If adults can be healthy at every size, doesn’t it stand to reason that children can too?

Isn’t it really odd that the supporters of “fat and healthy” don’t preach it for kids?

The irony is that in general, the health of an obese child isn’t as bad as it is in adults, and children are far more mobile than proportionately overweight adults, too.

So how is it that ADULTS can be healthy as horses at any size, but supporters of this approach never seem to include children in this kind of thinking?

One of the tenets of the health at all sizes movement is to embrace one’s large body, feel good in it, and that yes indeed, you can be “fit and fat” or healthy at any size.

Why does this philosophy begin and stop with adults?

“My guess is that intuitively, we all know that being overweight or obese is simply not healthy,” says Richard Kelley, MD, a practicing physician in Texas for 20+ years, and author of “The Fitness Response,” “The Three-Hour Appetite” and the ebook, “The Fitness Response ‘Diet’ for Women.”

This would explain why proponents of health at every size make no mention of children.

“The overweight and obesity trend in children is particularly disturbing on a number of fronts,” says Dr. Kelley.

“Because children, adolescents and teens are in the process of growing and often the growth plates of their bones have not completely ceased the process of growth, excess weight can lead to bone malformation.”

Just a reminder: Just because obesity is harmful to children doesn’t mean it isn’t dangerous for adults.

Obesity in childhood increases the demand on joints. This “may lead to a lifetime of arthritis and impaired mobility,” says Dr. Kelley.

Dr. Kelley adds that obesity and overweight in children puts them a higher risk of type II diabetes, high blood pressure and sleep apnea, all chronic and potentially life-threatening conditions.

Obesity is also a risk for blood clots that can travel to the lungs and kill within minutes.

“It is one thing to make a choice, as an adult, which may not be in the best interest of one’s health, but it is irresponsible to promote something to children and young adults, which could be detrimental to their overall health and wellbeing,” says Dr. Kelley.

“Maybe on some level, this is why the HAES movement has not pushed their philosophy more heavily with younger individuals.”

If children can’t be healthy at any size, then it’s reckless to apply this idea to adults.

Dr. Kelley is a fitness enthusiast who is passionate about helping men and women lose weight with his program.
Lorra Garrick is a former personal trainer certified through the American Council on Exercise. At Bally Total Fitness she trained women and men of all ages for fat loss, muscle building, fitness and improved health.