Years ago, the obese or overweight child faced a lot of scrutiny by their classmates and peers. Taunting on the playground was sometimes even overlooked by teachers that were ignorant to the plights of these children. Back then, the obese or overweight child stood out, and like any noticeable difference amongst a group, their weight trouble was questioned and looked down on. I’m sure most parents today can recall the one or two kids that were in their classes growing up that were constantly teased and made fun of by other students.
Not so in today’s schools. Childhood obesity rates have climbed at increasing rates year over year to the point that nearly half of the kids in a given classroom today are living above their healthy weight range. It’s almost tough to say what an “average” weight for a child is at a given age and height due to the increasing numbers of kids that are overweight. Perhaps in part due to the rise in childhood obesity, we’re also beginning to see more and more parents become too obessed with keeping their kids from becoming overweight that they’re too skinny. Of course, neither side of the coin is ideal, but the obesity problem is becoming out of control.
If your child is overweight then you might feel more comfortable knowing that many more people suffer from the condition these days. This means that they won’t be singled out as often which will in turn mean that they don’t get teased half as much. They might not feel the need to lose weight because they are in the same boat as many other people. However you should do everything you can to improve the health of your children, and if you have an overweight child, you should not take “comfort in numbers,” despite the fact that the numbers continue to grow.
Ultimately, this boils down to taking a healthy self-empowering approach to childhood obesity. With the help and guidance of counselors at a weight loss or fitness camp, you can help teach your child about proper weight as it relates to health, not appearance. Empowering your child to lose weight helps them not only in their weight loss efforts, but also in peer pressure. Many overweight kids hang out with other overweight kids because they share similar interests – inactive things like watching TV, playing video games, and so on. These kids often feel like outsiders when hanging out with kids that play sports and exercise often, which creates an enviromnent of peer pressure where taking steps to lose weight will be difficult and even frowned upon by close friends. When children allow the group to make decisions for them, they aren’t in charge of their lives and are left vulnerable to many potentially harmful situations down the road.
Sure, it’s probably better that overweight kids aren’t teased as much today as they used to be, but it is most certainly not a good thing that there are more overweight kids today than ever before. As good parents, it is important to keep an eye on what is really important – their health – not their popularity at school.