Monday, October 25, 2010

Childhood Obesity hits Rio

I have been noticing larger and larger people in the streets of Rio de Janeiro.  No, I'm not talking tall people, I'm talking large, and it's not just adults.

I'm starting to think that childhood obesity is really becoming a problem in Brazil.  If I, an American, is noticing overweight children, it's definitely entered into the "Situation" category. 

Seriously though, it is.  The childhood population in this city seems to go between either normal/slightly skinny to quite large.  It's like the class system with a very small group in the middle. 
And apparently I'm not the only one who has noticed.  BBC News says, and I quote "the most startling figures come from Brazil, where childhood obesity has tripled over the last 20 years."

I can say that I have met at least 3 different families at my pediatrician's office who have their kid(s) on a diet because they are over weight.  The diet my pediatrician usually puts them on is, no more fried foods, no McDonalds (for example), more fruit, and take them to the park! 

It seems like common sense but I can see how the slippery slope could happen. For one, this is a culture where a lot is based around food. Saturdays and Sundays alone can be a dietary nightmare with family lunches that go on for hours and are full of fatty treats. 

At the same time, Rio de Janeiro alone is a wonderland full of outdoor activities to keep the entire family active.  Of course, as BBC says (since they are British and thus are obviously infallible): "The researchers comment that in the same period, Brazil's per capita gross domestic product has also tripled, and television use has greatly increased."

Oh TV, how you always bear the brunt of our bad behavior.  I will say though, TV is like alcohol, it takes balance and is highly addictive.  I love you both you bastards.  

And now food is right up there with them.  I will say, after procreating twice, my body just doesn't digest my fatty snacks the way it used to.  My body has turned into a squirrel storing nuts in his cheeks, only it's fat in my ass. 

Now, I have to actually... gasp uggg dear goodness, eat right AND work out on a regular basis.  I skip the fries and eat a salad.  Funny thing is, I actually prefer the salad now. I don't know what that detox did to me but it set me right in some way. 

Anyway, kids are the same. If you overfill them their ass will too turn into a panicked little squirrel hiding away nuts for a winter that never comes. Moderation and the ability give a firm NO you don't need a third box of McNuggets will do the trick. 

What do you think?  Childhood obesity a problem or overly concerned skinny people are ruining the world with their blabbering? 


  1. I have a student here who's a cardiologist, and he told me a nice fact that is helpful to use against students who try to boast that all Americans are fat and all Brazilians are not: 1 in 4 Americans are considered obese. But 1 in 5 Brazilians are considered obese. So it's not much better at all!

  2. That wonderful cup of açai is a danger in disguise.

    I wish it were not, but --

  3. Wow, I didn't know they ranked that close to us! Scary!

    I love when I read that a star is doing the açai diet. Just hope they are eating 200ml or less!

  4. I should NOT touch this one... when I feel like a bad mom when the Canadoca's doc thinks she needs to put on some poundage, I remember that the average is now overweight now (she is perfectly healthy just a tad wee).

    I think Brazil is in major trouble in this department... soft drinks + salgados, baby.... better to stick with feijoada and fruit!