This article is part of the Community Services, Charities & Volunteering topic. Below are more articles in this topic.
This article has been submitted by a GrownUps member. GrownUps accepts no liability for its content and the views and information contained within are not necessarily those of the GrownUps website.
Child Obesity Support Programme
NZ Registered Charity
Phone (04) 9041487 or (04) 9049566
Cell 027 3554553
What's On Top
- It's that time of year again (already!), so, Seasons Greetings and all that! Be happy and safe, enjoy yourself and try not to stress too much! Also, a big Thank You to individuals, community agencies, and businesses who have supported COSPRO throughout the year.
- Speaking of Christmas, guess who's the latest target in the worldwide struggle against the 'obesity epidemic'? That's right, none other than our kids' number one Christmas hero, Santa Claus! Yes. Santa has been accused of acting in ways that could "damage millions of lives": The big man in the red suit has been put under the microscope by Dr Nathan Grills, public health fellow at Monash University's Department of Epidemiology and Preventative Medicine, Australia.
Dr Grills suggests that Santa's "rotund sedentary image" has the effect of making obesity "synonymous with cheerfullness and joviality". Not only that, Santa has also been accused of drink-driving, disregard for road rules, and failure to wear a seat-belt or safety helmet.
A bad influence indeed!
Topics Of Interest
- Here's a contemporary article on child obesity from the NZ Medical Journal. It discusses, among other things, the inadequacies of using the BMI system on determining overweight and obesity in children, and of using BMI results alone to support children and their families to manage their weight.
The BMI (Body Mass Index) system has long attracted controversy because it fails to differentiate between distinct types of tissue mass in an individual person's body. For example; if the BMI system alone were applied to members of the All Blacks rugby team, the results would probably come back saying that most of them are obese! This is because the BMI system alone can't tell the difference between fat mass and muscle mass in an individual.
This applies to a lesser extent in children, too, but there are other factors which make things even more confusing when it comes to using the BMI system on kids. Here's an article that outlines some of these things. But remember, you must always see your registered health professional before considering acting on any information obtained via the Internet - including this Newsletter!
- The Child Obesity Symposium is a political effort by Government services to address child obesity here in Aotearoa New Zealand. The Beehive has posted a statement by Annette King, opposition spokesperson for social development, which provides an interesting perspective on child obesity - partisan idealogy notwithstanding!
It's great that our MP's are taking an interest in child obesity, and are taking action around reducing the rates of obesity in Kiwi kids. I do hope our current crop of MP's understand that many social policies of previous administrations have contributed to the development of child obesity by denying children the right to live as children are designed to live.
In The News
- Recent research has reaffirmed the idea that genitics may play more of a role in the development of child obesity than previously thought. A study published in Nature has indicated that "the loss of a key segment of DNA … is linked to severe childhood obesity", and that such DNA deficits may also be implicated in other childhood conditions such as autism and learning disabilities.
Sadaf Farooqi from the University of Cambridge says: "Our results suggest that one particular gene on chromosome 16 called SH2B1 plays a key role in regulating weight and also in handling blood sugar levels. People with deletions involving this gene had a strong drive to eat and gained weight very easily." and that it "applies to severe, early-onset obesity" and "it could have important implications for those raising children with these (genetic disorders)".
All of this may sound terribly complicated and technical, but the bottom line is that there may well be more to severe child obesity than simply eating too much and not excercising enough! Just as parents may give birth to a child with autism through no "fault" of their own, so they may give birth to a child who is predisposed to obesity through no "fault" of their own.
This research has recently been acknowledged by some social services in the UK which previously had a policy of uplifting severely obese children from their parents with the charge that such parents were abusing their kids by overfeeding them. To their credit, and through research like this, these social services have come to a new understanding that the occurance of severe child obesity may not be due to parental practice alone, and that unavoidable factors such as genetic anomaly may be just as significant a factor as parenting practice - if not a more significant factor - in the occurance of severe child obesity.
- There has been a lot of talk in the media about TV3's Breakfast host Paul Henry and his contentious style of presenting issues of the day to early-morning television audience. The latest cause for debate was Henry's description of singer Susan Boyle as a 'retard'.
Understandably, people involved with those who have experience of intellectual disability have become rather upset at the use of this term to describe the people they support, and presumably people with intellectual disabilities themselves aren't too chuffed about it either. After all, it's a term that now mostly tends to be used in the schoolyard playground as an insult by kids who want put down their fellow schoolmates.
This isn't the first time Mr. Henry has used such offensive language in his description of people who happen to be 'different' in one way or another.
Paul Henry seems to have a bit of a penchant for verbally denigrating those who don't comply with his supposed standard of acceptability, and kids with weight challenges haven't been spared either. Here's his solution to child obesity:
Obese children "should be taken away from their parents and put in a car compactor".
Mostly Paul seems to be half-joking when he says these sorts of things, and if you've seen him on air you'll know what I mean. But, couldn't that be the standard defence of the worst schoolyard bully?
Sir, I was only joking!
Email your comments, ideas, thoughts, opinions, and questions to email@example.com for publication in this newsletter.
You can also include any child obesity related news, topics of interest, or events that you or your agency may be involved with.
Phone (04) 9041487 or (04) 9049566
Cell 027 3554553