For years I’ve seen Terios in my community. You know; the funny, cute and obese kid on the block. They’re always the center of attention during cookouts and block parties. Usually getting praised for their wit, their dancing skills or annihilating two adult size plates. Here’s the thing: jokes are cute. We want to endorse laughter and happiness.
Dancing is cute. We want to encourage fun physical activity. An already alarmingly obese child eating two adult servings of food is NEVER cute. The idea of praising kids for a clean plate is detrimental to our children. Forcing kids to eat when they are full is dangerous to them mentally and physically. Overeating can cause food addiction and could attribute to the child’s current obesity. I understand we work hard to provide things like food and shelter for our children. We don’t want to see food wasted. That is totally logical but what’s even more logical is learning your kids’ eating behaviors.
But let me slow down a bit.
Before I discuss prevention, let’s discuss childhood obesity. Childhood obesity can lead to diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, hormonal imbalance and depression. These things follow kids into adulthood. We need to end it here because If you haven’t noticed there are more obese and unhealthy kids in the black community than others.