Childhood obesity has always been a sensitive topic for me. I don't ever remember being a normal size. I always joke that I went from diapers to a size 22. I vividly remember the ridicule I endured from other kids, the quest for clothes to fit my oversized body, and the disappointment of failing diet after diet. I always vowed that whatever it took, my child would not go through that. However, I knew that I would have to lead by example. That was also one of the motivating factors for me in deciding to undergo the surgery and lose the weight.
The US has done a horrible job of addressing this epidemic. Bottom line, if we are concerned about the rising costs of health care, it would behoove us to deal with this now. If these kids aren't given the resources they need, they will continue to spiral out of control and become adults with even more serious health problems.
However, we just can't blame the government, the media, and the school system. Parents have to lead by example. If the fridge is filled with junk, what other options does that child have? If Mickey D's is what's for dinner every other night, that parent is part of the problem.
Check out the Washington Post series, Young Lives at Risk: Our Overweight Children. It features heart-wrenching stories of children battling obesity, information for parents on what they can do to help their kids, and also words from the campaign trail...what the next President plans to do to combat this epidemic.
Vivrant Thang blogs about live, love and music over at Songs In The Key Of Life.