Archive for the tag - children

I’m 11 And Want To Diet.

Hi Davey,

My name is Carter and I’m 11 years old. I think that I’m maybe gay or bi. I think that I’m overweight and want to have a boyfriend some day. I want people to like me. What can I do to diet and be more hot?

From,
Carter

article-2580812-1C49546200000578-160_634x408Carter,

Even as grown ups, it can be difficult to find the right words to answer a question like yours.

Discovering whether you like boys or girls or both (or neither!) is a real adventure. It’s going to be a journey that’s sometimes confusing, sometimes scary but always exciting. You have a very long time to figure out who you’re attracted to (many of us adults still don’t know!) so there’s no rush.

As an 11 year old, your body is still growing and developing. While that’s happening, you need a whole bunch of food to make sure it keeps growing properly. If you start skipping meals or eating only certain foods, you might actually hurt your body or your health.

If you really feel like you are overweight, you can ask the doctor about it during your next checkup. If the doctor is concerned, then he or she will help you gain weight more slowly or help you maintain your current weight by changing some of the foods you eat or recommending more time outside or playing sports.

When it comes to having a boyfriend (or girlfriend) down the road, the most important thing is finding someone who loves and celebrates you for who you are. And because you sound like a very special person, I have no doubt that you’ll always be surrounded in love.

I also think there’s an important lesson for us grown ups. When I read your question, I couldn’t help but ask myself if this is really the world that we’re leaving to the next generation? And it’s a reminder that we need to do our part to ensure that the world – and our community, in particular – values people for the awesome, unique and beautiful human beings that we all are.

Carter, thank you for your email and I hope this will give you some answers.

Love,
Davey

Banning Junk Food Doesn’t Decrease Obesity.

The forbidden fruit syndrome: Does banning unhealthy snacks make them more desirable?

Growing up, the shelves in my family’s pantry were stocked with soda, chips and candy. Of course, there were healthy options, too – but my friends always loved coming over to indulge in the forbidden snacks that their parents didn’t buy.

Though I was overweight for a few years during my childhood, my sister was always thin. Though the unhealthy snacks were available to us, neither of us paid them much attention. Because soda, chips and sweets weren’t considered “off limits,” there was no satisfaction – as there was for my friends – in consuming them.

A new study, published by researchers at Pennsylvania State University, calls into question the effectiveness of banning unhealthy snacks – particularly, in schools. According to the data, there was no correlation – at all – between obesity and attending a school where sweets and salty snacks were available.

Researchers tracked the body mass indexes (BMI) of 19,450 students from fifth grade through eight grade. In fifth grade, some 59% of students attended schools with unhealthy snack bans. By eight grade, 86% of students were subject to bans.

Looking at the data, correlations were examined on a number of levels. Researchers even looked at differences in BMIs for students that moved into schools with bans and vice versa. But no matter how researchers sliced the data, there were virtually no differences in BMIs. In other words, the bans don’t work.

As was experienced by my friends during childhood, it may be the forbidden fruit syndrome. The action of banning something usually has the opposite effect than what is intended. Just look how American youth compare to their European counterparts when it comes to alcohol and the drinking age. Moreover, the more we concentrate on what we can’t eat, the more we want to eat it.

But if banning unhealthy foods isn’t the answer for the astronomical obesity rates in American youth, what is? Let me know what you think in the comments below.