Imagine parents getting a letter from their child’s school saying their kid is too fat. Did you get one? Chances are good the child will see it too and experience embarrassment and shame, along with the parents. If his or her friends knew about the fat letter, the child would be stigmatized which would further make it difficult for him or her to do well in school.
What is this ridiculous, insulting letter really saying? It looks like it’s blaming the overweight on the parent. Not to say it’s any of their business, but does the school have a solution along with the letter?
The schools use the Body Mass Index (BMI) which is supposed to measure if someone is overweight; but it is not accurate because it doesn’t distinguish between fat and muscle. In other words, the test is done by combining weight and height and that determines the BMI. But if a body is pretty fit and muscular – and muscle weighs more that fat – then that body would be judged overweight. So, many children would be downright insulted. Some of these children are not fat at all.
A letter from the school should concern itself with grades and any student behavior problems which the parents should handle. That would be it. If you did get a fat letter, it might be good to trash it.
But instead, the nanny state is wrapping its pseudo-protective arms around younger and younger people in order to control and dictate what they should and shouldn’t eat.
School cafeterias are notorious for serving and selling packaged, processed and sugar-loaded lunches and snacks that make people fat. That defeats the purpose.
If the school was truly interested in children’s health, wouldn’t they target those foods first? If they don’t, it’s because the staff are probably eating the same junk, clueless as to what it’s all doing to their insides (and outsides). But worse, they’re putting a seriously bad example out there for children to follow. It doesn’t accomplish much, then, to send out fat letters.
It’s very difficult for many children to avoid getting fat when surrounded by unhealthy, fattening, disease-causing junk food, especially when there is little else to choose from.
Out of revenge, some parents might wish the same fat letters on all the overweight teachers and administrators themselves – of which there is a hefty amount. But that wouldn’t serve any purpose because when people are made wrong, they go right on doing the same things they were made wrong about.
In other words, telling a child he’s fat or telling the parents does nothing productive, besides the fact that schools shouldn’t be sticking their noses so deep into personal lives. What they are really saying is parents are incapable of caring for their children and that the state knows best. That thought has occurred to many and it does have a ring of truth.
For example, look at the obnoxious law Mayor Bloomberg tried to pass banning super-size sodas. Sure, a parent has a right to restrict those unhealthy drinks from their young children but to pass a law dictating to adults how much soda they can drink? The judge wisely threw that one out.
Take a look at prohibition – there was more liquor flowing during that ban than ever before.
You can’t enforce restrictions on food just like you can’t force people to stop smoking or drinking. It has to be a personal decision. Lock someone up to keep them from smoking or drinking and what happens when you let them out? They start smoking and drinking again. All that did was suppress them; it didn’t grant them the power to make their own decisions which is our most basic right as human beings. Of course people need love, support, counseling and even gentle nudging but in the end, the choice is still theirs.
In the same way, children should be guided into eating nutritiously, not forced or insulted. Children learn by example, not by being made to feel bad. The example they need is good, healthy food served at home and at school. Chances are very good kids won’t get fat or get fat letters.
Written by Lucille Femine