Advice from a former obese kid

01-05-2012 // Janice D'Arcy - The Washington Post

This excerpt is from the Washington Post's "On Parenting" blog

The new year has brought with it renewed pledges to make 2012 the year we finally take on the childhood obesity epidemic. (See an earlier post about the controversial new tactics officials in Georgia are trying out.)

Max Greenberg has his own thoughts on this front. Greenberg works for the National Wildlife Federation and Outdoors Alliance for Kids. He’s an avid promoter of unstructured physical activity to combat the childhood obesity epidemic. (Nearly 20 percent of children and adolescents are obese at last count according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.)

For him, it’s also a personal mission. Greenberg used to be an obese child.

Below, he shares his own story about how he traversed (literally) from sedentary kid to outdoor enthusiast and how his transformation was aided by some gentle parental encouragement. The word “gentle” was the key element, he argues, suggesting a parent’s heavy-handed approach is often a cause, not a solution, to the problem.

He also offers information about broader efforts to turn the obesity trend. What better time to do it than in 2012?

Read more