A few years ago, the Australian Government launched a $6 million campaign to reduce Child obesity and the Australian Medical Association (AMA) welcomed the focus on kids’ health.
The idea was to focus on junk food and get parents to stop the child from eating fast foods, sweets and other unhealthy foods. TV, radio and newspapers were running government sponsored ads to point out the dangers of these kinds of foods, with the idea to get kids eating more healthy foods.
Foodfacts.com observes that, at the time it seemed a very noble cause as overweight kids are a big problem in all western countries. The government was correct that for these overweight kids there was a great risk to their health from diseases such as diabetes, heart problems and high blood pressure etc, in later life.
What they did not factor in was the psychological effects on these overweight kids and may have inadvertently created a whole new generation of eating disorder victims. Kids were encouraged to start diet clubs at school and there have been stories of kids being weighed at school, at times in front of the whole class. We learn of incidents of bullying and social isolation of larger children which is another anecdotal trigger for eating disorders.
What has now happened is a lot of these overweight kids are starting to be ostracized by their peers and so much pressure being placed on them that they are starting to suffer from stress and other psychological ailments, like anorexia and bulimia.
What the experts in the government ranks forgot was that the child brain is like a giant sponge and very plastic. It absorbs huge amounts of information forming neuronal pathways with the information that is deemed to be important.
Constant teasing and emotional abuse from other kids for being a bit overweight can have a devastating effect on the child and the way they see themselves, or to put it simply their body image.
Supplementation from Content4reprint