Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Dangerously Overweight but Still Overlooked

Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Dangerously Overweight but Still Overlooked

Article excerpt

I am having real problems with a pupil in my class. It is not his behaviour; he is a lovely little boy, incredibly enthusiastic and well-behaved. His schoolwork is not a concern, either; he is bright and tries hard to improve.

The issue is his weight. He was already overweight when he started school. But now, at age 10, he is clearly obese. This makes him extremely tired and unable to cope with strenuous activity. It has also made him a target for the other students: as much as we try to prevent him from being teased, we are not able to monitor him constantly so we cannot always ward off the bullies. Sometimes we have to react instead.

The issue does seem to bother him. He knows he is overweight and will say things like: "I can't let myself get upset because I will just eat. It is the only thing that makes me feel better."

There is clearly something going on beyond the normal childish greediness I see in other students.

We have, of course, spoken to his mother and it seems that this may be where the problem lies. …

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