Sep
11
ABC News Fat Like Me 2003


>>YOU READY?>>TURN AROUND, LET ME SEE YOUR BUTT. KEEP GOING. GOOD, YEAH.■ THIS IS — THIS IS LARGE.>>Reporter: ALI’S ENSEMBLE INCLUDES A CAMERA HIDDEN IN HER GLASSES SO THAT WE CAN SEE AS SHE SEES. AND ANOTHER IN HER BACKPACK. REMEMBER WHAT ALI LOOKED LIKE BEFORE? WELL TAKE A LOOK AT HER NOW.■ WE SENT ALI TO ANOTHER SCHOOL, IN A DIFFERE STATE, WHERE NO ONE KNEW HER AS HERSELF. THIS SCHOOL WAS BRAVE ENOUGH TO LET US COME IN AND SEE JUST W DIFFERENTLY ALI WOULD BE TREATED AS AN OVERWEIGHT KID. AS ALI AND HER MOTHER ARE WALKING TO THEIR CAR, A PASSERBY INSULTS HER.>>I WAS HANGING BACK, LISTENING TO THE GUYS TALK AS YOU WALKED AWAY. AND THE GUY SAID “DID YOU CHECK OUT THE JUNK ON HER?”>>WHAT A [ BLEEP ]■>>Reporter: AFTER THAT EXPERIENCE, ALI FEARED THE WORST.>>MOM, I CAN’T DO THIS. MOM, I CAN’T DO THIS.>>OH, YOU’LL BE FINE.>>I DON’T THINK I’M SECURE ENOUGH TO DO THIS. WHY DID I LET MYSELF DO THIS, MOM?>>’CAUSE IT’S GOING TO BE AN INCREDIBLE EXPERIENCE, ALI. HI, I’M HERE. ALI’S HAVING A LITTLE BIT OF MELTDOWN.>>BUT I’M REALLY BIG. Rorter: DESPITE DES TO GO AHEAD.>>AND THAT’S WHAT V TO TNK A I CAN’T BELIEVE I ACCEPTED THIS. HI, ALI SMITH.>>ALI, HAVE AT PLEASE. WELC STRATFORD HIGH SCHOOL.>>THANK YOU.>>NO PROBLEM AT ALL. PLEASE INTROCE YOURSELVES, LADIES. HER NAME IS ALI, GUYS AND GIRLS.>>THOSE TWO GIRLS DIDN’T REALLY MAKE EYE CONTA WITH ME. THEY DIDN’T LIKE — REALLY LIKE, LISTEN TO WHAT I WAS SAYING. IT’S JUST KIND OF HARD, EMOTIONALLY, SITTING THERE, FEELING COMPLETELY OUT OF PLACE■ I HATE HIGSCHOOL. BASICALLY, WALKING DOWN THE HALLS WALIKE WALKING INTO HL. I FELT PAIN THAT WAS EXCRUCIATING. PEOPLE WERE LAUGHING AT ME. LUNCH IT WAS SO BLATANT, RIDICULOUS.>>Reporter: BY THE END OF THE SCHOOL DAY, ALI HAD HAD ENOUGH.>>IT’S HARD TO ARTICULATE, BECAUSE IT’S MORE OF AN EMOTION. BUT I BASICALLY JUSTKE [ BLEEP ] I AN, IF I CAN USE THAT WORD. I MEAN, I REALLY JUST DON’T KNOW HOW ELSE TO EXPLAIN IT. IT WAS REALLY JUST A TERRIBLE EXPERIENCE. I FELT — UH, I FELT — I FELT LIKE KIDS WERE JUST LOOKING AT ME AND BASICALLY JUDGING ME BY MY LOOKS. AND BASICALLY, JUST MAKING FUN OF ME BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT THEY DO, AND BECAUSE FATNESS IS SO — SUCH A JOKE NOW. IT’S JUST SOMETHING THAT’S MADE FUN OF. IT’S LIKE SOMETHING LIKE RACE. PEOPLE DON’T GO LIKE, “HA-HA, YOU’RE — LIKE, YOU’RE WHITE,” OR “HA-HA YOU’RE BLACK.” BUT THEY SEE A FAT PERSON, AND THEY THINK THAT THEY HAVE THGHT TO LAUGH AT THEM.