Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Should we tell our kids they're fat?

10 March 2015, 09:28

Children today are larger than ever. As parents we go out of our way to prevent them from feeling concerned about their weight, but could this behaviour actually be irresponsible? Are we teaching our children that obesity and its associated health complications don’t matter? Are we, as parents, fuelling the global obesity epidemic?

British columnist and TV personality Katie Hopkins thinks so. Katie is well-known for her outspoken views on obesityand often openly mocks celebrities’ weight on Twitter and in television interviews.

In 2013, she caused quite a stir by stating that she would never hire an obese person. She has also previously claimed that she hates fat people and that they are all lazy.

She later purposefully put on 3.5 stone (approximately 22 kg) and then lost it to show that obese people can diet successfully.

The entire experiment was then aired as a television show called My Fat Story.

American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson is the latest victim of Katie's Twitter attacks. Katie slammed Kelly is a series of tweets stating that she cannot use "baby weight" as an excuse a year after giving birth.

Katie believes that we should stop sugar-coating the truth when it comes to weight and obesity. In a 2013 appearance on iTV's This Morning, Katie stated that we need to stop "wrapping people in cotton wool". She says that parents should sit down with their children and tell them, "We've created a problem here, you're fat."

While, her approach is certainly controversial and extremely offensive to many, is there some method to her madness?

Is obesity really okay?

No, its not. It's not about beauty, beauty comes in all shapes and sizes but unfortunately, health does not. Obesity is a health issue not an aesthetic issue and we need to recognise and acknowledge that.

As the prevalence of obesity increases, so does the prevalence of related diseases such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension and stroke. By protecting our children from knowing the consequences of being overweight or obese, we are actually lining them up to continue with the poor lifestyle choices that lead to these life-threatening conditions.

But is calling them "fat" the best way to go about it?

No, of course it isn't. Calling your child fat or taunting them about their weight is obviously going to have a negative psychological effect. No parent wants to be responsible for causing self esteem issues or eating disorders but this doesn't mean we should pretend that weight issues don't exist.

Talking about weight doesn't have to be mean. If you're child has valid concerns about their weight, there is no benefit in denying them. Instead you can acknowledge their concerns and help them to become healthier.

Recently, a reader asked Health24's Cybershrink whether or not it is a good idea to make her 9 year old daughter "aware" that she is overweight. 


Cybershrink explains that a 9 year old child will already be aware that he or she is overweight. He says, that as a parent you should do the following:

"First, think through the realities yourself : consider her diet and the amount of exercise she gets,  and how each might be improved.  Then have a calm and friendly chat with her, about how she feels about becoming a bit over-weight and how you can help her to deal with this, by improving the diet you both share, and improving the amount of exercise you both get."

Explain to them how sugary, high-carb foods affect our weight and how exercise helps use to regulate our weight. Teach your children about moderation. It's OK to enjoy a chocolate now and then but balance is key. Implement a "Treat Day" for the family where everyone eats healthily in the week but on a Sunday you all go to the beach and enjoy an ice-cream together.

If the whole family is making a change towards a healthier lifestyle, your overweight child won't have to feel different or isolated from their siblings.

It is not about making children fear being overweight; it is about teaching them to have a good relationship with food in order to live a long, happy and healthy life.

For the latest on national news, politics, sport, entertainment and more follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page!

- Health24


What causes cellulite?

21 October 2016, 13:23

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
Apologise for attack on Auditor G...

Apologise for attack on Auditor General, President Uhuru Kenyatta is told by Kisumu Senator Anyang Nyong'o. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
Quit if you can't fight corruptio...

An MP has told President Uhuru Kenyatta to quit office if he cannot fight corruption. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
Investigate Uhuru, Ruto for corru...

Investigate President Uhuru Kenyatta and DP William Ruto's offices over corruption, CORD leader Raila Odinga has said. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Its a 1 horse race to State House...

Its a 1 horse race to State House, DP William Ruto has mocked the CORD Coalition. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Enjoy your time left in power, We...

CORD Co Principal Moses Wetangu'la has told the Jubilee Coalition to enjoy its last few months in power before it is voted out in the 2017 elections. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Stop hiding in State House and sa...

ODM MP's have called on President Uhuru Kenyatta to release drought aid and to stop sitting on public funds. Read more...