"Everyone knows that fat kids are harassed in school," said Anthony, an 11th grader from South Los Angeles (who asked not to be identified by his full name for fear of harassment), "and going to school becomes a burden. Because of the teasing and the wall you put up to protect yourself, you often don’t realize how much weight you’ve gained. One of my schoolmates who is overweight is known to physically harm herself as a result of the teasing and bullying. I didn’t want to be fat anymore or feel helpless; I wanted to live and help others."
Approximately eight months ago, Anthony was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. He began experiencing the warning signs: extreme thirst, fatigue, dizziness, frequent urination, and soreness within his body, but was shocked by the diagnosis – he never saw it coming.
By the time he was in the 5th grade, Anthony weighed over 160 pounds and is the third generation in his family to suffer from type 2 diabetes due to overweight, which he states runs in his family.
The 17- year old Los Angeles native is taking charge of his health and has declared war on his diabetes. He has lost 30 pounds through a combination of controlled diet and exercise – Anthony enjoys and regularly rides his bike – and is no longer on daily insulin shots. He is very excited about his future and about the possibilities for other youth to improve their health and fitness through the Let’s Move L.A. campaign. Let’s Move L.A. is the Los Angeles branch of First Lady Michelle Obama’s health initiative to eradicate childhood obesity.
The campaign has taken root in Los Angeles through the efforts of Denise Hunter, President and Chief Operating Officer of FAME Corporations, who alongside community partners held a successful launch party last month with more than 300 student participants. Mrs. Hunter has been working to generate broad-based community support for obese and overweight children, and to encourage all Los Angelenos, children and adults alike, to adopt healthier lifestyle habits. Anthony joined the Let’s Move L.A. movement and now plays an active role in educating other youth about the dangers associated with type 2 diabetes.
"I’m going to be a Physician’s Assistant," and says that his mother has always encouraged him to eat right and to live an active life. "My friends would say "you’re not fat, you’re just a big guy," but, sometimes friends won’t tell you the truth, especially when it’s about your weight. You have to get professional advice, talk to someone, a teacher, a counselor, a family member, a doctor or nurse, or your minister, and above all, talk to God; it just might save your life."
Students participating in the Let’s Move L.A. launch party walked to the event with Mrs. Denise Hunter, President and Chief Operating Officer of FAME Corporations, who is leading the health campaign.
Energized youths partner with Mrs. Hunter, their teachers and community supporters to end