>>ALI GOT TO EXPERIENCE WHAT OVERWEIGHT KIDS GO THROUGH EVERY DAY — LOW SELF-ESTEEM, THE SADNESS, THE INABILITY TO LOOK AT OTHER CHILDREN. IT IS THIS DEEP, DEEP, DEEP SADNESS. I CAN’T SAY “DEE ENOUGH.ROUGH LE WITH A NEW SENSITIVITY. AND I THINK IT PROBABLY WAS A VERY LIFE-CHANGING EXPERIENCE>>AM I GOING TO HAVE TO COME IN FOR THE WHOLE DAY TOMORROW?>>NOPE.>>OH, THANK GOD. THANK YOU.>>Annncer: LATER, ALI GOES BACK TO STRATFORD HIGH TO TELL STUDENTS HOW THEY MADE HER FEEL.>>I WAS TREATED VERY POORLY.>>BY OUR CLASS?>>Announcer: BUT FIRST, WE’LL TELL YOU WHY THIS GIRL HAS HAD SUCH A LASTI IMPACT ON MEREDITH VIEIRA. THE U.S. AND ABC, INC. EDUCATION>>>I’M LIKEHE PREY. PEOPLE COME AFTER ME BECAUSE I’M FAT.>>I EAT. AND I FEEL WORSE. AND THEN, I GAIN WEIGHT. AND THEN, I KEEP EATING.>>I JUST WANT TO BE NORMAL.>>WHENEVER I WALK DOWN THE HALLWAY, PEOPLE WOULD SCREAM OUT “MOO” TO ME.>>KIDS CALL ME “FAT BOY,” “FATSO>>THE “PREVENTION” SURVEY FOUND THAT TEASING IS A MAJOR ISSUE WITH THESE KIDS. THEY REPORT BOTH THAT THEY’RE MUCH MORE LIKELY TO BE TEASED AT SCHOOL, THAN REGULAR-WEIGHT KIDS. AND THAT THEY SEE OTHER FAT KIDS BEING TEASED, AS WELL. JUST-RELEASED “2003 CHILDHOOD HEALTH SURVEY” EXAMINES ALL ASPECTS OF THE CHILDHOOD OSITY AND THE EMOTIONAL. MEDICAL I KNOW FIRSTHAND HOW OVERWEIGHT KIDS FEEL, BECAUSE I WAS ONE OF THEM. COAT, THAT WAS ME. I WAS 11 YEARS OLD AND ALMOST 30 POUNDS OVERWEIGHT. I DON’T HAVE MANY PHOTOS FROM THAT TIME, BECAUSE I DIDN’T LIKE THE WAY I LOOKED. KIDS CALLED ME “CHUBBY,” “CHUNKY,” “PORKER,” “FATSO.” BUT WHAT HURT THE MOST WAS THE CONSTANT RIBBING OF AN ADULR WHEN YOU’RE GOING TO LOSE THAT BABY FAT.” SUDDENLY, MY WEIGHT HIT HOME. OFTEN THE TEASING AND DISCRIMINATION OVERWEIGHT KIDS EXPERIENCE IN SCHOOL ALSO OCCURS IN WHAT SHOULD BE A SAFE HAVEN, THEIR HOMES. PARENTS, SIBLINGS AND EVEN FAMILY FRIENDS SEEKING TO HELP, OFTEN HARM WITH WORDS AND DEEDS.>>IT’S ONE THING WHEN CHILDREN ARE TEASING YOU ON THE PLAYGROUND. IT’S A LITTLE EASIER TO WALK AWAY FROM THE CHILDREN ON THE PLAYGROUND.1 BUT IT IS SO MUCH MORE PAINFUL WHEN IT COMES FROM YOUR MOTHER OR YOUR FATHER OR YOUR SISTER OR YOUR BROTHER. THOSE ARE THE KIND OF REMARKS THAT STAY WITH YOU FOREVER.>>Reporter: CHRYSTAL JONSON IS THE ELDEST OF SEVEN KIDS AND THE ONLY ONE WHO IS HEAVY, THOUGH THERE ARE WEIGHT PROBLEMS ON THE FATHER’S SIDE OF THE FAMILY. NOW, 10 YEARS OLD, SHE FELT ALONE IN HER WORLD.