Alan Jackson, the head of a weight management center in London, recently advised parents to tell their overweight children that they are fat to better deal with their weight problem.
In an article written for the Daily Mail, Jackson laments:
No one dares use that 'F' word any more. Parents can't say it, health professionals can't say it, teachers most definitely can't say it. But, I think it's time we all did.
In the UK, a third of children are overweight or obese - another banned term. In some inner cities, this rises to almost 50 per cent. By cloaking the problem in evasive language, we are failing these children. We need to jolt parents into action - and bald terms help with this.
Jackson also warned parents not to think of their obese youngster as having "puppy fat" or being "fat and happy."
The weight loss expert adds:
But these parents are refusing to face up to the enormous health and quality of life challenges that the child will face over time - particularly with puberty and all the emotions that brings.
During his 20 years of working wth obese children, Jackson says parents will call his office in anger and yell, "'How dare you call my child fat?"
Jackson says the problem is that if children refuse healthy foods, then parents give in and offer sweets so that the child won't be hungry.
He advises parents to start feeding children healthy food at birth. He and his wife actually liquified their diet and fed it to their baby.
In the U.S., the American Heart Association (AHA) created a new classification for some overweight youngsters in Sept.
According to NBC News, this new classification is “severely obese,” which about 5 percent (4 million) of American kids fit under.
The "severely obese" category was created because doctors are seeing children who are so heavy for their age that they are literally off the charts.
“It appears that severe obesity is the fastest-growing subcategory of obesity in youth,” stated the AHA in report published in the journal Circulation.
The AHA reports that severely obese kids have higher rates of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and hardening of the arteries at age 10 that resembles middle-aged adults.