Guest Blogger Tracy Effinger Weighs in on Schools’ Roles in Preventing Weight Gain
|May 18, 2012||Posted by Stacy under Improving school food|
Tracy Effinger knows how hard it can be to lose weight. As a veteran fitness trainer who has worked with Hollywood stars like Amy Brenneman and Sela Ward, she has watched countless people struggle with it. Now, as a mom of one (with a second baby due any day), she shares her thoughts on the responsibility that we all have to ensure our children get off to a healthy start.
Lately, I have been thinking a lot about the childhood obesity issue. My friend’s daughter is seven and weighs 130 pounds. Needless to say, it was shocking when I first saw her, and it is somewhat daunting every time I see her. I simply do not understand how no one has intervened…not the school, nor her pediatrician, parents, or extended family.
I have tried to bring awareness to the situation and have gotten her mother to take her to an obesity specialist, but I’m still uncertain if anything will change. She is already afraid to be seen in a bathing suit and says she wishes she were skinny. It breaks my heart.
Having worked with hundreds of people to lose weight, I must say that to wait until a weight problem exists, and to not to intervene early by teaching a child how to eat right, but to “try” only to prevent these types of problems after the fact is basically a bold form of negligence. Negligence is a failure to exercise the care that a reasonably prudent person would exercise in like circumstances.
We all take such good care of our children in so many other ways. Why are we often so careless with their food? We don’t mean to cause harm, but it is lazy and a lack of leadership to allow them to make these choices on their own. I think parents are scared to say “No.” They want to please their child in that moment. Schools want for it to cost less and be easier to feed everyone.
We must find a way to be more conscientious when it comes to what we feed our children. We must be willing to hear them cry or be angry if they don’t get the sweet they want in order to preserve their health and habits and have a sweeter, healthier future down the road. Next time your child is crying for a cupcake and you want to give in, ask yourself if you are really helping?