>>BEING HEAVIER THAN THE OTHER KIDS MADE ME FEEL REALLY UPSET SOMETIMES. AND SOMETIMES I JUST IGNORED THE FACT THAT I WAS BIG — HEAVIER THAN EVERYONE ELSE.>>WHEN WE WOULD GO TO PLACES OUT TO EAT, SHE’D BE THE ONLY ONE WHO’D GET TOLD, “MAYBE YOU SHOULD HAVE A CHICKEN SANDWICH, INSTEAD OF THE CHEESEBURGER.”>>SHE GOT STARES. I MADE JOKES. I MEAN, I’M HER FATHER. AND I WAS WRONG. I WAS LIKE, “OKAY, YOU KNOW, HOW MANY PIECES OF CAKE WERE THAT?”>>I WOULD CALL HER “CHUBBY,” LIKE MY DAD DOES.>>SOMETIMES IT DID FEEL LIKE TH■2ERE BEING MEAN TO ME.>>I REFUSED TO LET HER DOWN ANYMORE. I WANT HER TO GET BETTER. AND I SAT DOWN WITH HER DAD. AND I SAID “THIS IS NOT HER FAULT. THIS IS OUR FAULT. AND WE HAVE TO, WE OWE IT TO HER TO GET IT RIGHT.”>>I WANT TO TALK ABOUT SOMETHING RY SERIOUS TODAY.>>Reporter: THE JONSONS SOUGHT A SOLUTION IN KIDSHAPE AND KINDERSHAPE,■A CALIFORNIA-BASED PROGRAMS FOR FAMILIES OF OVERWEIGHT CHILDREN AS YOUNG AS 3.>>UNO, DOS, TRES — WOO-HOO!>>THE BEST WAY TO TREAT O■ESITY IS PREVENTION. IF YOU CAN TEACH THESE PARENTS AND TEACH THESE CHILDREN EARLY■ IN LIFE, THEN IT’S EASIER. YOU DID WELL? IT IS VERY HARD TO CHANGE YOUR PARENTING STYLE. WHAT I AM SIMPLY DOING IS TRYING TO GIVE SUGGESTIONS TO THE PARENTS OF HOW TO HANDLE SITUATIONS. OF HOW TO HANDLE THEIR CHILD’S WEIGHT PROBLEM. IF THEY’RE INSULTED, I TRULY AM SORRY.>>WHEN YOU SEE THEM IN THE SCHOOL PICTURES GET BIGGER AND BIGGER, AND YOU NOTICE IT. AND THEN, WHEN YOU GO TO TOUCH THE HAND, YOU CAN FEEL THE THICKNESS IN THEIR HAND. WHEN YOU GO TO HUG THEM, YOU HAVE TO GO AROUND MORE. AND IT’S HARD TO SAY AS A MOM — BUT YOU PULL BACK, BECAUSE YOU DON’T WANT TO HAVE TO SAY “MY CHILD■ IS OVERWEIGHT. AND THEY HAVE A PROBLEM.” AND SO YOU DON’T HUG AS MUCH AS YOU USED TO. AND YOU DON’T■ KISS AND HOLD HANDS AS MUCH.>>THE KIDS ABSOLUTELY FEEL THE REJECTION FROM■ THEIR PARENTS. IF A PARENT SAYS TO A CHILD, “OH, LOOK A LITTLE HEAVY THERE” OR “YOU’RE FAT,” WHICH I HEAR PARENTS SAY. OR “GOT A LITTLE BULGE, DON’T YOU?” KIDS REALLY SEE THEMSELVES THERE. THEIR BODY IMAGE CHANGES. THEY START TO SEE THEMSELVES AS FAT. IT IS THE MOST LONELY, TERRIBLE, SAD FEELING. I READ REPORTS WHERE OBESE CHILDREN SAY THEY ARE AS SAD AS CHILDREN WITH CANCER GETTING CHEMOTHERAPY. AND THAT’S HOW LEFT OUT AND ISOLATED THEY FEEL.>>I DIDN’T GET TO PLAY FOOTBALL.