Monday, July 03, 2006

Killing With Kindness

A news story today asks the question, “Is it OK for doctors and parents to tell children and teens they're fat?” and goes on to say, “that seems to be at the heart of a debate over whether to replace the fuzzy language favored by the U.S. government with the painful truth — telling kids if they're obese or overweight.”

The story goes on to say, “The diplomatic approach adopted by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and used by many doctors avoids the word ‘obese’ because of the stigma. The CDC also calls overweight kids ‘at risk of overweight.’" One wonders if the CDC ever finds examples where someone who was “at risk of overweight” actually became overweight, or are they perpetually just “at risk of overweight?”

This is yet another example of political correctness run amok: If we tell people in plain terms what is wrong with them, it might hurt their feelings. Heaven knows we don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, even at the expense of saving their life.

But Dr. Reginald Washington, a Denver pediatrician and co-chair of an American Academy of Pediatrics obesity task force shines the light of reason on this issue: "If that same person came into your office and had cancer, or was anemic, or had an ear infection, would we be having the same conversation? There are a thousand reasons why this obesity epidemic is so out of control, and one of them is no one wants to talk about it."

We need to stop dancing around issues and start speaking factually and plainly. So quit killing people with kindness and save their lives with a little honesty, even if it is sometimes brutal.

Here is a site that addresses obesity among kids.


cary said...

Some people think that others can't handle the truth. I say, this is life, there is no sugar coating it. If the kid is fat, tell the kid AND THE PARENTS so a lifestyle/diet change can be made in time to start the child on a path for healthy living. If the doctor doesn't say it, the kids onthe playground will.

James Shott said...

Right you are, cary.

Thanks for visiting.

Moby Dick said...

Fat kids are sick and need help to fight obesity. Obesity kills!