BeeBee's 365 Challenge

for the little things that make me happy

Day 151: Integrity

on May 30, 2012

This week in the news it has been reported that 19-year-old Georgia Davis had to be cut free from her home, in Aberdare, South Wales, after the effects of weighing a possible 63 stone took its toll on her body and she collapsed, with extra complications due to her weight.

This isn’t the first time that Georgia’s story has been in the media. She first came to the press’s attention when at just 15 she weighed 30 stone. Georgia was given the opportunity that most overweight people would love to have and went to stay at a ‘fat’ camp in the states. In the process was able to lose 14stone 9lb in just 9 months.

The slippery slope back to morbid obesity began with her first meal after arriving home “When I arrived home my mum said she hadn’t had time to prepare any healthy food, so we had fish and chips instead.” Georgia is on record as saying.

As a parent I find this really heartbreaking, the fact her family and friends are selling her story when, in my opinion, they should be protecting her and as a person with a serious weight problem I find it all so worrying.

There are times when I lay in bed at night and can see a time when I’m too big to do everything I need to.

But who is to blame or is no-one to blame? At some point surely it should have been the parent’s prerogative to say no and to help her make the right decisions.

I know my mother tried, but with hindsight she had her own issues with food and what would have helped would have been emotional support and not having my size drawn attention to.

I still hear the voices of family members in my head telling me that I’m too fat, I shouldn’t eat this, that & the other. I also remember thinking that to lose weight I should totally stop eating.

Thankfully I’m older and slightly wiser. The pattern is starting to rear its head again, this time with Thing 2 – who has already been highlighted as being in the 98th centile and technically obese. This is a child who rarely eats sweets, and has healthy home cooked meals and loves his fruit and vegetables, he also rarely sits still either.

What to do for the best? Pray for him to grow as I help him maintain his weight. He’s 4 (almost 5) and far too young to have to worry about body image. Although today it has been reported that more than half the British public suffers from a negative body image. Children as young as five now worry about their size and appearance, with these in danger of picking up their parents’ body-related anxieties. Appearance has also been pinpointed as the greatest cause of bullying in schools.

Children and adolescents were seen to be more vulnerable to body image concerns however.

Around half of girls and up to one third of boys have dieted to lose weight and children and young people with body image dissatisfaction were less likely to engage in learning and participation in school, the report said.
Parents were identified as one of the main influences on children but by secondary school age, the peer group was seen to become a more important influence.
What I find most interesting from this inquiry it is thought that:

* Getting rid of dieting could wipe out 70% of eating disorders;

* More than 95% of dieters regain the weight they lost;

* 1.6 million people in the UK suffer eating disorders;

* One in three men would sacrifice a year of life to achieve their ideal body;

* One in five people have been victimised because of their weight;

The report made a series of recommendations targeted at policy-makers, healthcare professionals, industry and the education sector designed to change public perceptions, attitudes and behavioural patterns.

It also called for a review of broadcast and editorial codes on reporting body-related issues, a review of the evidence base to support the long term efficacy and safety of diets and a separate code of regulations governing cosmetic surgery advertising.

Central YMCA chief executive Rosi Prescott branded the report’s findings shocking.

“It’s clear that there’s something seriously wrong in society when children as a young as five are worrying about their appearance, based on the messages they are seeing all around them,” she said.

“Body image has become more important in our culture than health, and children are mimicking their parents’ concerns about appearance.

“We all have a responsibility to act now to bring about the attitudinal and behavioural change that’s necessary to prevent damage to future generations.”

Today’s Activities: Overcoming my initial disgust of eating tofu & discovering I actually like it.

BeeBee x

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