Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter



A Weighty Problem: Childhood Obesity — Causes and Cures

Azriela Jaffe

Childhood obesity is on the rise. And we know how damaging excess weight is for our health. What are the possible health issues facing overweight children? What can we do to prevent the problem from occurring and to deal with it once it arises? Family First speaks to a plethora of professional about this critical topic.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Sarah* is 100 pounds overweight, and her husband tips the scales at 200 pounds overweight. Not surprisingly, both of her teenaged children are also obese.

Both Sarah and her husband are considering gastric bypass surgery, as all efforts to lose weight have failed. Sarah hones in on the challenge of all overweight parents of heavy kids: “It’s hard to lead overweight children in a healthier direction when you’re suffering yourself. What I really wish for is a magic genie to wave a wand over all of us so we could lose weight. I wish we could summon the appropriate willpower and remain focused on the goal. It’s frustrating to know how long the journey we have is.”

Sarah does not shirk responsibility for her family’s discouraging situation. “Certainly there is a genetic component to all of us being heavy, but ultimately, if you don’t put the food in your mouth, you aren’t going to be fat,” she says. “My son has a friend who is one of four. What his mom makes for the six of them is a lot less than what we prepare for the four of us. We are always hungry. I spent ten years of my adult life close to a healthy size. To balloon to this weight, I made choices that got me here. My husband and I are hesitant to do gastric bypass, (although our doctors are strongly advising it because of our health issues), because we don’t want our children to presume that surgery is the only answer.”

Unfortunately, Sarah is in good company. Millions of Americans seem destined for a lifetime of obesity unless they make major lifestyle changes. Obesity has risen to be the number one health concern in America and the world, even topping smoking. The number of obese children and adults has almost doubled in the last three decades. What must we do to avoid obesity? How can we maintain healthy eating habits and pass them on to the next generation? 

 

To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha or sign up for a weekly subscription.

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.
CAPTCHA
Message


MM217
 
What’s in a Name?
Shoshana Friedman “What does Writer X have to say this week?”
Atonement — Fake and Real
Yonoson Rosenblum White confessionals and faux rituals
Four Walls Coming Full Circle
Eytan Kobre All the while, there’s been a relationship in the offing...
And Yet We Smile
Yisroel Besser We are the nation that toils to be happy at all costs
Out of This World
Rabbi Henoch Plotnick Dirshu Hashem b’himatzo — we are in Hashem’s company now...
Steven and Jonathan Litton
Rachel Bachrach The co-owners of Litton Sukkah, based in Lawrence, NY
Tali Messing
Moe Mernick Tali Messing, engineering manager at Facebook Tel Aviv
Sick Note
Jacob L. Freedman “Of course, Dr. Freedman. Machul, machul, machul”
Avoiding Health Columns Can Be Good for You
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman Only one reliable guide for good health: our Torah
Endnote: Side Notes
Riki Goldstein Most Jewish music industry entertainers have side profes...
Me, Myself, and Why
Faigy Peritzman Where there’s no heart and no love, there’s no point
Can’t Do It Without You
Sarah Chana Radcliffe When you step up to the plate, you build your home team
Eternal Joy
Mrs. Elana Moskowitz The joy of Succos is the fruit of spiritual victory
The Appraiser: Part III
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP and Zivia Reischer Make sure your child knows his strengths
Hidden Special Needs
Rena Shechter You won’t see his special needs, but don’t deny them
Dear Wealthy Friend
Anonymous There’s no need for guilt. I am truly happy for you