Fat and Sassy

my views on being larger than life.

Teen grows, gains weight…..obesity “crisis” raises February 2, 2010

I ran across this article http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100201/ap_on_he_me/us_med_fighting_obesity about a 14-year-old, Paris,  who is in danger of getting obese….shes not even that chunky….just in DANGER of getting fat. “Paris’ pediatrician urged her to take part in an intensive experiment. The goal? To see if a yearlong program of weekly sessions with a nutritionist, exercise trainer and doctor, all preaching major lifestyle changes, could keep the 14-year-old from becoming obese.”  just IN DANGER of….and for this she goes to weekly nutritionist meetings, exercise trainers and doctors…ALL of who are telling her shes fat.  “It’s the kind of intensive help that the influential U.S. Preventive Services Task Force said last month can work for teens.”   Keep in mind this is a girl who developed early and is on the swim team….ALREADY an athlete with swimmers shoulders, so it’s not like she isn’t active, perhaps (despite her curves, even fit?) And she is 14 years old. FOURTEEN. YEARS. OLD.  aka a still growing teenager. 

“She developed early and classmates made fun of her blossoming bust and swimmers’ shoulders.

“They started calling me fat,” Paris says softly. It made her very self-conscious.

So she wears two suits to swim. They are a drag on her swimming times, but help camouflage her curves”

That is part of the problem with judging “the obesity epidemic” on bmi and averages…it sounds as if this girl is athletic and an early develpoer…and THAT makers her in danger of being obese?  Her doctor suggested she join the study because her sisters went to college and came back obese….but does that mean that the athletic paris would as well?  the article blames the biggest loser for making us thing that “overweight” isn’t bad for you. (wtf?) “”Reality shows like ‘The Biggest Loser’ definitely have not helped,” she said. They’ve skewed the public’s perception of what overweight looks like, featuring people who are dangerously obese” /headdesk.

The article follows the first (honeymoon) months of the family diet (lifestyle change /rolleyes) with relish….they all lose weight, even the growing 14-year-old (her whole family has to sign up with her) they all go vegetarian.  from April to Oct Paris loses 8 lb. (according to her bmi chart she started out 20 lb overweight) She gushes about how she looks ect, ect, the stuff everyone does when they are losing weight.   but after Christmas, it falls apart.  and of course, they blame her, not homeostasis, or hunger, or the fact THAT SHES A GROWING TEEN. 

Chicago’s 2008-09 winter is harsh, snowy and cold. Paris feels little motivation to venture outside to exercise. It’s dark when she gets home from school and homework keeps her busy until bedtime.

Her friends alternate between encouragement and saying she’s wasting her time. Her dad says Paris “is fine as long as she’s at home. She pretty much sticks to the diet. When she’s with friends, they go out to burger places. She struggles with that a bit.”

At school lunch, friends reach over and grab bites of her veggie sandwiches, and Paris thinks it’s unfair that their food is off-limits. Sometimes she takes a few bites, anyway.

By April 2009, it’s clear Paris will miss her birthday goal. In fact, she’s put on about 5 pounds. Wearing a tight magenta tank top accentuating her tummy bulge, she says, “I just want my stomach a little flatter.”

i HATE that.  THEY BLAME HER.   for gaining 5 lbs.  (most women don’t finish putting on height until their late (ie 18ish) teens.  not to mention that early developers add 5-10 lb of boob which, against popular belief, is NOT factored into bmi stats or “overweight” range measurements) her dad blames her.  Her friends “other” her, telling her she’s fail or commiserating in her dieting.  And she see the failure…and keeps failing…after 2 years, she has gained 12 lbs…which sounds perfectly normal to me considering she went form 14-16 but the article and her doctor sem to disagree.   Even the adults in her family only lost 5lbs (her family stuck to the vegetarian diet), or non at all over 2 years.   the grand total for 12 lbs gain for a growing teen over 2 years (and a weight loss of 5lbs in the mom)?  “A research grant paid for the Woodses to participate; otherwise the counseling and checkup sessions likely would have cost well over $4,000.”  4k to doctors for nothing….no real results, but the article trumps it up like it’s an improvement… all it shows to me is the fulitlity of trying to “diet”  I am pretty sure that paris will stay fairly healthy…..shes a swimmer and a lifeguard, walks to school and work, and eats a fairly healthy diet for a teen (her family still eats vegetarian at home, she does eat meat with friends.)   In fact i worry that all the study did was make her feel like a failure and set her up for future diet failures.


4 Responses to “Teen grows, gains weight…..obesity “crisis” raises”

  1. Meems Says:

    most women don’t finish putting on height until their late […] teens

    Actually, there’s evidence that many women don’t settle into an adult weight until we’re in our mid to late 20s.

    This whole article is just disturbing and that doctor should be ashamed of herself for promoting poor body image in an active, normal teenager.

  2. atchka Says:


    Good find, though.


  3. Patsy Nevins Says:

    And some slight & gradual weight gain is also normal for the majority of adults over their lives, especially during & right after menopause for women. And doing this to anyone, but most especially a growing child, is unspeakable. And someone, ANYONE, tell me how exploitative tv trash such as “The Biggest Loser” makes being ‘obese’ seem more acceptable!? Ye gods! Attitudes about body size/weight are so insane, so genuinely sick, in this culture!

  4. Ostara Says:

    This is just awful. And it sounds painfully familiar. I didn’t really “develop” early, but I was always a really tall kid and very solidly built. I grew into a misses size 10-12 m-xl very quickly. When I was about ages 11-16 I stayed around there, all the while freaking out over how supposedly HUGE I was and unhealthy and blah blah blah when I was a pretty sporty kid who did lots of athletics (and often excelled in gym class) and had a pretty healthy diet to begin with. And the part that kills me the most was my mom encouraged my self hate when I WASN’T even all that fat! Not that it’s acceptable to be this ridiculous over a higher weight, but I was 5’9 and 160-180 lbs. According to the BMI, yes, I was overweight, and was I bigger than a lot of my classmates? You bet.

    I remember sitting on benches looking at the girls next to me being jealous of how much tinier their legs looked in the spandex we had to wear for volleyball, or needing the second largest size for softball pants, but dang it, I WAS NOT THAT FAT. And here, I spent all my adolescence and a good chunk of my adulthood hating myself and torturing myself only to yo-yo to a higher weight just because I was IN DANGER of getting the OMG-OBESES!

    Gah! the ridiculousness and over-reacting really drives me up the wall. Not only does it ruin perfectly heathly teens’ sense of self worth, but it tends to only make them fatter. Dear obese-o-phobes, CALM THE FRICK DOWN.

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