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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Point to ponder: Childhood obesity

I was thumbing through a copy of Bariatric Times at a friend's house earlier today when an article on childhood obesity caught my eye. The article itself wasn't that earth-shattering but there was a profound quote from a source that hit home with me.

Loosely paraphrased, it read, "The key to treating childhood obesity is to understand that the afflicted come from homes where overeating and inactivity are allowed or encouraged."

Interesting perspective. I read those words and find them logical and succint. A lot of efforts toward reducing childhood obesity focus on educating and motivating the children but don't seem to target changing the environment at home. I wonder how effective it is to teach little Johnny the importance of making wise food choices and exercise if he goes home each day to a harried household where dinner is from the nearest drive-through and served in front of the Nintendo Xbox.

Any thoughts?


Holly said...

I thought about this a lot today- it's an issue I have to face everyday as a teacher. I think the best thing is to teach the child everything you can. They may not be able to overcome what is going on inside their own homes right now- but given the knowledge, when they are old enough they can make their own wise decisions. I think parent education is important as well, but if they don't want to be educated, then we have to help the children as much as we can.

Tonya said...

Good point. It's a complicated connundrum. I don't think there is a right answer, though I wish there were. Education on all levels is key.