Katie Hopkins, former contestant on the hit TV show The Apprentice, has made the headlines again for proposing that overweight children should be told that they are fat. Ms Hopkins is making a fine career out of stirring up controversy as her no nonsense, say it as it is approach consistently provokes the politically correct brigade. As I have little time for pointless platitudes and I am heartily sick of everyone in the public eye skirting around the issues, I find that I rather enjoy this women. Furthermore, on the subject of obesity, I completely agree with her.
People in the developed world are getting bigger and bigger and the resulting health issues are increasing at the same time. The young generation of today could be the first in recorded history to live shorter lives than their parents and something must be done. The softly softly approach clearly hasn’t worked. An army of do-gooders are busy trying to improve youngster’s body image and telling overweight youngsters to love themselves as they are whilst these kids are eating themselves into an early grave. What they look like is not the real problem here, it is their health.
Say It As It Is
What Katie Hopkins is asserting is that we should stop telling obese kids that is fine to be overweight and that we should not let them choose what they eat. She says that she decides what her children will eat for dinner, cooks it and then if they don’t eat it they can’t be hungry. This was exactly the approach my own mother took with me. If I did not eat the food she presented I was not permitted to indulge in treats and she would never have asked me what I wanted for dinner. When I reached the age of 11 I was tasked with cooking the evening meals for the family as both my parents worked full time. I learned how to cook and all about food and by the time I left home I could produce anything that I wanted to in the kitchen. We rarely had takeaways and I was never taken to a fast food restaurant and so never developed a taste for junk food.
Cruel to Be Kind
I think many kids have no concept of the harm they are doing to themselves and trying to make them feel better about their overweight bodies is just compounding the problem. Perhaps the shock tactics proposed by Ms Hopkins are the way forward. Telling someone they are fat may sound cruel but this could just be a case of being cruel to be kind. Being pointed about things that youngsters cannot change is unkind but they can change their eating habits and they really should.
Kids can be inspired by food and develop a taste for the good stuff if they are introduced to it early. If they are engaged in nutrition from an early age by playing with wooden cooking toys, helping to grow things and being involved in the cooking of the food, the majority will develop good habits for life. If they grow up with burgers and ready meals and are told it is OK to be huge they will be storing up all sorts of trouble for the future. If being harsh and telling kids they are fat is what it takes to make them act then that is what we have to do.
Sally Stacey is a keen writer and business owner who divides her time between writing and running her bridal shop