>>THAT’S PROBABLY HOW ISOLATED CHRYSTAL FEELS IN HER FAMILY.>>WHEN YOU GIVE HER ONE THING, AS OPPOSED TO EVERYBODY ELSE, IT WAS ISOLATING HER. IT MADE HER DIFFERENT FROM EVERYBODY ELSE AT THE. SHE WOULD GET THE STATEMENTS AT THE TABLE. “WELL WHY DO WE HAVE TO EAT THIS? IF CHRYSTAL’S THE ONE WHO’S OVERWEIGHT. SHE’S THE ONE WHO NEEDS THE DIET. NOT ME. I’M SKINNY.” OCCASIONALLY YOU WOULD EVEN GET “CHRYSTAL, IT’S YOUR FAULT WE HAVE TO EAT THIS.” IT’S MORE ABOUT A PUNISHMENT THAN ABOUT EATING HEALTHY AND DOING SOMETHING GOOD FOR YOURSELF.>>MY PARENTS WOD TELL ME OUT MY WEIGHT, BECAUSE I WAS SNEAKING FOOD THAT I WASN’T SUPPOSED TO. AND THEY TOLD ME, “CHRYSTAL, YOU MIGHT NOT WANT TO HEAR THIS. BUT IT’S GOING TO HELP. YOU HAVE TO STOP.”>>AND SO WHEN THEY SAID THAT TO YOU, WHEN THEY SAID TO STOP EATING THAT, HOW WOULD THAT MAKE YOU FEEL?>>UM, I — I WOULD FEEL MAD AND SORT OF ASHAMED.>>ASHAMED? ANYONE ELSE FEEL ASHAMED?>>I WOULD HAVE TO APOLOGIZE. CHRYSTAL, I’M SORRY THAT I DIDN’T, YOU KNOW, TREAT YOU LIKE I TREATED EVERYBODY■ ELSE. I’M SORRY THAT I WAS THE ONE WHO JUST HELPED THE PROBLEM. I’M SORRY I LET IT GO AS LONG AS I DID.■ I TELL MY WIFE, I’M SORRY I DIDN’T DO WHAT YOU NEEDED ME TO DO. IT’S A FAMILY PROBLEM. BUT I MADE IT A CHRYSTAL PROBLEM.>>Reporter: AND NOW, THE ENTIRE JONSON FAMILY, NOT JUST CHRYSTAL, HAS LEARNED LESSONS TO IMPROVE ALL THEIR LIVES.>>I DON’T THINK THAT THE KIDS EVEN NOTICE THAT THEY DON’T DO ANY OF WHAT THEY USED TO DO. BECAUSE THEY HAVE ALL BEEN TAUGHT THAT THAT’S HOW IT IS. AND WHEN I SAY “NO MORE CAP’N CRUNCH, BECAUSE YOU GUYS HAVEN’T BEEN USING THE HALF A CUP SCOOP THAT WE GOT FROM KIDSHAPE,”■ THEY GO “AH, OKAY.” WHEN WE GO TO THE PARK, THEY KNOW THAT WE’RE THERE FOR EXERCISE.>>IT’S DECIDING TO GET HEALTHY. IT’S DECIDING THAT YOU DON’T WANT TO BE LIKE THIS ANYMORE. THAT YOU DON’T WANT YOUR CHILD TO BE IN PAIN. THAT YOU DON’T WANT TO BE IN PAIN. THE WAY TO GET RID OF THEIR OBESITY IS TO SAY, “IT’S OKAY. LOVE YOURSELF. ACCEPT YOURSELF. SO THAT THEY CAN TURN AROUND AND TAKE CARE OF THEMSELVES AND SHOW THEIR SELF-WORTH, THEIR VALUE IN SOCIETY.”>>Announcer: LATER, THE KIDS FROM STRATFORD HIGH TELL ALI WHY OVERWEIGHT PEOPLE MAKE THEM SO UNCOMFORTABLE.>>I JUST KIND OF LOOKED AND I LAUGHED IN THE MOMENT, I GUESS.>>Announcer: BUT NEXT, HOW OUR KIDS ARE LITERALLY EATING THEMSELVES TO DEATH.>>WE HAD TO PURCHASE TWO SCALES TO WEIGH CHILDREN GREATER TH■F 350 POUNDS.