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Oh, this just makes me sad...

It's not about weight. All the recent studies are showing that our "war on obesity" completely misses the mark, and is just fueling the food manufacturers sales of crappy empty calorie diet foods and the drug manufacturers sales of diet pills and "supplements". It should be a war (though I hate that term) on inactivity and crappy choices. BUT being active and making better food choices is not always going to make you skinny, nor should it. People come in all shapes and sizes - we need to get over it and stop judging each other (and ourselves) for how we look. The research clearly shows that an active overweight person is more healthy and will live longer than an inactive skinny person. So, No - we should not be talking to our kids about weight. We should be talking to them about lifestyle and loving their bodies. It sounds like the OP's friend wants to talk about lifestyle, but is overly fixated on the weight as the impetus for the conversation. If she is concerned about her daughter's lifestyle and feels that she should be doing more to help her daughter lead a healthy life, then I hope she tackles it as such, and spares her daughter the trauma of making this about weight.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

There is a difference between between "skinny" and being at a healthy weight. Healthy weight is a range for the very reasons that you mention -- people come in different sizes and that is OK.

However, being overweight or obese IS a problem. It is heavily linked to a verity of health problems. We live in a country that changed the name of a disease from "adult onset diabetes" to "type II diabetes" because now so many pre-adults are diagnosed with it. In ability to control one's weight in a healthy range is a public health issue.

It isn't healthy to be fat. It really isn't.

And while an active person who is overweight is healthier than a thin person who isn't, it is more difficult to be active when one is overweight. It is harder on one's joints. Teen girls, especially, feel self conscious about being active, wearing a swimsuit, etc when they are overweight.

The healthiest option is to figure out what your body needs in the way of food to maintain a healthy weight, and also be active.
Yeah, I just disagree. I get that we are both trying to come at this from a perspective of health, but I will not be convinced that size is a useful characteristic to focus on. Some people's joints were built to carry more, and a young girl's self consciousness is an emotional concern, not a physical one. I think the more we focus on weight the more we lose sight of the real issues in health. Calling it "healthy weight" as opposed to "skinny" doesn't really make it any less about size and shape, which I don't find helpful. I find "healthy weight" (along with "fit", "trim", etc) to just be the current politically correct way of saying that someone is of a socially desirable size. The more we say "fat = unhealthy", the more we perpetuate a culture based on size (which is the real reason why that young girl feels like crap). We have no way of knowing what someone's fat/muscle ratio, blood pressure, or cholesterol is underneath their clothing, even if it is "plus size" clothing.

Type II diabetes is a serious problem, and yes, especially for children it is a new problem. But it isn't about weight. It's about blood sugar and putting a very high volume of very awful, very modern calories into your body. There have been overweight people throughout time, but Type II diabetes is relatively new. It's not the size of the people that is the problem, it is the foods they are eating. Size may be an additional repurcussion of eating those foods, but to focus on the symptom rather than the cause is unhelpful.
 
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