I switched on the TV tonight, and the programme that I stopped at was the Half Ton Teen on Living Channel. The mum states her child is her reason for living, but she is the one going to the supermaket and buying all the hugely fatty foods that her son is eating. The doctor thinks that the teen is eating 30,000 calories a day to keep him like that.
The biggest problems he has are his mother and father. The programme calls his mother the “enabler”. I find it distressing to watch his parents asking him if he was going to “do it” this time (lose the weight and have surgery). She is the one buying all the junk he is eating, and I felt like flinging the skin of the tangerine I was peeling through the TV at her.
I see this on a much smaller scale at home as well. There are children locally who are struggling with their weight. I feel so sorry for them on a day to day basis, as most children (and adults) want to be part of the group, and accepted, and weight can be a factor that excludes children from the “in” groups.
Most overweight children are at the mercy of their parents food and lifestyle choices, and I do feel sorry for them. I have been lucky in that I have three children, of who two are very thin, and one is average for his age. All my children are able to eat a lot of food without becoming obese, and for that I am thankful.
I also have my children do a lot of exercise as I don’t want them to spend their lives as I have, constantly fighting to either get to, or keep my weight at a normal level. With the computer society, and parents keeping children inside when they can’t be there to watch them, it is difficult to find the right balance.
I do also think tendancy to put weight on has a bit to do with our genes, and our state of mind at any one time, and that it is difficult to put the blame decisively on any one person or place unless we know the circumstances. I am not exactly stick thin myself, but when I see an overweight parent of an obese child filling up a grocery trolley with chocolate and stodge, I feel so sad for the children.