>>Announcer: STAY TUNED. WE’LL BE RIGHT BACK.>>>WELCOME BACK. WE ARE REALLY IN THE MIDST OF A DUAL EPIDEMIC. THEY CALL IT “DIABESITY.” OVER THE PAST DECADE, CHILDHOOD CASES OF TYPE-II DIABETES HAVE INCREASED TENFOLD BECAUSE OF RISINRATES OF OBESITY. COMMONLY CALLED “ADULT-ONSET DIABETES,” CHILDREN AS YOUNG AS 8 YEARS OLD ARE BEING DIAGNOSED WITH THE DISEASE. THE CONSEQUENCES OF THIS DEVASTATING ILLNESS COULD LEAD TO AN EARLY GRAVE FOR MANY OF ITS VICTIMS. OUR CHILDREN ARE LITERALLY EATING THEMSELVES TO DEATH.>>WE’RE KILLING OUR KIDS BECAUSE WE’RE FEEDING THEM FOOD THAT THEY SHOULDN’T BE EATING AND ENCOURAGING THEMO BE SEDENTARY. AND THE TWO COMBINED ARE A TIME BOMB.>>IF WE DON’T GET A HANDLE ON THIS, WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN IS THAT WE’RE GOING TO GET KIDS DEVELOPING ILLNESSES AT A VERY EARLY AGE.■ AND SOME OF THESE ILLNESSES CAN ACTUALLY KILL THEM.■>>Reporter: ILLNESSES LIKE TYPE-II DIABETES, HEART DISEASE, ASTHMA, HIGH CHOLESTEROL, HYPERTENSION AND BONE AND JOINT PROBLEMS.>>THEIR JOINTS CANNOT CARRY THEIR WEIGHT. THE NUMBER OF CHILDREN THAT WE’RE SEEING WITH NOT JUST OVERWEIGHT BUT MORBID OBESITY IS INCREASING. IN FACT, WE HAD TO PURCHASE TWO SCALES TO WEIGH CHILDREN GREATER THAN 350 POUNDS.>>I’M JUST GOING TO TAKE A QUICK LISTEN TO YOUR HEART, OKAY? WE HAVE A NUMBER OF CHILDREN TAKING THE SAME MEDICATIONS AS THEIR PARENTS AND GRANDPARENTS. OKAY, YOU’RE DOWN 1 1/2 POUNDS. BUT THAT DOESN’T MEAN THAT THINGS CAN’T BE DONE.>>Reporter: TAKE DAVE ZINCZENKO, THE EDITOR OF “MEN’S HEALTH” MAGAZINE. YOU’D NEVER GUESS THAT A MAN WHO TELLS MILLIONS HOW TO HAVE THE PERFECT BODY WAS ONCE A FAT KID.■>>FROM THE AGE OF 9 TO MAYBE 13 OR 14, WAS ABOUT 20 OR 30 POUNDS OVERWEIGHT. IT WAS A TRYING TIME BEING AN OVERWEIGHT TEEN, BECAUSE YOU LOOK AROUND AND YOU SEE ALL THESE PEOPLE WHO ARE ENJOYING THESE THINGS. AND YOU SAY, “HEY, YOU KNOW, I WANT TO GET TO THE POINT WHERE I’M HAVI F■AND EOYING FITNESS AND RELATIONSHIPS AND THESE KINDS OF THINGS.” ALSO, MY FATHER WAS ABOUT A 100 POUNDS OVERWEIGHT. HE WAS MORBIDLY OBESE, SO HE KIND OF BECAME THIS — THIS NEGATIVE EXAMPLE FOR ME. HIS WEIGHT LED TO HYPERTENSION WHICH THEN LED TO HEART DISEASE WHICH LED TO DIABETES. AND FINALLY, ATHE VERY YOUNG AGE OF 52, HE HAD A STROKE AND [email protected] THAT REALLY TAUGHT ME A PROFOUND LESSON ABOUT HEALTH AND FITNESS. AND I JUST DECIDED I HAD ENOUGH AND THAT I WAS GOING TO WAGE WAR ON FAT.