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Old 07-25-2010, 04:21 AM   #1  
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Default Marks and Spencer 'normalizing obesity'??

UK MandS are to bring out a range of large fitting clothes for toddlers.

There's a skinny bint (excuse me) on a magazine programme on television now, saying how troubling this is, MandS are 'normalizing obesity'.

Of course, raising obese children is not a good idea. I understand why my mother was so anxious that I shouldn't be fat (unfortunately, she stuffed me with food from birth and then treated my consequent fatness as a sin....) - but given that there ARE obese people in every age group, what is this woman suggesting? That children should not be clothed? That they should wear a sack? That they shouldn't have the right to nice-looking clothes?

Argh! Sorry, that kind of smug pontificating really grinds my gears.
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Old 07-25-2010, 05:57 AM   #2  
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Oh, yes. This is such rubbish; Marks & Spencer isn't making a Statement on anything; they're filling a market niche, as retailers do. Fat kids exist, and must be clothed, and bully for M&S for recognizing it.
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Old 07-25-2010, 10:29 AM   #3  
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My ten year old is so hard to fit!! "Husky" doesn't cut it for him and he's not THAT big. He's a big boy, but there are children bigger than he is. What happens is parents have to buy clothing that is 3 and 4 times too big for their height and the clothes look ridiculous on them. That's why you see obese children draped in clothing. I think it's sad to force overweight and obese children into sloppy clothing. There really does need to be a wider range of the "husky" line.

I know childhood obesity is a huge issue and believe me it cuts me to the core because I have one on the verge. But is it possible the drama behind it is overdone? Many of these children slim out with puberty and growth spurts.
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Old 07-25-2010, 11:23 AM   #4  
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Honestly, I think the worry about "obesity" in toddlers is sickening. While there are clearly some children in that age group that are unhealthily heavy and are being fed very poor diets by their parents, what Eliana said is true - a good portion of those little ones that fall into the obese/overweight catagories are not going to stay there. I think it's really dangerous to focus on weight when a kid isn't even three years old, you know? My daughter when through periods of falling into the overweight catagory (mostly because she's very, very tall for her age. At three, she was taller than a good portion of my son's kindy class, but still had the proportions of a toddler - chubby legs and belly) - and now at 7 she's lucky if her BMI is in the normal range - she's one stomach flu away from being underweight. And then my youngest son is tiny and everyone got worried about that - doctors telling me to feed him butter on everything and bowls of ice cream every night to fatten him up (and, no, I've not done this!).

Anyhow, to the topic - I agree with you Rosinante. Kids need clothes. I have to buy slim, adjustable waist clothes for my kids or their pants fall down. I can't imagine people deciding that having slim clothes for kids promotes anorexia or something. Jeez. This kind of additude (that fat people are somehow less deserving of nice things than thin people) is really infuriating, but even more so when it's directed at little children who have very little control over the reasons that they are heavy.
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Old 07-25-2010, 11:57 AM   #5  
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I know it's a tricky one. Some children grow out of or should it be into their weight. I didn't. I was a fat infant, toddler, child, teenager and adult. We need some kind of teaching, and I don't mean in schools, to teach people about healthy eating without the constant focus on weight. Not that excess weight is good but the mere mention of it seems to put people off the other health benefits of a good diet. My supermarket is full of large adults with large children buying large amounts of dreadful, processed-to-death foods - and it makes me sad to see.

On the clothes thing though, hurrah that 'husky' toddlers and children might get something age-appropriate to wear. Now, if they'd only do it for my age group! No-one designs for my shape, which is short apple!
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Old 07-25-2010, 12:06 PM   #6  
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Arguments like the one presented by the woman you refer to are so illogical and poorly thought out that I don't even think it's worth taking it remotely seriously. Anyone able to exercise basic reasoning skills before a Daily Mail-esque knee-jerk reaction would see that it's clearly ridiculous to believe that a company in the business of selling clothing should have absolutely anything to do or anything to say about obesity, in children or adults.

It's the same nannying, hysterical tabloid reaction made by the same people who say things like the McDonald's Happy Meal toy lures children into obesity, and that if cigarettes were hidden behind big screens instead of on display, then teenagers would stop smoking.

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Old 07-25-2010, 01:07 PM   #7  
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I just had to chime in here. I have a 2 year old who is "obese" as far as the charts are concerned, but her doctor and I aren't worried. She eats a normal healthy diet and gets plenty of exercise. She just has a large frame (thanks to her daddy) and is a big kid (she's really tall as well as high in weight). We're confident she'll just grow up to be a normal sized (albeit tall!) teenager/adult. Right now I have to buy her size XS in girl's clothes, which is a 4/5. She can fit a 6 tho. But I can't buy jeans for her because the girl's sizes are too long and the toddler sizes don't fit her waist. It would be wonderful to be able to buy her a size 2T or 3T that fit her! Even if it was a "husky" size. Some of the clothes in the young girl's section aren't really what I want my toddler to wear, I'd love to be able to put her in clothes all the other toddlers in her play group are wearing.

That reporters reaction was really over the top. The sale of plus size toddler clothes won't normalize childhood obesity any more than the sale of large bras normalizes breast enhancement surgery. They both are what they are and they exist, with or without the sale of clothing to facilitate them.

Last edited by Latchkey Princess; 07-25-2010 at 01:08 PM.
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