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Comfort in Numbers: Lack of Social Stigmas are Not Helping Today’s Overweight Children

The term “fat camp” has been tossed around for generations to refer to a place that children go, typically during the summer months, to lose weight. Over the years, fat camps got a bad wrap for being punitive and extreme in their methods. The truth is that today’s fat camps are a far cry from the camps of yesterday. Additionally, the social stigma associated with being an overweight child has also changed…although not necessarily for the good.

Not too long ago, overweight children faced a lot of scrutiny from classmates, peers and society in general. They were frequently taunted on playgrounds and this treatment was often overlooked by teachers and administrators. Overweight children used to stand out, and like any member of a group that stands out from the “norm,” their weight problems were often questioned and looked down on, often resulting in unfair treatment towards the kids.

Today, there has been such a dramatic increase in childhood obesity rates that nearly half the kids on the playgrounds are overweight. In fact, if you were to go visit today’s playground, you would be hard pressed to define the “average” sized child and chances are good that today’s “average” child is a bit larger than the “average” child of yesterday.

Why does this matter? First, it’s important to note that today’s overweight children are much more “accepted” and likely don’t face as much ridicule and isolation that they may have faced 20 years ago. On the other hand, parents should also understand that there may be so much “comfort in numbers” among today’s overweight kids that there is no motivation to live a healthier life.

So, this all boils down to our need, as a society, to take a healthier and more self-empowering approach to battling childhood obesity. With the help of an accredited fitness camp, you can teach your child how to live a healthier lifestyle and shed some of those extra pounds. Giving children some power in this process can be beneficial to their self-esteem as well. They will learn to make healthier decisions and will also become more comfortable thinking for themselves instead of letting the “cool kids” make that decision for them.

We should take comfort in the fact that our overweight kids may not be subjected to the same treatment that we may have been 20 years ago, but we should also be aware of the threat that this presents. After all, we’re most concerned about their health, right? Whether or not they’re popular at school should be secondary.

If you’re confused about where to start, you may want to consider one of the great weight loss camps out there that can definitely help your child learn how to live healthier. Today’s camps focus on a holistic approach to helping kids. The days of strenuous exercise and minimal eating are gone and have been replaced with programs that emphasize teaching kids how to make the right, and healthy, choices in their life.