Diabetes.


ever known someone who has suffered from bulemia or anorexia?
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Old 07-05-2006, 07:18 PM   #12
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nope, not that I know of. Those people including obese people need to be told and helped.
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Old 07-05-2006, 07:18 PM   #13
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I've always suspected that my mom's constant nagging about her weight caused my sister to gain even more weight. However, I think a doctor who is good at dealing with children in a sensitive manner on the issue could do some good by gently pointing out to kids that they do need to lose weight for the sake of their health if they are truly approaching obesity.
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Old 07-05-2006, 08:06 PM   #14
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This article seems to suggest that telling kids a "painful truth" will somehow fix the problem. In many communities safe places to play -- inside or out -- are nonexisent. Water fountains in schools are contaminated with lead and can't be used, and sodas and "fruit drinks" are cheaper and easier to come by than fresh fruit. The vast majority (double meaning somewhat intended) of overweight adults who lose weight -- gain it back...and then some.
It would be nice if instead debating "labels" this country could begin to address some of the probable causes of the so-called "obesity epidemic".
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Old 07-05-2006, 09:02 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
i like the idea of calling a spade a spade, but since weight and body image and self-esteem are so inextricably intertwined in our culture, i think sensitivity is required when talking to a young teen about their weight -- would you care to induce an eating disorder in an impressionable child, probably every bit as unhealthy as being obese?
This is true. Average age of onset for eating disorders is 17, and within 20 years, 20% of these people are dead.

A little bit unhealthy I'd say..

You do need to talk to kids about it, and not sugarcoat it, but of course it's important to put it in terms of good health and feeling good, not being super thin.

My brother's 10 and he's overweight and has high cholesterol. He gets upset when I suggest he needs to eat healthier and continues to eat shitty food, but then he complains he's fat and has low self esteem. I don't know what to do. I say "I" because my parents are both relatively overweight and I don't see their trends chaning anytime soon, so they're not much help. It's frustrating, because I try to talk to him about it nicely and he just gets upset and defensive. I know the older he gets the harder it will be to reverse it, and I don't want him to get fucked up by going through school as the fat kid.

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