Where Are All the Fat Kids?

Heard more on the radio last week about government initiatives to help fat kids lose weight.  This is an area where I find all the scary statistics (“10 out of 5 kids are a thousand pounds overweight!”) hard to believe.  I’ve worked around thousands of teens every year for over a decade, at several locations around town, and there just aren’t that many fat kids. 

Yes, some people are overweight, but is there an epidemic of morbid obesity?  I just don’t see it.  The number of kids I’ve ever seen who are so overweight that their health is in danger could probably be counted on my fingers. 

I’m skeptical of the whole anti-obesity witch hunt, anyway.  We’re almost treating people who are a little larger than average like they have the plague.  Frankly, it doesn’t make sense to me–if being a bit heavy is so incredibly dangerous, then why are there supposedly so many fat people?  Shouldn’t most of them have dropped dead by now?

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One comment on “Where Are All the Fat Kids?

  1. I think you’re right, and you’re wrong.

    Again, it’s true that the scariest scenarios seldom are true, but then there are more teenagers being treated for Type 2 diabetes. The percentage of overweight adults is growing, and when it seems people gain weight younger and younger, it’s pretty bad news on the long run.

    Maybe your area makes a difference? It seems there are local differences in obesity; in areas where most people are poor, you find more overweight people of any age. Why? The cheapest food today is junk food. It’s more expensive to eat healthy food than to eat unhealthy food.

    No, perhaps there aren’t that many people who are morbidly obese. And it’s quite possible, that the patterns of physical activities line up with obesity. Your BMI can be 30 or more, and if you’re very active physically (I know a marathon runner, who runs a full marathon every summer, and his BMI is over 30), you can still be healhtier than the guy who sits home watching the boob tube, and drives to the 7-11 a block away, who’s normal weight.

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