I was thin up until puberty. In fact, I looked exactly like the actress who played Blossom in the 90s show. And then puberty changed everything. I stopped growing at age 12, so I stayed at 5'2, but I started to balloon out. I developed disordered eating habits to try to avoid gaining more weight, since weightloss didn't seem to work. It was not until I was watching Mystery Diagnosis two years ago and saw an episode on Cushing's that I decided to have my hormone and cortisol levels tested. I was then diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome, something that's usually not discovered until a woman is trying to get pregnant. It affects up to 10% of women, and the usual symptoms include obesity, infertility, acne, and hirsuitism (abnormal body/facial hair).
Nonetheless, I grew up as one of those fat kids with a low self-esteem and depression. Even now it still affects me, as when I broke up from a 4.5-year relationship last year, my ex told me the only problems he ever had with me were my weight and self-esteem. And yet, it was enough for him to treat me like crap and cheat on me. I hate going to see my GP because every time I see her, she goes into this rant about how I'm going to develop diabetes if I do not lose weight.
The ironic thing is that I actually eat healthier and often less than my thinner counterparts. Heck, the last time I drank a soda, I felt sick because I wasn't used to that much sugar and syrup. I also actually enjoy walking and dancing (though, due to lack of coordination, I suck at both). Nonetheless, I get the exact same stigmatization as every other overweight person, as it is assumed I could and should be able to do something about it.
Schools are becoming more focused on doing well in testing because of the No Child Left Behind policies. Plus, we've become such a litigious society that a lot of games we played in childhood are no longer allowed at schools. The result is recesses and physical education are being limited or stopped completely in favor of making sure kids test well. As for food in the cafeterias, it's more important to make a profit because most schools are not receiving enough each year, so the foods are not necessarily healthy and/or tasty. I know at my second high school, the longest lines were for burgers, pizzas, and fried products. It was usually empty in the salad and daily crap (which really was barely edible and the salads were rarely fresh) lines. And then there are the schools now that allow fast food companies onto the campuses. I hear of kids talking about Taco Bell or Pizza Hut in their cafeterias.
What I really would like to see is more healthy food items for cheaper than the prepackaged stuff in grocery stores. It's cheaper for me to buy a Lean Cuisine than a bag of salad, for example. Seriously, why should a bag of lettuce, carrots, and onions cost $3.28, even if it is overpriced California?
On the topic of breastfeeding, since it's brought up in the article, the WHO recommend two years of breastfeeding, and I believe it's the CDC who recommends at least one year. Yet, the western world stigmatizes any mother who continues to breastfeed past six months. Go figure.