Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Dear Parent: Your kid is fat

Many schools are now weighing, measuring, judging and berating--and sending notes home saying a child is "at risk" of the dreaded obesity.

I saw one case of a 5'3" volleyball star who weighed 124--her mother was outraged. The girl pictured was perfectly "normal."

Don't administrators know that larger kids are prime bullying material? It is still OK to ridicule overweight people. They deserve it, the lazy pigs! Ever seen that in print on the internet?

I was the "fat" one in my family--the abnormal--all the rest were "normal." My father was a psychiatrist and screamed, spittle flying, and forced me to run, to fast, to take those Dexedrine pills popular in the 1950s.

I am still large. But my childhood was a nightmare. He apologized decades later. Sure, accepted.

I hated weigh-day at school. I hated climbing the rope in gym. The awful shorts.

Yes, they could have a salad bar in the cafeteria or parents could keep junky stuff at home to a minimum--sure, do it. But all this stuff from the White House on serving arugula or giving HS athletes a 500-cal lunch is garbage--and garbage is where many of these recipes land, I hear.

When my daughter was born, her dad looked at her as she toddled on her long legs and said, "Are her legs fat?"

No, you don't! That is not the only reason I left, but it is one.

The only "diet" advice I took in later life was to walk one hour a day. No gym, no expense, no miles, just an hour on the clock. I did it for years. I did not get thin, but it didn't hurt me.

Now, my arthritis is too bad to do it and I miss it.

Obesity is a complex subject--be very careful before tagging some kid with it.

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