An open letter to a fat kid’s parents

Let me be blunt, mean, angry and honest.

As I am looking at a kid, who cannot be more than 4 years old,  eating chips after chips, I am counting and almost 300 bad calories later, I am thinking what his parents are doing to this kid is tantamount to child abuse.

He is obese and sorry Mama, he is not cute like you think he is…!

Are you telling me that you do not know your child is fat?

There are zillions of articles regarding the prevalence of child obesity worldwide today. There is something called Body Mass Index (BMI) that uses height and weight measurements to estimate a person’s body fat. Any pediatrician you are visiting can possibly provide you information about your child’s BMI.

In any case, if you are too busy to notice the weight of your kid, here is a simple ideal weight body calculator that might enlighten you about your child’s well being.

And I hope you are aware that children who are obese are likely to be obese as adults. Therefore, they are more at risk for adult health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke and so on.

Are you aware that social discrimination can destroy your kid?

Overweight children are socially discriminated way too early in life. I have faced such a discrimination that has had a lasting negative impact on me.

I was not an obese kid. However, I started gaining weight during my early teens. At 13 and not more than 5’1”, I possibly weighed more than 125 pounds.

As I was wondering about the changes in my body, I heard the word “bull dog” from behind. In no time, I was named “bull dog” by my class mates. The bullying and name calling remained for a few years.

Those years were the worst phase of my life. Many times, I hid from people; made no eye contact; started under-performing in my class; and suspected that everybody had a problem with me. Worse, I started blaming myself for being fat and ugly.

It has been 20 years since I left my ‘bull dog’ days, yet, it haunts me even today. Being socially discriminated at school eroded my confidence, and worse, it destroyed my lovely memories from school.

Are you aware that you are actually abusing your child?

You are abusing your child in many ways if you are letting him/her be fat due to his/her dietary and physical activity behaviors (spending way too many hours playing e-games or eating junk or processed food).  While you cannot control everything your child is exposed to outside your home, at least you can influence him/her to have a healthy lifestyle at home. Parents should lead by example by leading a healthy and active lifestyle.

How about not cowering into submission every time your kid throws a tantrum when you say no to extra servings and large portions of cheesy and greasy food for instant gratification or when you say no iPad, iPhone, or other e-games? Maybe a little bit of actually playing ‘in the field’ might help your child.

Trust me, it is no fun being a fat kid…!

One thought on “An open letter to a fat kid’s parents

  1. I do think that often times parents do not know what is making their kids big. The food in US often dangerously high in sugar and sodium – but most parents may not pay attention to that, but instead pay attention for fat content – because that’s what the media tells them. There are confusing messages about health everywhere. In addition, healthy food is often unaffordable compared to a 99 cent Big Mac Meal. Parents are part of the issue, but we need to do so much more policy wise to protect the health of children.

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