fit-at-any-size-printout-time - Fit at Any Size Printout...

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5/25/10 1:00 PM Fit at Any Size -- Printout -- TIME Page 1 of 4,8816,1813993,00.html Back to Article Click to Print Thursday, Jun. 12, 2008 Fit at Any Size By Kathleen Kingsbury Nikki Blonsky is exactly the role model most parents dream of for their kids. She's happy, she's successful, she's overcome obstacles--no wonder her young fans adore her. She's also overweight--by some measures very overweight--in a culture that fetishizes thin. There was a time when that alone would have been enough to keep the 19-year-old star of the movie Hairspray out of the fan magazines and off the posters decorating grade-schoolers' bedroom walls. But that time may at last be ending. The national obesity epidemic did not happen in a vacuum. It occurred in an era in which fashion models have got thinner and thinner, the tolerance for even a little flab has grown lower and lower, and the rates of eating disorders like anorexia have climbed higher and higher. In that environment, children and adolescents trying to develop a healthy--and realistic--body image have almost no chance at all. Now they might. Plus-size celebs like Blonsky--or, for that matter, her Hairspray co-stars John Travolta (albeit in a latex fat suit) and Queen Latifah--are increasingly spreading the message that svelte is not the last word in happy. Fit means happy too; so does staying active; so does loving your body no matter its shape. The key is to get that body healthy and keep it that way. The numbers on the scale--pediatricians, nutritionists and psychologists now argue--should start to come second to physical fitness as a gauge for health. After all, says Kelly Brownell, director of Yale University's Rudd problematic whether he's fat or skinny." More important, at least when it comes to selling that idea to kids, are the other dividends good health pays. "Staying fit gives me the energy to make movies," Blonsky says. "In school, I always made sure to try new sports and was a quick runner. It made me strong against the people trying to
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5/25/10 1:00 PM Fit at Any Size -- Printout -- TIME Page 2 of 4,8816,1813993,00.html hold me back." Not all doctors agree that it's possible to be overweight and fit--or at least, as fit as kids should be--and in that lies a debate. But everyone agrees that the shape so many kids find themselves in today--obese, sedentary and manifestly unfit--is a dangerous one. Changing things even a little makes a lot of children not only happier but a great deal healthier. Behind the push to get kids fit is the growing recognition that, in many cases, there's just no fighting
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fit-at-any-size-printout-time - Fit at Any Size Printout...

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