Calling girls ‘fat’ may result in weight gain

admin   •   April 30, 2014   •   2161

(Photo : REUTERS/Finbarr O’Reilly/Files)

 NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Young girls who have been called “too fat” are more likely to be obese as young adults, according to a new research letter.

The early stigma of being labeled that way may worsen the problem rather than encouraging girls to become healthier, but more research is needed to be sure, the study authors say.

“This study is one step closer to being able to draw that conclusion, but of course we can’t definitively say that calling a girl “too fat” will make her obese,” said senior author A. Janet Tomiyama of the University of California, Los Angeles.

“This study recruited girls when they were age 10 and followed them over nine years, so we know it’s more than just a one-time connection, which makes me believe that it’s an important question to continue researching,” Tomiyama told Reuters Health in an email.

She and her coauthor examined data from an existing study that followed girls through their teen years. At age 10, the girls answered the question, “have any of these people told you that you were too fat: father, mother, brother, sister, best girlfriend, boy you like best, any other girl, any other boy, or teacher?”

Out of just over 2,000 girls, a total of 1,188 answered “yes” to any of the choices.

Those girls were more likely to have a body mass index (BMI) – a measure of weight relative to height – in the obese range ten years later than girls who answered “no,” according to the results in JAMA Pediatrics.

“We know from considerable evidence that youth who feel stigmatized or shamed about their weight are vulnerable to a range of negative psychological and physical health consequences,” said Rebecca Puhl, deputy director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut.

“This study suggests that negative weight labels may contribute to these experiences and have a lasting and potentially damaging impact for girls,” said Puhl, who was not part of the study.

Girls who had been labeled “fat” were still at higher risk of obesity even when researchers accounted for their BMIs at age 10, household income, race and parental education level.

The effect seemed to be strongest when the labels came from family members, which increased the risk of obesity later by 60 percent, compared to 40 percent when the comments came from friends or teachers. But it’s not wise to make too much out of the difference between those numbers, since this was only an exploratory study, Tomiyama said.

She was not at all surprised that over half of girls had been labeled “fat.”

“The pressure to be thin in our society is intense, and other research shows that people label both themselves and others as ‘overweight’ even if their objective body mass index is in the ‘normal weight’ range,” she said.

Females are exposed to weight stigma more often, but the connection may be present for boys as well, she noted.

There are ways for parents to address weight and health issues with their children that don’t involve labeling, Tomiyama said.

“There’s no need to say the ‘f’ word at all if you want to improve your child’s health,” she said.

Parents could instead focus on the health of the family as a whole, said Angelina Sutin, who was not involved in the new study.

Sutin studies psychological wellbeing and health disparities at Florida State University College Of Medicine in Tallahassee.

“The best approach would be to start kids early on a path toward healthy living by eating healthy food and being physically active,” Sutin told Reuters Health in an email.

“This applies equally to parents as it does to kids – children model their parents’ behavior, so if kids see their parents making healthy choices, they are more likely to also make healthy choices,” she said.

Parents could identify activities the child enjoys and work on ways to do more of them, she added.

“I think the focus of the conversation needs to change,” Tomiyama said. “Right now, we have a laser focus on weight instead of health, but many studies show that weight is a really imprecise indicator of actual health.”

“Parents can talk to their child about adopting healthy behaviors without once mentioning weight,” she said.

SOURCE: bit,ly/1adWrco JAMA Pediatrics, online April 28, 2014.

Private schools in Los Angeles prepare to open classrooms with new COVID-19 measures

UNTV News   •   July 15, 2020

While most public schools across the country will begin the new school year with online education in the fall, private schools in Los Angeles are preparing to open their classroom doors to students for face-to-face learning.

At St. Benedict School in Montebello, one of 200 private schools in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, classrooms have been adjusted for social distancing, with cardboard partitions on top of desks to keep students apart. Class sizes have also been modified and temperature checks will be carried out when lessons resume on September 9.

Principal Frank Loya Jr. told Reuters on Tuesday (July 14) his teachers are eager to return to school, after facing difficulties teaching from home.

“Very challenging because the majority of my teachers have children. So, they’re also teaching their class, their students in their classroom. Plus, since their children are at home also, they had to be teaching, directing them. Some of their children attend public school and some of them attend St. Benedict also. So, all that adjustment, I think, as teachers were very stressed,” he said.

A few miles away at St. Joseph School in La Puente, classrooms, restrooms and water fountains are being rebuilt to comply with new COVID-19 guidelines. The school had already planned renovations prior to the pandemic but with additional funding, they decided to expand further.

St. Joseph School currently has 200 students enrolled for the 2020-2021 school year

“Education isn’t the same when you’re not in a classroom setting,” said principal Luis Hayes. “When children are at home, it’s hard to have classroom management, and the student level of engagement changes. So, when you’re in a classroom setting and when you’re with the teacher, you have the classroom management and you have the engagement piece,” he said.

Hayes said there’s an vitally important emotional that comes with in-person instruction.

“For students to come back to school, it’s important that we give them that social emotional aspect and we give them time where they know how to socialize, but they know how to do it safely. And we practice all the social distancing,”

There are approximately 73,000 students enrolled in 200 schools of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles for the new school year.

Tuition cost ranges from $5,000 for primary schools up to $11,437 for high school. (Reuters)

(Production: Alan Devall / Norma Galeana)

Pilot in Kobe Bryant helicopter crash may have become disoriented in heavy fog – NTSB

UNTV News   •   June 18, 2020

The pilot of a helicopter that crashed in foothills near Los Angeles, killing basketball great Kobe Bryant, his daughter, and all seven others on board, likely became disoriented in the fog, federal investigators said on Wednesday (June 17).

The National Transportation Safety Board report said pilot Ara Zobayan told air traffic controllers that his helicopter was climbing, when in fact it was descending shortly before slamming into a hillside outside the community of Calabasas on Jan. 26.

The NTSB said that pilots can become confused over an aircraft’s attitude and acceleration when they cannot see the sky or landscape around them, causing “spacial disorientation.”

“Without outside references or attention to the helicopter’s attitude display, the actual pitch and bank angles have the potential to be misperceived,” the NTSB said.

The findings came in a “public docket” released by the NTSB as it investigates the crash. The agency has not yet released its final report. (Reuters)

(Production: Omar Younis)

Overweight cops won’t get promoted, PNP chief warns

Robie de Guzman   •   February 13, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Thursday reiterated its warning to its personnel to get fit and have a normal body mass index (BMI) or risk having a hard time getting promoted.

PNP chief General Archie Gamboa made this warning during the physical fitness and BMI tests of cops held in Camp Crame in Quezon City.

Of the 86 policemen who took the test, 32 are overweight, five are obese while 49 are of normal weight.

Those who failed to achieve their ideal weight would have to enroll in the Public Safety Officers Basic Course Class to reduce their weight.

“If you are enrolled in the schooling program, it’s like you still have time to redeem yourself. You are allowed to reduce your weight. So that’s why we are giving it a leeway,” Gamboa said in a media interview.

Gamboa warned that those who will fail to get their BMI to a normal level would not be allowed to file for promotion.

“’Pag hindi ka umabot doon the BMI mo mismo you will not be allowed to file for promotion which is a very first step in a promotional process,” he said.

BMI is a measure of body fat based on height and weight of a person.

Gamboa stressed that a police officer should take care of their health in order to perform their mandate in maintaining peace and order, enforce the law, prevent and control crimes and ensure public safety and internal security. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Lea Ylagan)

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