Wednesday, March 24, 2010

childhood obesity.


I have strong opinions on a lot of things. Nadya Suleman. PETA. Nickelback. This post is in another area that I feel strongly about. So if reading about what I think pisses you off then stop reading here!

Child and adolescent obesity.

Whatever statistics I read, the stories I hear, the videos that are out there.. I am never short of dumbfounded.

This is the article that got me. And the quotes:

"I'm a junk food person and because I'm a couch potato I don't like to get off the couch," she said. "It's also kind of just like my genes: Both my parents are heavy and that's just the environment I was raised in."

Maria said people have stared at her all her life because of her weight.

"The first thing that goes through their minds is, 'Why is she so fat?' And, 'Oh my god, she's so fat, why doesn't she just hop onto a treadmill?' And I think people don't really understand that it's not just's extremely hard."

Excuse me, what? That was a whole lot of placing the blame on other people. She is fourteen. I understand this. At fourteen I wanted to run away to Australia and marry Ian Thorpe and I was going to be a vet, or something. You don't know who you are when you're an adolescent and even though you are expected to be accountable for your actions, something as big as diet should have been monitored by her parents since she was, I don't know, 3 years old. You know, since she was first overweight. THREE. Also, just because your parents are overweight, does not mean that it's genetic!!

I don't know how I think I can get away with having such strong opinions on parenting, given that I don't actually have a child. My mother just laughs at me and says, "You just wait until you have children. Then we'll see how much you know!" I understand that. I really do. And I take the chastising. But I mean. COME ON. My child sure as hell won't be sitting around eating french fries and Cheetos all day.

"Maria was approved for an experimental procedure known as a "gastrectomy", during which 80 percent of the stomach is removed, including the part of the stomach that controls appetite."


You're not even done growing at fourteen! Are you kidding me? This is major surgery! This is not a walk in the park! This alters your way of life for the rest of your life!

"In a letter to the insurance company seeking coverage for this procedure, Maria wrote she needed surgery to make it to her 15th birthday. She said, "Doctors have told me for years that if I keep gaining weight I'm not going to see 18 and that has terrified me. I want to live. I want to do so many things."

Hey Obama. What does that new health care bill say about this? Not even touching on the fact that a 14-year-old is contacting her insurance company (when I was fourteen I didn't even know the name of my health insurance company), she clearly stated that doctors had told her "for years" that she had a problem. What? Why didn't something happen before taking such a drastic approach?

I hope to heaven that I'm wrong. I hope that the 12 different diets she tried, she tried for more than a week, and that she tried more exercise than swinging the Wii remote around (she's not using Wii fit, it has a weight restriction..). I could go on forever. But I will leave you with this:

This makes me want to cry.

P.S. I did some quick calculations:

Let's say she is 5'7".
Weight: 445 lbs
BMI: 69... off the charts! (Obesity is classified as a BMI of 30 or greater)

To get her to a BMI of 24.9, which is right on the border of "healthy weight" and "overweight", she would have to weigh 159 lbs. She would have to lose 286 lbs, and if she lost it at a rate of 2lbs/week (recommended amount to maintain weight loss), it would take her 143 weeks. 2.75 years. THAT IS RIDICULOUS. No wonder she wanted surgery. It's way easier than working that hard.

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