Wednesday, October 5, 2016

American obsession with age and weight: An Education issue

My formative years were spent outside of the U.S, so hopefully you will understand my perspective and confusion about this topic.

The other day I was listening to a fit looking young woman talk about how she did not used to eat because she was worried about being healthy. She ended her conversation by saying, “but I do eat now; I ask for the salad dressing on the side and will add fries”. I am sorry but that does not sound like a healthy balanced meal to me, and I did mention that she looked like she was in shape, yet she was still obsessing.

I am currently closer to 50 than I am to 45. Not a big deal in my book because where I grew up I am still considered young. Imagine my shock when a 30 something started referring himself as old, and when I shared my age, he said, “damn you are old as #@$%!”. I was actually quite insulted by that.

You cannot completely blame people, because society is teaching people that this is the way it is.
We have fat shaming and body shaming of young women in K12, if you are over 40 you are in a “protected class” to prevent discrimination. Polls mostly want the demographic of 18 to 35; not that I miss all those solicitations but it was really abrupt when they stopped.

Perhaps we can take a cue from other countries and not overproduce, serve smaller portions? Perhaps PE can be true part of K12 education not an afterthought, and let us add sports into all schools immediately and not have to wait until high school or make parents pay for expensive outside programs.

It seems to me there are more important things we should be concerned about, better things we can be teaching our kids. We can also learn from the experience of those with more age, they are better than most libraries.

Just some observation from an educator

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III
The ETeam

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