David B. Reath, MD
Knoxville, TN (865) 450-9253
HKB Knoxville Staff

Why Childhood Obesity is a Family Issue

Childhood obesity in Knoxville
The other day, I heard something very disturbing at the surgery center where I do a lot of my work. There was a child patient who was 6 years old, and weighed 120 pounds. I know, you’re saying you’ve got to be kidding me.  How does a child get this fat, this young?  And what does this mean for the rest of his life?

To my mind, this is a family issue.  Honestly, a very common family issue.  Correcting this will require a change in the way we live, and since most of us live in families, a change in the way that families live.

We had an issue with one of our kids who was heavier than any of us wanted.  So the first thing we did was to work on healthier meals for all of us.  All well and good, but this alone didn’t do it.  So, the next step was what we called “family fitness.”  Being active and exercising became a family issue, so no one was singled out.  We were all doing things.  It took working with different sports until one really took hold.  And our child grew to love this sport, excelled in this sport, lost weight and got into shape, and has stayed in shape ever since.  In fact, this kid became the family’s best athlete and competed on a national level in this sport.

Athletics are not as much a part of our education system as they used to be.  And, there’s less emphasis in our society in staying fit.  Does anyone remember the President’s Physical Fitness Challenge?  It’s actually still going on.  But I am not aware that our children had to do this test when they were in school.   So guess what, it’s up to us as parents.  And that’s not really a bad thing.

So if we want our kids to be healthy and fit, we need to work our with them.  It will be good for them and good for us.  What does your family do to stay fit?

Best to you all, and to all of our children,

David B.

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