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I just read an article through MSN about an experiment taking place in the UK this month to begin treating obesity in the womb. 400 obese and  diabetic women have signed on to take a certain pill to prevent obesity in their unborn children. The reasoning behind this is health-linked, but of course so are the counterpoints.

Several days ago at work a group of about 10 of our 6th grade girls refused to eat lunch. There are more, I’m sure and honestly it’s been going on since the beginning of the year. Often, we make them go get lunch anyway, and pass the message on to their parents, but we can’t really spoon feed them.

It really got me wondering how kids so young were already grappling with body image problems. Of course, some kids may legitimately dislike the cafeteria food. However, others have mentioned they avoid eating certain foods to avoid weight gain. Hey! Eating healthy – that’s great! Not eating at all? That’s concerning.

Sometimes, my kids make me feel old and I think they are so much younger than I ever was (which is nonsensical on several levels, really). After mulling over the cafeteria incident though, I realized something. I was them.

After all, wasn’t it only when I was in sixth grade myself that I would wear sweaters in 90 degree weather to hide my flabby arms? Wasn’t I only in 7th grade when I cursed myself daily for just about every bite I took? (Oh what I wouldn’t give to be back at that 7th grade weight) <–yikes! I did it again and I just caught myself!

Truth is, we are obsessed with weight. Come on, you already knew that. I used to think it was just me. I’m not obese, I’m not even technically overweight. Still, I am not totally satisfied with my body and for YEARS have been in an endless cycle of hopeless change.

I would have the occasional friend who could relate, but most of my life I’ve seen myself as the ”fat friend.” Recently though, I’ve more and more started hearing perfectly thin friends, acquaintances and students expressing concerns over their weight. It blows me away.

And now, we are fighting ‘obesity’ in the womb…

Of all the battles to fight.

Still, I understand (the preoccupation with weight part, not the fetal-fat-fighting part).