'Fat' Boy Uses Bullies' Taunts to Change His Life & Help Others

Portion Size Me There's no question that childhood obesity is a vast problem in this country, but when it comes to how to address it, all sorts of debate erupts. When Dara Lynn-Weiss wrote for Vogue about the diet she put her overweight daughter on, people were outraged, and anti-obesity efforts are often denounced as fat shaming. So the question remains: How do we help our children maintain a healthy weight? One boy, 12-year-old Marshall Reid, illustrates why maybe we should ask them.

Two years ago, when he was 10, a schoolmate told him, "You're fat." After years of teasing, that was the final push he needed to change his life and get healthy. He went home that day and told his mother of his plan.


According to an article in The New York Times, he told her he wanted to do the "opposite of Super Size Me" (Morgan Spurlock’s documentary about a McDonald’s-only diet for 30 days) and be healthy for a month. "I’m tired of this,” he told her. 

He started by learning how to cook and eat differently. His father was serving overseas in Iraq, so he started sending him videos of his new and improved meals. Along the way, he started developing a following, and eventually his Portion Size Me campaign was born. He's since launched a website and written a book, Portion Size Me: A Kid-Driven Plan to a Healthier Family, along with his mother, that includes kid-friendly tips and recipes. He's also, perhaps most notably, taken his BMI from a 32.3 to a 27.4 and shed his obesity classification.

He's being called the next Jamie Oliver, and while some may not consider that a compliment, what he's done is nothing short of inspirational. It shows that kids can and should take their diets into their own hands, that having to limit themselves and make choices isn't punishment, but a necessary means to ensuring their health

As parents we have to provide the right foundation and the right example, but as we all know -- nobody can force you to eat right and exercise. Unless they're always under our watch, we can't control our kids' habits all of the time nor should we want to. It's their body, and the sooner they realize that it's their job to keep it healthy, the better. Way to go, Marshall.

Do you find Marshall Reid inspirational? Do your children take charge of their own healthy eating habits?


Image via Portion Size Me

Read More >