i hope the times receives a heap of angry letters about this article, about whether fat camps are a good idea for kids. i am writing mine as we speak.
the heroine of the story, a fourteen-year-old who lost 25 pounds from her barely-overweight frame at the age of twelve, states that "nothing tastes as good as thin feels," and although her mother claims she does not want the daughter to develop an eating disorder, it appears from the article that the key to "health" is constant, obsessive vigilance. the article also blithely reports the existence of programs that allot 1,200 calories each day to adolescents who are also doing 3-5 hours of physical activity. sounds like an eating disorder to me. and these places wonder why their programs don't have good long-term results!
and, of course of course, it's all about appearance. why do adolescents lose weight? not because their hearts can't take the physical exertion of lugging the extra pounds around, but because their hearts and heads can't take the bullshit directed at them from every corner. the delicious irony of sending your embarassing fat child off to a secluded place with others of their kind, so that they "don't have to be alone with their issues"!
i know that i have lots of other reasons to be embarrassed about being an american, but this kind of shit really gets to me.