We recently watched the new childhood obesity documentary, Bite Size, featuring four children, Davion (12), Emily (13), Moy (11) and Keanna (13), who are facing the challenges and struggles of being an overweight child. Emily lives in Orlando, Florida, Moy lives in Los Angeles, California, and Keanna and Davion live in the Mississippi Delta. Each one experiences some form of disrespect and ridicule due to their size, which is disheartening.
Bite Size shows the environments in which each of these children have been raised and how it has affected them. Working in the trenches of childhood obesity ourselves, the surroundings and upbringings of these kids is not a surprise. Unfortunately, poor areas are often also food deserts and healthy food options are not available. Fast food is the go-to because it’s convenient and inexpensive. Even in more affluent areas, like we see with Emily, there is access to healthier food options but the family enjoys eating fast food because it is cheap and quick.
The other glaring factor in all of the kids’ lives, was the influence their families and other authoritative adults had on them. It was very eye-opening to see just how much the parents are impacting their child’s lives simply by how they act and how they talk to them. Most obese children suffer from low self esteem and lack of confidence in themselves. The feeling of not being good enough. Sadly, they hear a lot of these comments from their parents.
As was evidenced in the movie, it’s also difficult when parents or caregivers are not modeling the appropriate eating behaviors and lifestyles the children need to be healthier, which sends a contradictory message. It was great to see the parents come around at the end and realize the influential role and responsibility they have in their children’s lives. On another positive note, it was also inspiring to see the coaches and school personnel committed to helping these kids and taking the time to educate them and help them feel good about themselves.
The conclusion drawn from watching Bite Size and from our own work with children, is that empowering kids with the proper knowledge, filling up their cup with positivity, and teaching them that they can amount to something, is essential in helping them to become self-responsible, self-worthy and confident individuals. Also, as shown in the movie, tapping into the specific interests of these kids and incorporating healthy and active lifestyles that way, is vital in helping them to develop long-term healthy habits.
We strongly recommend watching Bite Size to see the reality of this childhood obesity epidemic and how little steps along the way can make a huge impact. We also say, the earlier the better … get the kids educated on the importance of healthy eating and exercise from an early age. We fully support the movement to empower kids and families to be healthy and smart from the inside out!
Props to Bite Size for bringing this important issue front and center!