Fat shaming is a huge problem plaguing everyone around the world regardless of. According to the CoolSculpting in NJ, the number of children and adolescents suffering from obesity in the United States alone has more than tripled in the past forty years.
Although several steps are being taken to combat this matter, it’s a fact that encouraging children to watch their weight is not as simple as outright telling them they’re fat and they should watch what they eat because it crosses the line into fat shaming.
That said, here are a few reasons why fat shaming wrong, especially for children.
Fat Shaming Gives Children the Wrong Ideas
A lot of studies stressed that children and adolescents are very impressionable and that they look to their older peers when it comes to knowing what’s right or wrong. When younger people become accustomed to seeing adults remarking negatively about someone being a little chubby, they’ll immediately associate being fat as bad or undesirable. The worse part is that it may even create the suggestion that badmouthing someone’s heavyset appearance is an okay thing to do.
Fat shaming affects a child’s self-esteem and behavior
With all the negativity surrounding children suffering from obesity, it is without a doubt that fat shaming, especially when coming from immediate family members, can drastically drag down self-esteem. Children will feel isolated and will often withdraw from interactions with other people because of their supposedly “unacceptable” appearance. This can lead to a host of behavioral problems such as irritability and psychological issues like depression.
Fat shaming only worsens the problem
Contrary to popular belief, fat shaming does not encourage obese children to get up and start losing weight. According to a population study made in the United Kingdom, obese individuals who have experienced instances of discrimination due to their weight gained an additional weight on average. The answer? Fat shaming makes people feel stressed; as a result, most resort to eating comfort food to alleviate their stress levels.
No matter how good your intentions are, fat shaming is not an advisable way to make a child aware of the state of their health. However, staying overweight is also discouraged and should be remedied as soon as possible.
Below are just a few tips to help children deal with their obesity in a more sensitive way.
Keep lines of communication open
Obese children are likely to face discrimination in school in the form of bullying. The feeling of isolation a child experiences from bullying can undoubtedly bring his or her self-confidence into the dumps. Therefore, it’s important to make a child comfortable enough with you to allow them to talk about their woes.
However, in some cases, simply listening isn’t enough. When your child asks for advice regarding the matter, you should be careful in the choice of words so as to prevent discouragement and be the solid source of support your child needs. Additionally, if your child expresses interest in availing of commercially available procedures to improve his looks such as CoolSculpting and fat freezing, don’t shun him.
Teach kids proper eating habits
Instead of outright telling them to lose weight, teach your kids to eat healthy in the right proportions. Get them used to fresh fruits and vegetables, unprocessed meats, and fish. Through this, children learn not only to trim down but also to take better care of themselves in the long term because they are more conscious of what goes into their bellies.
Encourage children to be more active
Young people nowadays spend more time on their phones, tablets, or laptops and therefore have fewer opportunities to burn energy. To prevent turning such energy reserves into fat, parents should encourage children to engage in a variety of activities such as biking, hiking or playing a sport. In fact, it may not necessarily be a physically demanding activity such as joining a band or attending arts and crafts workshops. Aside from the fact that it distracts them from eating at odd times of the day, children can also get to discover and hone their talents and interests.