BLOG 303 DANGER: TEEN BINGE EATING
Childhood obesity has been on the rise and it’s a direct reflection of lifestyle and eating choices. We live in a world where most things are a click away or convenient. Technology is the new form of playing with your friends. Less talk, less action, less movement. I recently watched a documentary on Amazon Prime called, “Danger: Teen Binging” (2015), in which 3 teenagers were obese and the movie documented how they coped with this on a day to day basis. Let me share what this film was about with you.
Of course seeing overweight teens is no surprise to me. In fact, everyday around 3pm I see students walking home from school with some sugary beverage in one hand and a bag of chips in the other from AM/PM. They have been sitting all day at school only to go home and sit more, have their terrible snack, and then eat again at dinner. The only good part is the WALK home. I can’t remember getting home before 5pm from school from sports practices and activities. Adding that it if I was home, I was outside with my neighbors playing until it got too dark. Times have changed. Now with school being online and sports cancelled, the problem has only exasperated itself.
In this documentary, we learn that 1 in 5 children are obese. Many reach a point of no return, meaning once they reach adulthood, it is too late to lose this weight. Their metabolism has been ruined and their only hope is surgery. Children as young as 12 are having gastric bypass surgery. The opening scene is of a devastated family whose daughter, Samantha, ate herself to death. She died as a teen from her destructive eating habits that led to such terrible health.
Then the film looked at 3 others teens. Harry was 14 years old, heavy set, but did not even know his current weight. To him, there was no problem. But his parents fought over this issue. He used his bubbly, comedic personality to hide from the truth of his weight. He was the class clown, loved by all, and has his own YouTube Channel. He loved to cook, but had alternative motives to eat many of the ingredients during the process. Harry wanted to be a pilot when he grows up, so his dad had him undergo the real medical evaluation for this process to prove to him that his dreams were unrealistic given his current habits. The army-like nature of his father versus the caring concern of his mother created a recipe for disaster. Regardless, Harry refuses to diet and doesn’t want to waist his childhood starving himself.
Jess was 16 years old. She was bullied at school and comes from a mother who had weight issues herself. Her mom had gastric bypass surgery and she is headed down the same path. Her typical snack is a Frappuccino and bag of chips.
Holly, who was 14 years old suffered from body anxiety. She rarely attended school and her mother was even fined for this. She sees her skinny sister and wonders why she is overweight. Holly is the type who keeps her emotions bottled up.
All 3 teens used food for comfort and pleasure. In the end, they started light activity but ultimately, they didn’t want to change. This means their adult lives will be marked by health issues and weight related issues. The documentary was nothing out the ordinary or shocking, but proves the point that children today need to get moving. Movement is critical so there needs to be a form of activity that is tolerable to them on a daily basis. Looks like the parents are up for a challenge. At the studio, I want to encourage every BODY to lead by example and be part of an active family environment. This is teamwork as you become the best version of yourself.
Danger: Teen Binging (2007) by Ed Kellie, &Katy Lock