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Newspaper series following obese teens

The Sacramento Bee is doing a great 4-part series following 3 teens as they spend a school year at a new residential program geared towards overweight teens. While I don't fully agree with some of the things they are doing (calorie intake seems awfully low for the amount of activity they are doing, and entrees mentioned aren't the whole food selections I would like to see teens introduced to) it is a very thoughtful and well-done series. I love seeing the teens empowered by the changes in their bodies and feeling hope for the first time in their young lives.


Tue. Oct 24, 11:42am

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blech. There should be a warning about this link before clicking.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006, 11:43 AM

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what kind of warning???

Tuesday, October 24, 2006, 11:45 AM

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Tuesday, October 24, 2006, 11:49 AM

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you are an ass! these are kids who are actually trying to do something about their weight and health.

Your life isn't over yet 11:43.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006, 12:07 PM

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i'm an ass because i don't like seeing videos of people who are 400 pounds? then the whole country is too. last time i watched tv, i only saw semi aneorexics.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006, 12:54 PM

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12:54 poster, if seeing obese individuals bothers you so much-why did you click on the video? Too troublesome to read the text and maybe have some compassion for teens in pain? Maybe these kids should have drowned it in drugs and alcohol, or acted out hatefully like yourself instead of using food-easier for you to not to have to see such distasteful body images.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006, 1:30 PM

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I just read the first 3 chapters and can't wait to see tomorrow's chapter. To the person who is so judgemental...... I wish I could be as sweet and perfect as you.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006, 2:16 PM

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I think this is an amazing chance for these teens. Its about time something like this has been introduced. You can tell from the way these kids carry themselves now how much better they feel about themselves. To the negative poster, you should be ashamed. I bet you were one of those kids who teased other kids with weight problems, didn't you mother ever tell you if you have nothing nice to say don't say it at all? We have become the fattest nation, even people who come from thin nations are expanding here. This is very sad. I just read something about schools doing away with contact games on the playground, horrible decision if you ask me. Not only are the food choices in school horrible and unhealthy, when better options wouldn't cost any more, but now they want no contact playground activity. If I'm not mistaken its the contact activity that usually requires moving, running, etc. Other people in other countries must laugh when they read this crap. Thanks to all the liberals and other parents not willing to take a stand in fear of hurting someones feelings. No wonder so many are choosing to go to private schools.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006, 2:48 PM

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That's the point. I wanted a warning before I clicked on the link.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006, 3:53 PM

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Wow!! This was a fascinating article. I was bummed when I didn't get to read the last chapter!!
11:43 poster-What's the problem? It must be really hard to be a kid and be that big. It's wrong to make fun of them. At least they're doing something about their weight issues.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006, 4:29 PM

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this was a beautiful story of hope. I totally cried.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006, 6:07 PM

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i can't wait for the fourth article, did it say when it would come out? i wasn't sure....

Wednesday, October 25, 2006, 1:41 PM

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The final part was posted today. I would really like to hear about how these kids fare in the upcoming year, especially Jahcobie. I can see him going onto great things-what a promising future if he can escape the pitfalls of his environment.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006, 1:47 PM

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11:43 i have some advice for you...put a sign on your mirrors that say "you are about to see a mean-spirited person"

Wednesday, October 25, 2006, 2:03 PM

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to the 2:48 poster. I am an elementary PE teacher and I totally agree with you that parents need to get involved in their kids health. And I also agree that schools should change to healthier lunch choices, and they slowely are. But the statement you made about these choices costing the same is absolutely wrong. To get healther food carriers schools do have to dip into their budget quite a bit.

I also dont totally agree with taking away some games at recess, but I understand why they have. Children are becoming more and more violent every year, which is a whole other problem. Kids lack the personal-social skills to play some of those games such as, teamwork, cooperation, and fairness. Which in the past students have had these skills. This lack of personal-social attributes causes violence between student and the result is never positive. A school cannot have student fighting on the playground every day, that does not benefit anyone.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006, 6:26 PM

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I am appalled at what has happened to the public school system and feel ashamed that more parents don't take an active role in their kids lives. Where are these parents of these "bad" children? Oh, they must be the same parents who complain about Johnny getting a failing grade and he's not a bad kid. I think the concept of no child left behind is a good idea but not when we continue to pass kids who should be held back so they are able to deal with the real world. I feel sorry for teachers. I have several friends who are teachers and all say they have to use their own money for supplies at times and they can't tell a parent that there kid is doing poorly. Its absolutely ridiculous. I for one will be putting my child in private school. And by god if she is failing something I want to know about it and here from the teacher, after all she is the teacher and she knows whats going on in her classroom. I would rather my kid get held back the just be moved on.

