Wednesday, July 14, 2010

UAE Forces Obese Teens to Slim Down

Source: The Toronto Sun (Summary by NIM)

Wow - if this story doesn't cause your jaw to drop, I'm not sure what will: The ministry of health in the United Arab Emirates is 'asking' teens who weigh more than 90kg to attend a 'special' camp to help them lose weight!

The program sound great in principle - it's teaching not only nutrition and healthy eating practices to young people, but it's getting the kids moving and active, too! The downside to all this is that, from the description, the camp sounds more like a season of 'The Biggest Loser' and may be too much too soon (with kids as young as 15), sending the wrong message to a very sensitive age group. Even though a fear of obesity and being sent to this 'camp' might keep kids and teens from gaining excessive weight (a good thing), it may also result in a negative relationship with food, excessive exercise and the development of eating disorders. As drastic as those results may sound, it happens all the time, especially in this day in age where kids are being told that 'thin = beautiful'.

At the camp, the kids are expected to lose weight at a rate of at least 1kg per week for the duration of the summer. The first group of 20 kids have been admitted on July 3rd.

Read more at the Toronto Sun (July 12, 2010) in the article called "UAE forces fat teens to lose weight".