Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta has weighed in (pardon the pun) on reality show star Honey Boo Boo, regarding her family’s dietary choices.
“Locals are cringing with concern that the nation might view this family as an accurate portrayal of our state,” Dr. Stephanie Walsh, medical director of child wellness at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, wrote in a recent opinion piece that was published in the AJC. “However, based on the children and families we see at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, the truth is that Honey Boo Boo and her family’s health habits may be more of the norm in Georgia than everyone would like to believe.”
A recent “Honey Boo Boo” episode showed the family of 7-year-old beauty queen Alana Thompson, the breakout star of “Toddlers and Tiaras,” enjoying a dinner of “sketti,” which is a concoction involving butter, ketchup and pasta. In previous episodes of the TLC show, family members graze on cheese balls, load up on “meat with a side of meat” at a barbecue restaurant and visit the convenience store next door for a junk-food run. In a couple of episodes family members weigh themselves; matriarch June Shannon tips the scales at 300+ pounds although she did lose a few pounds from weigh-in to the next.
(Here is my colleague Rodney Ho’s recap of Wednesday’s episode. Bingo, rather than food, was the central theme this time).
Children’s Healthcare has long sounded the alarm regarding childhood obesity. Last year the organization grabbed attention and headlines with its series of television ads and billboards featuring real Georgia adolescents sharing their struggles with weight issues.
In the opinion piece in Saturday’s newspaper, Walsh noted that while the reality-show stars of “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” seem over-the-top, their diets (and corresponding health concerns) aren’t all that unique.
“With nearly 40 percent of Georgia families having an increased risk of health effects stemming from childhood obesity (regardless of socio-economic status),” Walsh wrote. “Honey Boo Boo and her family are not as different as everyone wants to believe.”
- Jennifer Brett/The Buzzfirstname.lastname@example.org