Are fat parents to blame?

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What is the main role of a parent?  To nourish, nurture and educate their children in the ways of the world. Well, it seems one ‘celebrity’ mum has gone too far with the ‘nourish’ but is she killing her children with kindness?

Radio host Chrissie Swan couldn’t have imagined the uproar that was about to unfold when she posed for a beautiful family photo with her two young children, Leo, 3, and Kit, 9 months. Her cherubic bubs have been described as ‘fat’ and ‘unhealthy’. Swan herself has long battled with her weight; she struggled to lose kilos to help her conceive her second child, Kit, but is she transferring her ‘unhealthiness’ to her children?

For years the images of chubby children have been portrayed as healthy. And this is the type of image which we’re talking about here. Sure, Swan’s older child Leo is perhaps a little on the large side but I’m sure Chrissie, as an educated person, knows this and will be monitoring his weight closely. Having herself endured taunts for being overweight, I’m sure Chrissie does not want the same future for her children, but neither does she want to deprive the of the chance to be just that – children.

Children need a healthy, balanced diet and to be active. Some children who appear overweight actually eat the right types of food and are incredibly active. It’s just that their bodies store fat in a different way when younger, but good nutrition and exercise habits will stand them in good stead when they are older.

I wasn’t a chubby child but my brother was and our parents were a healthy weight. We used to joke that he was so fat that he couldn’t lift his facial muscles to smile in photos. He’s now 36 and still playing soccer at a decent level, as well as holding down a full time job and running after two young children of his own. He is well within the average weight band for his (short) height. My own son when younger was also a little chubby and now, at almost 12 years of age, is probably one of the slimmest in his class – go figure.

Mums have it tough enough as it is. It’s difficult trying to balance the pressures of family life with the added pressure of perhaps having to also provide for financially for a family. Having ‘skinny’ people pass judgment on how you are bringing up your children, when they have no idea how you feed and care for your children should simply keep quiet.

Are chubby children no longer an acceptable image of health? Should parents hide away children who appear to carry a few extra kilos? Is being skinny always preferable?

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Total Comments: 21
  1. 0

    Why not everybody live their own life, if it does not harm you in some way I see not reason to worry about what anybody else is doing. If it affects you in some way personally then say something personal. There is no need to bring it to the attention of others.

  2. 0

    I agree entirely. After I saw the comment I remarked that people should worry about their own concerns and not try to make themselves feel big by criticising others.

  3. 0

    Well said both of you my sentiments exactly

  4. 0

    I am going to disagree with others who think that it’s OK for children to be obese. The fact is that Australians have enlarged at a phenomenal rate ranking high on the global scale when it comes to obesity, that is, we are overweight. If you don’t know it as yet; obesity is now the biggest cause of major health problems from cardiac, renal, skeletal,diabetes, – you name it – they are all inter-related. The hospitals are now filling up with far younger people with age-related conditions entirely due to obesity. Hospitals and health services are faced with having to re-fit and install bariatric equipment simply to manage the obese patients. Furthermore, the cost to society, that means you and I the taxpayer is blowing out the budget. This leads to the further argument: should society, therefore pay taxes for people who do not take responsibiltiy for their own health and that includes the obese people who continue and choose to remain overweiht. There is enough evidence to show that weight can be reduced and minimise the impact on health. Obesity is not entirely due to the body build or genes. If you ask me it comes down to poor dietary choices and plain laziness to manage the weight problem.
    So I make no apology for expressing facts. It is extremely sad to see patients as young as 16y for example, present to hospital with obesity-induced, major medical problems. Not until you have seen it for yourself, you may continue to think that it is OK to be fat. It is simply not OK and it is time the whole of society start doing something to turn this around!

  5. 0

    KeyC it starts with re educating people how to shop for and cook healthy food.
    If you look at people from the lower socio economic groups you see them living on take aways,and this starts from the parents and is passed on from one generation to the next.
    They are addicted to fatty unhealthy food and dont know any different.
    What needs to be done is to re educate these children from a young age maybe starting in schools.

  6. 0

    My daughter was brought up on a healthy diet and both her dad and me were naturally slim so she was too. As an adult she is now a big girl, fitting into the genes that came from her dad’s family. Her American cousin (daughter of her fathers’s bro), the same age, visited and they are physically identical. So people shouldn’t presume anything regarding size in adults.

  7. 0

    KeyC and Chrissy, I agree. Education is a big factor and that begins at home.
    If parents feed their children fatty, salty, sugary foods, then that’s what the children will become used to and crave. Poor diet is definitely a low socio-economic problem and it perpetuated from generation to generation.
    I don’t particularly care if someone else is obese, but you are right, these people fill the hospitals with related illnesses and the health system is struggling to cope.
    I worked for years in schools and was dismayed at the school lunches eaten. The curriculum has a strong healthy eating and fitness component, but it makes no difference if the parents don’t back it up.

  8. 0

    Thank you KeyC and Actual Cat it is SO nice to actually have an intellegent discussion that is relevant to the topic instead of trying to avoid some of the personal dribble that is written in some of the discussions as in the topic of blood tranfusions

  9. 0

    I believe we are a product of our ancestors, if they were large people, you probably will be too. We all know someone with tall, lean ancestors who can eat tons of food and not gain any weight and the rest of us struggle to maintain it.

  10. 0

    That might be true in some cases but generally no!!
    Its a bit of an excuse.

    If you document everything that you eat in a week that will give you some answers and change your way of eating,you will be surprised on what you are actually eaing..
    Some people on certain medication are unable to lose weight.

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