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Experts Debate Labeling Obese Kids Obese

Old 07-03-06, 01:56 PM
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Experts Debate Labeling Obese Kids Obese

So, is it more important to be "politically correct", or get parents and kids to confront the issue?

I love the explanation of how the standards are from the 1950's so 17% of the kids are in the fattest 5 percentile.



http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,201934,00.html
Experts Debate Labeling Kids Obese
Monday, July 03, 2006


CHICAGO Is it OK for doctors and parents to tell children and teens they're fat? That seems to be at the heart of a debate over whether to replace the fuzzy language favored by the U.S. government with the painful truth telling kids if they're obese or overweight.

Labeling a child obese might "run the risk of making them angry, making the family angry," but it addresses a serious issue head-on, said Dr. Reginald Washington, a Denver pediatrician and co-chair of an American Academy of Pediatrics obesity task force.

"If that same person came into your office and had cancer, or was anemic, or had an ear infection, would we be having the same conversation? There are a thousand reasons why this obesity epidemic is so out of control, and one of them is no one wants to talk about it."

The diplomatic approach adopted by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and used by many doctors avoids the word "obese" because of the stigma. The CDC also calls overweight kids "at risk of overweight."

Those favoring a change say the current terms encourage denial of a problem affecting increasing numbers of U.S. youngsters.

Under a proposal studied by a committee of the American Medical Association, the CDC and others, fat children would get the same labels as adults overweight or obese.


The change "would certainly make sense. It would bring the U.S. in line with the rest of the world," said Tim Cole, a professor of medical statistics at the University College London's Institute of Child Health.

The existing categories are convoluted and "rather ironic, since the U.S. leads the world in terms of obesity," Cole said. "There must be an element of political correctness."

The debate illustrates just how touchy the nation is about its weight problem.

Obese "sounds mean. It doesn't sound good," said Trisha Leu, 17, who thinks the proposed change is a bad idea.

The Wheeling, Ill., teen has lost 60 pounds since March as part of an adolescent obesity surgery study at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

"When you're young, you don't understand what obese means," Leu said. "I still don't understand it."

The CDC adopted the current terms in 1998, using weight-to-height ratios and growth charts from a generation of children much slimmer than today's.

Children are said to be "at risk for overweight" if their body-mass index is between the 85th and 94th percentiles. They're "overweight" if their body-mass index is in the 95th percentile or higher or greater than at least 95 percent of youngsters the same age and gender.

Many pediatricians understand the first category to mean "overweight" and the second one to mean "obese," said the CDC's Dr. William Dietz. He said the word "obese" was purposely avoided because of negative connotations but conceded that many pediatricians find the current language confusing.

Adding to the confusion is the fact that about 17 percent of U.S. children are in the highest category, and that almost 34 percent are in the second-highest category. That sounds like a mathematical impossibility, but it's because the percentiles are based on growth charts from the 1960s and 1970s, when far fewer kids were too fat.


In children, determining excess weight is tricky, partly because of rapid growth especially in adolescence that can sometimes temporarily result in a high body-mass index.

For children in at least the 95th percentile, high BMI "is almost invariably excess fat," Dietz said. But there's less certainty about those in the second-highest category. So to avoid mislabeling and "traumatizing" kids, the CDC chose to be diplomatic, Dietz said.

The committee, set up by the American Medical Association, involves obesity experts from 14 professional organizations including the American Academy of Pediatrics. Their mission is to update recommendations for prevention, diagnosis and management of obesity in children.

Final recommendations are expected in September, and the participating groups will decide individually whether to adopt them.

Dr. Ronald Davis, the AMA's president-elect, said it's unclear whether the expert committee can develop a consensus on the obesity terms.

"There are seemingly legitimate arguments on both sides," said Davis, a preventive medicine specialist with Henry Ford Health System in Detroit.

Maria Bailey of Pompano Beach, Fla., whose 12-year-old daughter, Madison, is self-consciously overweight, opposes the proposed change. She said their pediatrician has told her daughter to exercise more and see a nutritionist, but "hasn't told her that she's in a (weight) category."

"We're already raising a generation of teenagers who have eating disorders," Bailey said. "I think it would just perpetuate that."

Paola Fernandez Rana of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., has a 9-year old daughter who at 40 pounds overweight is considered obese. Rana said doctors "refer to it as the 'o-word' " in front of her daughter "in an effort not to upset her."

"They very clearly told me she was obese," Rana said. But she said she agreed with the term and thinks that at some point it should be used with her daughter, too.

"Obviously I don't want my daughter to be overweight, but ... in order to change the situation, she is ultimately going to need to hear it," Rana said.

Dr. Michael Wasserman, a pediatrician with the Ochsner Clinic in Metairie, La., agreed. Using the term "at risk for overweight" is misleading, creating the perception "that I'm only at risk for it now, so I don't have to deal with it now," said Wasserman, who is not on the committee.

"There's a tremendous amount of denial by parents and children," he said.

