Children and Prejudice- Obesity

I read a blog post earlier today that got me thinking about discrimination.
Sadly there is a prejudice in society against people who are overweight.

I’m certainly not a fan of the “Eat that and you’ll get fat” theory of parenting.

Should we really be teaching a three year old that if they eat too many chocolate chip cookies that they will get fat. Using fear to get children to eat healthy isn’t the answer in my opinion.

There is already enough poor body image portrayed in media without teaching our children that they don’t want to be “fat.”

Self awareness regarding the way we look begins early in age that it is why it is so important to teach our children how to have a positive self-image. What we teach our children today reflects on who they will be tomorrow.

The self obsession of beauty is changing society. We now have five-year-olds having spa days and pedicure parties, we really don’t need a five year old anorexic. The story of “Dana The 8-Year-Old Anorexic” that I watched on “Strawberry Anarchy” just breaks my heart.

There is nothing wrong with being concerned about what your children are eating, but using fear to get children to eat right is just wrong on so many levels.

What happens when your child looks at an obese person and assumes that they are overweight because they ate too many cookies.

This kind of thinking is why we have prejudice against obesity in our society.

Some people may strongly feel that they’re not teaching their children to be prejudiced against others, when in fact they are.

A study published on the International Journal of Obesity reported “Children ascribed more negative characteristics than positive ones to fat figures than to normal figures.” Be sure to review the full report. The finding were very interesting.

In order to avoid teaching your children to be prejudice, first you need to understand your own prejudices about people.

What is your honest opinion of obese people? When you see an obese person do you assume that they are overweight because of their eating habits? Are you guilty of assuming that obese people are simply lazy? Do you fear being overweight yourself?

Teach Your Children Healthy Eating Habits

Your child will learn more from your own approach to healthy eating then by telling them if they eat too much junk food they will become fat.

Offer your children a variety of healthy snacks to choose from.

There’s an excellent article in the New York Times written by Abby Ellen that you should read. “What’s Eating Our Kids? Fears About ‘Bad’ Foods.

Don’t teach your children to fear food. Teach them how to be healthy and love themselves.

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