>>Reporter: WITH GOOD NUTRITION AND LOTS OF EXERCISE, DAVE WON HIS BATTLE.■>>THE BEST THING TO DO IS TO LOOK AT BEING OVERWEIGHT AS SOMETHING■THAT IS AN OBSTACLE THAT IS KEEPING YOU FROM GETTING THE MOST OUT OF YOUR LIFE.■ SEE IT AS SOMETHING THAT NEEDS TO BE MANAGED AND OVERCOME, IT’S THE ENEMY.>>JON MARKS IS TODAY WHERE DAVE ZINCZENKO WAS 20 YEARS AGO.>>MY FATHER HAS DIABETES. AND MY MOM SAYS THAT IF I GET ANY HEAVIER, I’M IN, LIKE, THE RISK GROUP. AND I DON’T WANT TO HAVE THAT HAPPEN.>>TWO-THIRDS OF THE PARENTS WE SURVEYED WHO HAVE OBESE KIDS WERE ALSO FAT THEMSELVES. HOW YOU MAKE THESE KIND OF LIFESTYLE CHANGES IN YOUR KIDS IS TO MAKE THEM YOURSELF.>>WE NEEDED TO BE MUCH MORE PROACTIVE.■ IT WASN’T THE KIDS’ PROBLEMS. IT WAS ALL OF OUR PROBLEM. AND WE ALL NEED TO MAKE A CHANGE, WHETHER WE REALLY LIKE IT OR WANT TO OR NOT.>>FOR THE MARKS, THEY HAVE THE AWARENESS. AND SO NOW, IT’S GONNA BE TO BE, FIGURE OUT HOW THEY CAN TAKE THE AWARENESS AND TRANSLATE INTO ACTION. HERE ARE A FEW OF THE THINGS I WANT YOU TO THINK ABOUT WHEN WE –>>Reporter: ENTER NUTRITIONIST HEIDI SKOLNIK TO HELP JON AND HIS FAMILY MANAGE THEIR EATING.>>ALL RIGHT, RULES OF GROCERY SHOPPING ARE — DON’T BE HUNGRY WHEN YOU START SHOPPING. MAKE A LIST, STICK TO THE LIST. 1%. ICEBERG LETTUCE JUST ISN’T AS NUTRIENT-RICH AS THE DARKER IT’S KIND OF GOOD TO EXPAND YOUR FOOD CHOICES. YOU MIGHT PICK, ONCE A MONTH, A NEW FOOD YOU HAVEN’T T BEFORE. LIKE, DO YOU EAT MANGO?>>I’VE NEVER HAD MANGO. I’M EXCITED WITH HEIDI HERE, YOU KNOW, TEACHING OUR FAMILY ABOUT NUTRITION. I MEAN, THERE’S LIKE SO MUCH TO LEARN. AND YOU KNOW, IT MIGHT JUST BE THE BEST THING IN THE WORLD.>>GOOD HONEYDEW!>>HAVE YOU GUYS EVER HAD THIS? THO NICE THING ABOUT THIS IS THERE’S A BEGINNING AND AN END. A LOT OF FAMILIES DON’T EVEN KNOW THAT THE FOOD CHOICES THEY MAKE EACH DAY SABOTAGE THEM. IT’S NOT NO FRIED FOODS, BUT HOW ‘BOUT HAVING FRIED FOODS NO MORE THAN TWICE A WEEK? SO IT ALLOWS YOU TO GET THAT FOOD IN THERE.■ BU■ IT’S NOT HAVING IT SO MUCH THAT AGAIN ITS WEIGHT-GAIN WAS A CALM TO ACTION.>>WHEN I FELT CRUMMY OR WORRIED OR UPSET OR BORED, I TEND — TENDED TO GO RIGHT FOR THE CABINET AND GET A CAN FULL OF COOKIES. I DIDN’T EVER STOP EATING.>>IT WAS HARD TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE FACT THAT I HAD A CHILD WITH A WEIGHT OBLEM. AND NO MATTER HOW HARD I TRIED,■ I WASN’T ABLE TO BRING IT TO A LEVEL THAT RACHAEL WOULD UNDERSTAND.