Chicago pediatrician Rebecca Unger, also not a committee member, said she likes using the term "at risk for overweight" because it gives patients hope that "we can do something about it."
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Old 07-03-06, 02:00 PM
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I prefer the term lard ass.
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Old 07-03-06, 02:08 PM
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Oh no! We don't want to make the fat kids cry!
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Old 07-03-06, 02:12 PM
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Once should face stigma head on. It's smegma one should avoid.
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Old 07-03-06, 02:30 PM
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Well the 9-yr old is in the top 5% of her class.
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Old 07-03-06, 02:32 PM
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These kids aren't obese. They are just big-boned.







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Old 07-03-06, 02:41 PM
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I think the fat kids know they're fat. Usually it's hearing the other kids call them "the fat kid" that does it.
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Old 07-03-06, 02:44 PM
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I thought phat was a good thing.
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Old 07-03-06, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by ShallowHal
I think the fat kids know they're fat. Usually it's hearing the other kids call them "the fat kid" that does it.
yeah, but now everyone's the fat kid.
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Old 07-03-06, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by kgrogers1979
These kids aren't obese. They are just big-boned.



I don't see any difference.
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Old 07-03-06, 04:09 PM
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This is an area of interest of mine. From the research I've read....we are a country of fatties, raising fatties, and then complaining we are too stupid to know how to avoid bad fast food, and eat good food.

-p
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Old 07-03-06, 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted by pedagogue
...we are a country of fatties, raising fatties, and then complaining we are too stupid to know how to avoid bad fast food, and eat good food.
...and they *are* too stupid, living in a country where education is failing and people are merely a source of money (for megacorps) and votes (for politicians.)
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Old 07-03-06, 04:36 PM
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The trouble is weight loss takes work for most people, and most people are too lazy to do that kind of work.

The hub rides 20-30 miles a day on his bike with a 50 mile ride once a week just so he can avoid becoming overweight again. He was 235lbs at his heaviest and he is only six feet tall. Now he's a svelt 170. He is mostly legs. He exercises like this so he can eat what he wants.

Children really need to be active and remain active as adults. Sedentary lifestyles aren't doing anyone any favors. Plus it's disgusting that people allow their kids to get as fat as the ones shown in this thread.
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Old 07-03-06, 04:48 PM
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So let's not label obese, overwigth children as such because they might feel bad. Let's not give them failing grades when they cannot pass their exams, because it may hurt their self-image. Because it is more important that these people retain their self-esteem, right?

And do you really think these stupid, fat kids who can't get a date or a job are going to feel good about themselves later in life?

SHEESH!
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Old 07-03-06, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by mllefoo
The trouble is weight loss takes work for most people, and most people are too lazy to do that kind of work.
I'm just a liberal, I guess. I think the trouble is billion-or-trillion-dollar marketing of things only somewhat less deadly than cigarettes to both adults and kids. I know folks around here hate anything but "market solutions" for everything, but I think this is where corporate capitalism fucks up. We're being raised as pigs by the TV, to put it bluntly, and as long as making the population fat puts money in the right pockets, we'll just keep getting fatter and fatter.

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Old 07-03-06, 04:56 PM
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Originally Posted by adamblast
...and they *are* too stupid, living in a country where education is failing and people are merely a source of money (for megacorps) and votes (for politicians.)

plenty of corporations that sell healthy food and make barrels of cash doing it. most times the same corps that sell junk food, sell health food under a different label
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Old 07-03-06, 05:03 PM
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I bet I could make millions if I found a way to market Lard Squares. Screw nutrition..i'm just giving them what they want!!!!!!

No really....i'd do it.

-p
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Old 07-03-06, 05:06 PM
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Originally Posted by al_bundy
plenty of corporations that sell healthy food and make barrels of cash doing it. most times the same corps that sell junk food, sell health food under a different label
True enough, and more power to 'em. Let me be clear that I believe in free choice and in personal responsibility. But as a population, people want what they are taught to want. Today's teachers are the Mountain Dew skaters, Mr. Burger King, and fake contruction workers bragging about how messy their burgers are...
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Old 07-03-06, 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by pedagogue
No really....i'd do it.
Lard squares? Ick. You'd probably have to add lots of bacon flavoring and then deep fry' em if you want *me* to like 'em.
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Old 07-03-06, 05:17 PM
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Chocolate covered lard squares...


Well, if we can still call a spade a spade, and a crowbar a crowbar, I think we should call obesity obesity. Same with hypersensitivity, laziness, ignorance, and whining.
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Old 07-03-06, 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Mrs. Danger
Well, if we can still call a spade a spade, and a crowbar a crowbar...
That's rascist!!!!!!

Or am I being hypersensitive?
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Old 07-03-06, 05:35 PM
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Oh, go to a picnic.
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Old 07-03-06, 06:07 PM
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I'm stuck doing chores and homework all day tomorrow.
Good to have the day off, though.
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Old 07-03-06, 09:13 PM
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Our children are not fat they are gravity hyperchallenged.
and...
Our children are not stupid the tests are too confusing/ambiguous/Socially biased/etc...

Jeez, Life was so much simpler when the fat dumb kid was the fat dumb kid.

Political correctness is the devil.
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Old 07-03-06, 09:37 PM
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I love you more than fat kid loves cake.
You know my style. I'll do anything to make you smile
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