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Letter: Kids today aren't all that different

To the editor,

This is in response to Andrea Langworthy's column, "let's get moving." First of all, I understand what Ms. Langworthy is saying. Some people today are not watching their health habits well and the obesity rate is higher. What I fail to understand why Ms. Langworthy believes kids today act so much differently than they did years ago.

Ms. Langworthy explained that her childhood consisted of being outside for hours, riding her bike for a whole day, sledding, skating, swimming and performing plays. I would have to say this describes my whole childhood, along with that of my friends and relatives. I see children around my neighborhood playing outside for hours on end. This new society of TV-obsessed children, Nintendo-playing fanatics and kids that rarely step outside their front door is not as real as Ms. Langworthy makes it to be.

I agree some children are more overweight than years before, but let's remember that they are only kids. It's the parent's job to give guidance. They buy that Club Penguin Nintendo game. They allow their children to stay inside and watch Hannah Montana all day. They have the ability to send their kids outside to play games and sports. Langworthy is right, mothers aren't always home and wont be able to watch their children for the entire day, however, these are different times. Money is tight, and independent mothers are more common. They shouldn't be blamed because of that. I know plenty of mothers that would not be considered domestic, stay-at-home moms, or single working mothers who have raised healthy children. Also, I know mothers who stay at home who have children that are overweight. It's an argument, but a poor one, to say the mother's place, whether it be in the home or in the office, is the reason for a child's obesity.

We should also consider that not all child obesity problems are because of time spent indoors but because of genetics or health problems. Does anyone recognize the "fatty" might not have been obese because of staying indoors too long, but because of physical awkwardness? The weight of children has increased over recent years but we shouldn't be too quick to judge.

It is true that child obesity has risen. The, "when I was their age" comparison that Langworthy offers is not that reliable, the reasoning is not based off the child's or mother's view, but what Langwothy sees as the ideal childhood, of her own experience. It is an incorrect statement that children are not as outdoorsy than in recent years. The memories of a person's past may alter these comparisons, however, they also alter our view of reality.

Greta Kotz

Grade 10