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Super-size kids get new threads
Posted on Sept. 29, 2006

When my daughter started first grade this September there was so much to do to prepare.

There was her health check-up, the hunt for the school supplies on the list from her school and, of course, back-to-school clothes shopping.

While going from store to store and playing the stressful hide-and-seek between the clothes racks, I noticed something new and disturbing.

Right next to my daughter’s size 6X clothes were the new Girls Plus and Boys Husky sizes.

Plus size clothes for children.

I was horrified. This really brings the obesity epidemic to a new level.

I have done research for stories in the past so I knew the statistics about how heavy kids are today.

But hearing about some percentage printed on a piece of paper didn’t have the same effect on me as seeing the oversized material hanging in front of my face.

I couldn’t help thinking that we have failed these kids.

Everywhere you go there are advertisements for fast food or soda or sugary cereal.

McDonalds even offers Happy Meal toys for kids under three.

How did we get to this point?

When did it become ok for a two-year-old child to eat a hamburger and French fries and then wash it down with a Coke?

As a parent, you are supposed to do whatever you can to protect your child.

You hold their hand when you cross the street.

You take them to the doctor to get the shots that will protect them from diseases.

You strap them into a car seat before you drive to make sure they will be safe if anything bad should happen.

You do anything in your power to keep them safe and give them the best and longest life they can have.

So why do we not see that by handing kids a Happy Meal or a pizza or a soda day after day, we are taking years off their life?

Diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and arthritis are just a few of the major health problems that come along with being overweight or obese.

These conditions were once unheard of in children, but we have now passed them on to our kids.

Now I know that some say there is a gene that predisposes people to be overweight.

But where was this gene 100 years ago?

Sure some people were overweight then but they were the wealthy people who could afford the most food and they were definitely not the majority.

Now we are spoiled beyond belief by our choices, our wealth and our gluttony.

The way Americans eat has definitely changed in a negative way.

If we all think about the things we put into our bodies and realize that the choices we make are being watched by little eyes, we can change our unhealthy ways.

I understand that many of you reading this are not parents, but you probably will be someday.

The next time you go to Target, JC Penney, Old Navy or any other store look for the plus size kids clothes.

See if it matters to you or even makes you think about the way we eat. I know for me it completely alters the phrase, “A fit parent.”

Angie Gangi, a senior broadcast journalism major, is sports editor of the Campus Times. She can be reached by e-mail at agangi@ulv.edu.