Thursday, December 2, 2010

Too Skinny or Too Fat?

I came across this article on CNN titled Eating Disorders Increasing for Children and Teens and although at first I was surprised, I later realized that it is not unexpected at all. The article examines not only the increase in prevalence of eating disorders among males, younger children, and minorities but also the increase in obesity. We are now seeing both an increase in eating disorders and obesity, making it even more difficult to address the issue of weight among children and teens.

It is evident that children and teens are at time in their lives when they need guidance in this area and yet addressing the issue can have serious consequences if not done in the right manner. We can examine the situation from the point of view of a parent with a slightly overweight, under active child who is concerned with the health of their child. In an attempt to address the issue of a healthy lifestyle, the child may feel excessive pressure to be thin and resort to drastic measures to be thin.

After reading this article I realized that there is a great need for both awareness and support for teens and children in this area. Not only is there a great need for awareness and support, but also for the right kind of support. Health care professionals, parents, and teachers all need to be providing information to these children that encourages healthy eating, builds self-esteem without enabling excessive dieting. I believe that without this type of intervention, the problem is only going to get worse as children and teens are bombarded with images of the need for perfection.


  1. It is crazy to see how obesity is becoming so common in today's society. I think the reason for this is because we live in such a fast pace world, unlike the simple world that once existed. Today parents are too busy building careers that they rely on convenience to accomplish everyday tasks, such as feeding their family. Unfortunately convenient foods are very unhealthy and fattening coming from restaurants and boxes. When our grandparents were kids, they ate a lot healthier because they ate more fresh foods that were not processed.

  2. This is really sad. Almost everywhere I go now, I see kids that are obese. The question I usually end up asking myself is: what are this parents doing? Then it hit me, the parents are doing nothing. There is no reason that a child of 7 or 8 should be obese or a teen should be anorexic. When kids live under your roof, they are to follow your rules. Don't try to say you are giving them freedom of any sort. Also, parents need to know that the young generation of today are more vulnerable to heart diseases and several activities because of their eating habits and lifestyle in general. I am not sure that most parents are aware of that because if they are, they wouldn't help their children to live a dangerous lifestyle.

  3. I have seen this problem flourish in many lives and I have seen the destruction it brings to individuals and friends and family surrounding them. This problem is necessary to discuss, and you're right it should be done in the right manner. If not handled with care and possibly professional help, the problem could spread and tear a life down. I believe that God should be kept in the midst of the restoration of the problem. Because with God all things are possible.

  4. Because of the breakdown of the family, teens no longer have guidance on learning how to view themselves and others. Teens have learned to measure people merely on their outward appearance and have forgotten that the there is more to a person than the external. Whatever happened to choosing friends based on the values they hold, or the way they care for others, or simply for being themselves. This new generation of teenagers are learning to measure the value of people primarily through their looks, money, and social status. That is why so many teens feel compelled to conform to the status quo. They want to be skinny, they want to be good-looking, and they want to wear the latest trends in order to fit in with what society or the culture deems important. Until parents start getting involved in their children's lives and showing them that they love them no matter how they look, only then will teens learn how to accept themselves and accept others. Parents are the ones who can instill high self-esteen in their children. If they don't accept their kids and teach them how to accept themselves for who they are, then the status quo will be the guide to how one can be accepted by society. And the status quo will always teach that the external is all that matters. Hence, leading more and more teens to conform to the standards of the popular group.


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