Thursday, October 26, 2006, 2:41 AM

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well, in defense of some families, the minimum wage has not risen in at least 5 years and with all the single parent households depending on such a limited income, it's almost criminal that fast food is the cheapest available. there should be warning labels on these "foods" just as on liquor and cigarettes, and they should be taxed to the max to help pay for the health care costs of these obese teens. corporate america may be stepping in and creating arenas for teens to participate in studies that can further advance weight loss strategies, but this is waaaay after the fact. there ought to be accountability in the home, for sure, but the options for these families have been economically limited. how about an "obesity defense fund" or a "war on fat" ?

Thursday, October 26, 2006, 8:45 AM

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Wow, this story almost made me cry! I felt so bad for these kids, but it was really great to see their transformations.

My only concern is that the school, in trying to make a profit, might take advantage of the families. People can get greedy. I've seen similar ventures do this, and it's really difficult to see.

Thursday, October 26, 2006, 10:32 AM

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I loved this story and am so inspired by those teens... I hope that they have another follow up on them in a year or so, I would love to see how they're doing, especially the girl, it would be great to see what she looks like after another year in the program!

Thursday, October 26, 2006, 11:02 AM

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I can actually see and understand why a school like this has such a high price tag. The overhead alone is a huge amount, theres teachers to pay, dieticians, counselors, the school building and dorms as well as electricity, cooking, food, drinks, water, maintenance, and a lot of other things. Coupled with the fact that you want to be able to keep it semi small so it is a more easily controlled environment. It's got to be a huge amount of money to run a place like this. Parents do need to be accountable as well as the child. We all know what fast food does to us and what its filled with, but there are other choices that are just as inexpensive. In Annya's story she went home for a break and they said in her home mom was making charros, flan, and other fattening things, why on earth would you make things like that? I understand that you wouldn't want to deprive everyone but surely better options could have been made for everyone. For a child to lose weight the whole family needs to be part of it, especially such a young child. I guess the days of our parents sending us out to play are long gone. I remember my mom telling us to go play outside, we'd leave in the morning, return for lunch and go back out. We never sat in the house and watched tv or played video games. I myself am 25 overweight but its sad what has become of this country. Its really an easy concept, eat less, move more. Eat fruit in place of sugary foods. But I don't agree that poorer families can't afford to eat better. I was from a poor family and I was barely making it on my own but I still made decent choices. A chicken costs very little and you can get several meals out of it for four. Brown rice is not much more $ then white, and please fruit, when in season and bought off farms or stands is just as cheap as buying a bag of cookies for $3. It all comes down to choices and parents feed the kids.

Friday, October 27, 2006, 3:27 AM

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to the 3:27 poster I totally agree with you. I am a single mother on a very tight budget and I can really make my food money stretch and I buy good healthy foods. I can cook up a chicken and make 4 different meals from it. Soups go really far as well. Only sometimes do I buy cookies and then when I do its a real treat for my kid. He eats lots of fruit and raw veggies and honestly she is right they really don't cost that much more then the junkie food. We rarely eat out because for both of us eating out it is at least $12 and $12 I can make 2 dinners at home. So eating out does in the end cost just as much.

Saturday, October 28, 2006, 10:57 PM

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I also think this is a great story. Thanks for sharing.

And I agree with the poster who said we need to put warning labels on some foods. And, if we are going to make smokers pay extra tax, why not put an extra tax on Cheetos, Oreos, french fries? Then maybe people wouldn't eat them as much and opt for the cheaper fruits and vegetables.

Sunday, October 29, 2006, 6:15 PM

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Parents - no matter who they are - do the best that they can. Don't blame the parents unless you have all of the info.

Monday, October 30, 2006, 6:26 PM

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Your right you can't blame parents unless you have all the info and they do do the best they can BUT in some cases like Annya's shes a 14 yr old who is more then 300 pounds over weight. You would think her parents wouldn't have her home for a visit and cook all those sweets, why on earth would they do that? There comes a point when the parents are responsible for the weight problem they supple the crappy food. Poor or not there are better choices and I'm willing to bet everyone in this world realizes that a piece of fruit is a better choice then a cookie or chips.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006, 2:25 AM

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