Childhood Obesity, Bullying and Truancy: The Troubling Triad That Must Be Solved!


I recently had the honor of being a guest of locally produced and hosted; Tough Talk with Joe Peters.  I met Joe Peters in another incarnation of my life, that as the republican nominee for Congress.  Joe and I immediately hit it off and developed a friendship based upon mutual respect and our interest in the political system.  After I decided to drop out of politics, Joe and I would meet for coffee or lunch from time to time and discuss politics.  I spent a great deal of that time trying to get Joe to run for office and he, in turn, spent much time trying to get me to run again.  Needless to say, neither of us ran and our interactions were purely personal.  Oe day I received a phone call from our local CBS affiliate WYOU.  At the time, they had a unique Interactive News Format.  Having been out of the political spotlight for quite some time, I was surprised to be asked to come on the air as a contributing political analyst.  They told me I would be paired with another expert that night.  Our job was to take questions and give insight into political news of that day.  When I arrived at the studio, the other analyst was none other than my friend Joe Peters. We had a great time being not only friends but professional associates.  Much of the feedback I had received was that we played off one another very well.  Joe calm and collected and myself more animated and my opinions more punctuated by body language and vocal intonations.

Since that time, Joe has gone on to host other radio programs and I have been a guest on his shows.  The first time it was to discuss obesity in general.  I was to be on for one hour and ended up on the air for both hours of his program.  This last time and the time before we honed in on childhood obesity and bullying.  A topic I have written about a few times, both here on this blog and for the Pittston Sunday Dispatch.

In our latest conversation, I brought up a subject that was made known to me by a local attorney.  It seems that there is a growing issue with overweight children being truant secondary to bullying.  My friend had advised me that she was representing more and more children who are having truancy issues and she didn’t see a decrease in this trend.

I brought this up near the end of my time on Tough Talk.  It seems, unsurprisingly, that Joe Peters was aware of this trend.  He commented that it wasn’t simply a local issue, but a growing national reality.

We must break this down into its components and overcome deal with each segment.

Michelle Obama

Image by Ann Althouse via Flickr

-Childhood obesity is an ever increasing problem that we are

I love the green market. I walk through every ...

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being made aware of, but our solutions are not complete and often times not correct.  It is time that we encourage our children to eat whole, low starch, no sugar, natural foods.  We must not encourage them to diet, no we must encourage them to eat a healthful diet. While people like the First Lady, Michele Obama and celebrity chef, Jamie Oliver are well intentioned, their dietary recommendations miss the mark.

In addition to proper eating, we must make physical education a priority in our schools.  Physical education classes must be given the same importance and priority as classes geared toward passing a silly, state-sponsored, standardized test.  A healthy body houses a healthy mind and making phy. ed. a back burner after thought is irresponsible and close to criminal.

-Bullying in schools is becoming more and more intense and at times violent.  In addition to physical bullying, children are now subjected to cyber bullying, either via email, instant message or texting.  The schools have an unenviable job when it comes to ensuring that bullies of all and any type are caught and subject to punishment.  All bullying is an abomination that unfortunately, we as a society must cope with.  Because I was a victim of bullying secondary to being overweight, I most often discuss how these two components are interrelated and how parents can be more aware and help their children overcome their obesity issue.  I stress over and over and over again that their child’s weight and appearance should never be the motivating factor, nor should it ever even be mentioned to the child.  To combat these intermingling issues, we should focus on the overall fitness and wellness of the child, so that they may lead a more active life.

-Finally, truancy, secondary to bullying.  Well, if we could eliminate bullying in all forms, then bullying related truancy would not be an issue.  We must make sure our children know a few certainties:

-they are not the problem, the bully is.

-they not only can, but they must go to adults to assist them in remedying the situation.

-they are loved and wanted by their family and friends.

-they should, at all costs avoid physical and violent confrontations.

-they should not miss school out of fear and intimidation.

-also, we should educate and encourage all children that bullying is unacceptable and even if  a particular child is not the victim, they should make an adult aware of bullying if they witness it.

The issues will not go away by playing ostrich and burying our head in the sand.  We, all of us, must actively ensure that no child is robbed of their childhood because of another’s destructive attitudes and behaviors.

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Physical Culturist and Chiropractor, Dr. Joe Leonardi is the author of the life changing book, “Obesity Undone” and a contributor to NaturallySavvy.com. He is available to appear on any talk radio, internet podcast or television outlet. His web site www.ObesityUndone.com is available to help you reach your goals.

He has appeared on 94.3FM’s The David Maderia Show, Bounce Back to Your Brilliance w/Angel Tyree, What’s Weighing You Downw/Dr. Marilyn Gansel on FTNS radio, Nurture and Nutrition on Blog Talk Radio, Low Carb Conversations with Jimmy Moore and Friends, BlogTalk Radio’s Toni Harris Speaks, Internet Radio: Cathie’s Talking, TV -35′s Storm Politics with Tiffany Cloud, WILK’s The Sue Henry Show, Magic 93′s Frankie In The Morning, WBRE’s PA Live, SSPTV’s News 13, Public Television WVIA’s State of Pennsylvania and Call the Doctor; Entercom’s Outlook on Northeast PA with Shadoe Steele, Citadel Broadcasting’s Sunday Magazine with Brian Hughes, Lisa Davis’ Your Health Radio; Hank Garner’s Podcast, Dr. Robert Su’s Carbohydrates Can Kill Podcast; and the one and only Jimmy Moore’s Livin’ La Vida Low Carb podcast.
Dr. Joe Leonardi also will come and speak to your group; to learn more about his motivational speaking fees and availability contact him at docjoeleonardi@betterlifeseminars.com and check out his website www.betterlifeseminars.com.
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************The information in the videos is for information purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease or disorder. The posting that I write do not apply to those with an underlying medical or hormonal condition. I advise anyone embarking on a weight loss and fitness plan to have a thorough medical evaluation. You want to be sure that you are physically able to exercise and you don’t have any underlying medical conditions.************

 

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2 thoughts on “Childhood Obesity, Bullying and Truancy: The Troubling Triad That Must Be Solved!

  1. Pingback: September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month! Who Knew? « Fat Then Fit Now

  2. Pingback: Archieve of my latest interview concerning childhood obesity and bullying « Fat Then Fit Now

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