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In our Obsession to Combat Childhood Obesity

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Child eating disorders on the rise

By Cindy Harb, Special to CNN
updated 6:59 AM EDT, Wed August 22, 2012

Fat is the new ugly on the playground

A study conducted by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality showed that hospitalizations for eating disorders in children under 12 increased by 119% between 1999 and 2006. More recent numbers are unavailable, but experts say the problem isn't getting any better.

Children will come in to her office already showing signs of malnutrition, dietician Page Love says. They often have low energy levels and low iron counts and are reporting hair loss because of their extreme weight loss.

Most, like Smith, do not recognize that their restrictive habits are actually an eating disorder that could ultimately be fatal.

Dina Zeckhausen is a psychologist and founder of the Eating Disorder Information Network. She sees kids in third and fourth grade who are already worried about being fat.

"There is so much emphasis on obesity," Zeckhausen said, "that there's a danger that we are going to produce a lot of anxieties in kids around weight."

Zeckhausen says that starting overweight kids on diets can trigger an obsession with food that could lead to an eating disorder.

by on Jan. 26, 2013 at 7:55 AM
Replies (51-52):
by on Jan. 27, 2013 at 12:41 PM
1 mom liked this

Im not concerned with diabetes in the bigger picture, as on with everyone.

I believe the solution is o nevereven mention obesity toyour own children. Never tell them about "fat people". Instead, focus on being healthy, and discuss health issues with them. At people arent the only unhealthy folks. In fact, many people that ive seen in caskets are nrmal sized, and they died as am effect of their poor habits.

I will not concern myself with keepi g my child below a certain weight. I will,however, try my damnedest to make sure that they eat a great variety of healthy foods, allow them junk foods in moderation and ensure that there are plenty things they can do around our house to stay active. Instead of investing in video games for each child, i will invest the same amount in a large above ground pool. Instead of investing moneyin televisions i will invest the same amount in a trampoline. Instead of investing in computers for each child, i will invest in bikes for the whole family.

I vow to be involved *with* my children outside, playing right alongside them instead of watching fromthe side, thus teaching by example. I vow to cook and eat well, showing them with my actions how important it is.

This is solution. So manyof us focus on *weight*, instead of overall health. While we tell our children they should be active,we sit in front of our computer screens, or on our ouch watching mauryand doctor phil.

We struggle with our weight, showing our children that this is the most important factor in life, dieting over and over and openly stressing about weight gain/ loss. Instead of cooking wonderful, healthy meals in the kitchen and involving older children, giving them the skills they will need later in life,we say we are tired and order in the drive through,

*we* are the problem, not obesity. *we* aree the solution. 

Become an active parent, an active part in your childs life, an example of *health*.

by Ruby Member on Jan. 27, 2013 at 12:55 PM

 IDK about a correlation however there is a rise in eating disorders and 119% in 6 years seems pretty significant. I am thinking not just of those chidlren who are obese but rather  the otherwise "normal" kids who maybe are a little heavy either because of puberty and body changes related to that or that they happen to fall above the 50th percentile on the bell curve of "normal" for weight and height. These are the children who are impacted by the barrage of low fat, diet, exercise, better to be thin that they take it to the extreme and in ordeer to avoid being obese, they become anorexic.

A family member is going through this now with their chidlren. Her chidlren are active and athletic. They were round and pudgy and cute little kids and went through their pudgy phase in puberty. Now, t hey are super-thin by their own design. This is taking eating healthy to an extreme.

Quoting jaxTheMomm:

I can see how an increased awareness might create problems, but could it be that with more obesity, comes more teasing among children?

I don't think that being aware of this and trying to bring it to light, to encourage healthy eating and activity is a bad thing, and I don't think I'd necessarily correlate it an eating disorder, but it's certainly worth thought.

We now have the first generation of children who may not have the same longevity as their parents.  We are going to spend billions and billions in health care related costs in trying to treat the diseases that come with early obesity.

So we gotta talk about it.  Is it, though, actually causing more eating disorders?


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