This morning, Today ran a segment out of the UK about an 8-year-old who weighs nearly 200 pounds. His parents feed him a snack every 20 minutes. Apparently there’s talk of making these kinds of situations legally punishable as a form of child abuse.
Then, Today teased a segment on women who were anorexic in their youth and still struggle…and Today followed this tease with a shot of several men gathered around a giant fondue pot. Yes, they’re making a 1,200-pound fondue, right there on the show.
Which disorders are we watching here: eating, or bipolar?
As an aside, we should also consider that an 8 year old who requires food every 20 minutes and who is constantly hungry is likely experiencing a hunger center “misfire.”
Simply stated, a fair number of morbidly obese people suffer from an organic inability to sense when they are full. Something’s amiss in the brain hardware. Add to that an enabling parent or partner, lack of exercise and poor nutrition and the situation gets very dire very quickly.
For some people — and some kids — in obesity crisis , drugs and/or gastric bypass are necessary options. For these poor souls, rationing cookies and snack foods rarely solves the problem.
Adding to witty’s comment:
I wonder which came first – the hunger or the snack? Did the child whine for a snack (as a baby? toddler? older?) and the parent’s placated him until the pattern became entirely insane and dangerous?
So, perhaps it’s also a case of over-permissiveness, or parents not setting ground rules and sticking to them? I’ve seen friends who must be channeling the “let the child do anything she/he wants to encourage her/his creativity” from the 1960s – and also parents who can’t deal with kids crying, demanding, throwing tantrums, so they placate them to avoid hassle and embarrassment. I don’t know if any of these factors are a part of this particular situation, but, I’m just sayin’.
Weighing in on the news skinny….
That coverage is totally bipolar! Maybe too many products are at risk – programs interview a South Beach guru after interviewing the owner of Krispy Kreme. It’s great if the interviewer is a journalist and asks insightful, hard questions of both. But often times an interviewer is just an interviewer… were are we when the media needs us?!
…oh, yah…blogging. Yay!
Judy, this brings up a good point. I hesitate to label the Today Show as journalism. It can stay in the broader category of media, perhaps…a category that includes the View and Oprah. But journalism? They dabble at journalism in the first half hour of the Today Show, and then it’s over, even though there’s still some “interviewing” going on.