August 10, 2010
Perhaps peer prejudice is to blame
I happened across Hurricane Vanessa's blog post this morning about the UK's Marks and Spencer filling out their children's lines to cater for larger sizes - for children who are obese. They've even gone so far as to include bootlegs to balance out pudgy children's figures.
Vanessa mentioned then that compulsory PT in schools might be the answer to overweight children. Here are my thoughts:
I was a pudgy teen in primary and high school, and don't think compulsory PT does anything to teach you how to control your habits, besides the theory. I was insecure as it was at school because of being overweight, and one of the main issues here is also the way that pudgy children are treated by their not-so-pudgy peers - I found myself making excuses to avoid PT; not to avoid the exercise, because I desperately exercised at home (without losing the weight, I might add), but to avoid my peers.
I understand the need for children to learn about team work, but I think children also need to accept other people for who they are, and their prejudices about "fat" people usually come from their upbringing - small comments parents and grown-ups make around children can drastically affect the way that they think about life and about people.
If "fat" children were accepted into the team without judgement and prejudice, perhaps they would take part in more sports. I understand that in today's day and age, what with PlayStations and so forth, children are not too eager to get out there and look after themselves. But I don't think that schooling has any power in this.
Learning and change begins at home, and if their parents are allowing them to spend entire weekends in front of the game console and chowing down on take-out, which I might mention the parents are responsible for purchasing, then why should they change?
Even worse is if the parents are also stuck in front of the television every weekend! Parents need to take responsibility as well.
Perhaps this is a deeper societal problem that needs to be rooted out, rather than blaming the schooling system, which we already know is practically powerless when it comes to discipline, let alone changing the way children have been brought up to think.
I'd like to add that only once I became happy with myself as I was by not having the constant pressure from feeling to be judged by my peers did I drop the weight, and I'm now a very healthy size 10-12 (depending on brand)!
An important step, to anyone who'd like to know, is to avoid the scale like the plague!