>>Reporter: RACHAEL’S PARENTS FOUND SHAPEDOWN, A NATIONAL PROGRAM THAT TARGETS THE EMOTIONAL CAUSES OF CHILDHOOD OVEREATING.>>OFTEN WITH OBESE KIDS, THEY HAVE WHAT WE CALL “CROSS-WIRES,” SO TH■ FEELING DOESN’T MEET THE NEED.■ ONE THING THAT PARENTS CAN TEACH IS TO SAY “HOW DO I FEEL?■ I FEEL SAD. I NEED AN ICE CREAM■ CONE.” NO. “I FEEL SAD, I NEED TO TALK ABOUT IT.■ I FEEL HUNGRY, I NEED SOME FOOD.”>>ONE WAY TO ADDRESS THE OBESITY ISSUE WITH YOUR CHILD IS BRING THEM TO A PEDIATRICIAN. HAVE A DOCTOR TALK TO THEM ABOUT THE HEALTH IMPLICATIONS OF WEIGHT.■■ IT IS ■ULY A MEDICAL ISSUE. IT ISN’T AN ISSUE OF LOOKING GOOD. IT’S AN ISSUE OF FEELING GOOD.■ IT’S AN ISSUE OF PREVENTING■ CANCER AND DIABETES AND HEART DISEASE.>>MY PARENTS MADE LOSING WEIGHT LOTS EASIER FOR ME, BECAUSE THEY WERE ALWAYS THERE ASKING ME HOW I FELT, WHAT I NEED ED. AND THAT JUST MADE IT A WHOLE LOT EASIER. I THINK MY WHOLE FAMILY REALLY BENEFITED. WE WATCH WHAT WE EAT. WE’LL GO ON A BIKE RIDE. SOMETIMES WE’LL WALK. WE GO TO THE PARK. AND WE’LL JUST HAVE FUN WHILE DOING IT.■ NOTHING EVER TASTES AS GOOD AS THIN FEELS, BECAUSE THE FOOD REWARD ONLY LAS A COUPLE OF SECONDS, WLILE THE OTHER REWARD LASTS YOU A LIFETIME.>>YOU KNOW WHAT THE BOTTOM LINE IS?UT HEALT AND FITNESS, AND NOT HOW YOU LOOK. IF YOU ARE EATING HEALTHY AND IF YOU’RE INVOLVED■ IN FITNESS, YOU’RE A COOL PERSON. AND THAT’S WHAT IT’S ABOUT.>>Announcer: WHEN WE RETURN, ALI COMES CLEAN.■>>I WANTED THEM TO REALIZE THAT I WASN’T ACTUALLY WHO I APPEARED TO BE.>>Announcer: AND SCHOOLS ON THE FRONT LINE OF THE WEIGHT BATTLE.>>PEOPLE HAD THIS ABSOLUTELY GUT-LEVEL, VISCERAL SORT OF REACTION TO SENDING OUT THIS LETTER. “HOW DARE YOU?”>>Announcer: WE’LL BE RIGHT BACK. @■>>Announcer: IMAGINE GOING FROM FAT TO THIN IN LESS THAN AN HOUR. WHEN “FAT LIKE ME: HOW TO WIN THE WEIGHT WAR” CONTINUES, AFTER THIS FROM OUR ABC STATIONS. ■■>>Announcer: NOW, WE RETURn TO “FAT LIKE ME: HOW TO WIN THE WEIGHT WAR.” ■ ■>>Reporter: SCHOOLS ARE ON THE FRONT LINE OF THE OBESITY EPIDEMIC — FEEDING OUR CHILDREN, INVOLVING THEM IN ATHLETICAND TEACHING THEM ABOUT HEALTH. INCREASINGLY, THEY’VE TAKEN MATTERS INTO THEIR OWN HANDS WITH NEW WEAPONRY IN THE WAR ON WEIGHT.