From Your Health Journal…..”A very interesting article from The Huffington Post by Becky Hand entitled ‘Putting Kids On The Biggest Loser Is A Bad Idea‘. As most of you know, I am always promoting the Huff Post here, but I do like their articles a lot, including this one. When The Biggest Loser announced it was going to have kids on the show, I had mixed feelings. On the one hand, I worried that certain children would have their self-esteem lowered through on air mutilation in front of millions of viewers. Then, on the other hand, I thought how wonderful that some kids would get much needed help in reducing their weight and start a ‘new’ healthier lifestyle. But, I really did not see much on this in the media, so I was fascinated to read this article. Ms. Hand stepped up to the plate, and expressed her honest opinions. She notes that one in three children in the United States are overweight or obese. A child is considered overweight if his or her body mass index is at the 85th to 95th percentile for age. If his or her BMI is above the 95th percentile, the child is considered obese. Heart disease is on the rise, as well as type 2 diabetes – both related to obesity. The author points out that keeping kids weight issues private is an important issue to her, but she also gives out great pointers to help parents lead their children towards a healthier lifestyle. She suggests not to single out one child who may be obese or overweight, but to treat all children the same when discussing healthy habits. She also mentions how to clean out the pantry of unhealthy choices while preparing healthy choices for the entire family. Please visit the Huff Post site (link provided below) to view the complete article and to support Becky Hand’s work.”
From the article…..
For the first time in its 14 seasons, the hit weight loss reality show The Biggest Loser is featuring obese children. If you’ve seen the show, you know that the producers have made some changes to the show’s formula for these kids.
The three teens, who are clinically obese, live at home while participating in the weight-loss interventions, rather than on the ranch. They are not exposed to the same demanding treatments as the adults, they cannot be kicked off the show, and they are each given the title of “ambassador.” Their role is to bring attention to our country’s childhood obesity crisis and empower others to make better food choices, move more, and work toward a healthier body weight.
One in three children in the United States is overweight or obese. A child is considered overweight if his or her body mass index is at the 85th to 95th percentile for age. If his or her BMI is above the 95th percentile, the child is considered obese. To determine if your child falls in either of these categories, talk to your child’s pediatrician or chart it yourself using the Centers for Disease Control growth charts.
When faced with startling statistics like those, it is easy to see why drawing more attention to this epidemic is important. (And in my last post, I emphasized that downplaying the obesity crisis, even in one story, can seriously affect public health.) Despite the gravity of the situation, I am not convinced that the task of informing our society about our childhood obesity crisis should be placed on the shoulders of two 13-year-olds and a 16-year-old, especially with millions watching their personal weight-loss experiences each week.
As a registered dietitian involved in the treatment of overweight children, I am aware of the need for compassion and privacy when working with overweight children and teens. It worries me when the primary focus becomes the number reported on the scale and the weight issue is viewed as something that children or teens can fix on their own. Overweight and obese children are at nearly twice the risk of having other medical, mental, and development conditions when compared with a child in the normal weight range.
To read the full article…..Click here