You made your child fat!

There was a bit of a storm in a tea cup in the UK recently when the National Health Service branded a five-year-old girl ‘fat’ and sent her mom a letter warning her that her child could be at risk for cancer, diabetes or heart disease later in life.

Her mother was upset because little Lucy Davies was a picture of health and her weight and height were well within the normal range for someone her age. But because during school tests her body mass index was 92% – one over the 91% classed as healthy – officials wrote to mum Susan, warning that Lucy may be vulnerable to serious illnesses.

Gotta love the UK or first world countries, where they have the luxury to pay that kind of close attention to kids in public schools.

But, onto the subject of fat kids…

Who is to blame for children who are overweight or obese? I say line up the parents and shoot them all! No child is born fat (I’m excluding hereditary medical issues here), and until they’re old enough to feed themselves, we’re responsible for the recommended daily intake of food.

And even after they’re old enough to eat for themselves, it is our responsibility to make sure they eat good nutritious food, and get enough exercise. I’ve come across so many kids under 12 years old, who are hideously overweight, because of an affluent lifestyle, parents who could care less and the culture of computer games. The fault must lay with the parents!

I enjoy exercise, and am lucky enough to have access to a fairly huge common area where I walk and run regularly. I’ve also made it somewhat of a ritual for the girls and I, they come along and I encourage them to do a lap or two with me, more often than not they end up running around chasing me, or each other and without even knowing it, they get in about 30 minutes of exercise.

We also enjoy watching The Biggest Loser together and during the ad-breaks the girls and I do a quick set of 20 push ups and 20 sit ups. I cracked up laughing when Maddi let off a screaming fart in an effort to complete her set. It also helps their self-esteem: both girls refuse my help when I want to assist with a sit up or push up and take a short break instead before completing the set.

The fact is fat kids have a raw deal at school, and develop all kinds of social issues because of the ridicule they face. I remember a fat kid who lived in my street when I was a kid. Whenever he came walking down the street, the rest of the kids would stagger and fall around pretending that an earthquake had struck. This kind of cruelty is clearly unacceptable, but we all know it happens.

You and I as parents owe it to our kids to give them the best possible chance at making a success of themselves, and taking an active interest in their weight and lifestyle is part of the package.

When last did you do anything active, consciously, with your kids? Are you happy with their weight and physical development, because if you’re not, you only have yourself to blame!

Are parents to blame for kids’ weight issues?

Read more by Marlon Abrahams

Disclaimer: The views of columnists published on Parent24 are their own  and therefore do not necessarily represent the views of Parent24.
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