■>>WE DO SCOLIOSIS SCREENING, WE DO HEARING SCREENING, WE DO VISION SCREENING, AND WITH OTHER — EVERY OTHER SCREENING, WE NOTIFY P■RENTS■ IF THERE’S A PROBLEM. WHY DON’T WE DO IT IN THIS INSTANCE? Reporter: THE EAST PENN SCHOOL DISTRICT SENT O LETTERS TO HUNDREDS OF PARENTS TELLING THEM THEIR CHILDREN HAD A WEIGHT PROBLEM.■ IT STIRRED UP A STORM OF CONTROVERSY FAR BEYOND THE SMALL PENNSYLVANIA TOWN OF EMMAUS.>>PEOPLE HAD THIS ABSOLUTELY GUT-LEVEL, VISCERAL SORT OF REACTION TO SENDING OUT THIS LETTER. “HOW DARE YOU?”■ AND IN OUR OWN SCHOOL DISTRICT, WE HAD PEOPLE WHO WERE VERY,■ VERY UNHAPPY.>>I MEAN, IEALLY DIDN’T THINK IT WAS THE SCHOOL DISTRICT’S PLACE TO REALLY SAY ANYTHING.■>>I WAS SHOCKED.■ IT INFRINGEING ON YOUR MOTHERHOOD. YOU KNOW, SOMEONE — SOMEONE OTHER THAN YOU, OR YOUR DOCTOR, POINTS OUT THAT YOUR CHILD IS OVERWEIGHT.>>BUT, IN THE END, IT WAS WAKE-UP CALL FOR THE ENTIRE FAMILY.>>WHEN I WENT TO THE DOCTOR AND HE SAID “IT’S BECAUSE YOU ATE TOO MUCH OF BAD CARBOS.”>>KEEP GOING! YOU CAN DO IT! WE’RE IN BETTER HEALTH NOW THAN WE WERE BEFORE THE LETTER CAME.>>HI, ERIK. WE’RE GOING TO DO HEIGHT AND WEIGHT TODAY. THE FACT THAT ERIK DOESN’T APPEAR EXTREMELY OVERWEIGHT IS ONE OF THE REASONS WHY BMI IS SUCH A WONDERFUL TOOL, BECAUSE IT’S REALLGIVING US THE RATIO OF WEIGHT TO HEIGHT AND HOW THEY RELATE TO ONE ANOTHER.>>WE USE BMI, “BODY MASS INDEX,” TO ASSESS BODY FAT.■ SEE WHAT IT IS? THAT PLUS THAT. BODY MASS INDEX IS A SIMPLE MEASUREMENT OF WEIGHT IN KILOGRAMS OVER HEIGHT IN METERS SQUARED. D A BMI OVER 25 IS DEFINED AS OVERWEIGHT. AND A BMI OVER 30 IS DEFINED AS OBESE.>>THIS IS LIKE A SOCIAL TABOO. YOU’RE NOT SUPPOSED TO DO THIS. SORT OF IRONIC. YOU CAN TALK ABOUT SO MANY OTHER THINGS, BUT YOU CAN’T TALK ABOUT AN INDIVIDUAL’S WEIGHT AND AN INDIVIDUAL’S WEIGHT WHERE POTENTIALLY IT COULD BE DOING A LOT OF H■RM.>>WHAT THE PREVENTION STUDY SHOWED IS THAT PARENTS WERE EITHER NOT AWARE OF THE [email protected]■ HEALTH RISKS THAT ARE IMPLIED WITH OBESITY, OR THEY’RE NOT BELIEVING THAT IT REALLY AFFECTS THEIR OWN KIDS.>>FEET TOGETHER.>>WE HAD ONE VERY SIMPLE GOAL. WE DON’T CARE HOW A KID LOOKS. THIS IS NOT A COSMETIC ISSUE. DO YOU KNOW, ARE YOU AWARE OF THE POTENTIAL HEALTH RISKS OF THIS THING OF BEING OVERWUIGHT OR UNDERWEIGHT? OUR CONTENTION WAS RIGHT FROM THE BEGINNING THAT MOST PEOPLE DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT THAT. I CAN TELL YOU THAT THEY KNOW ABOUT IT TODAY.>>YOU’RE ALL SET. GOOD JOB.>>Reporter: THOUGH THE MEDICAL CONSEQUENCES OF CHILDHOOD OBESITY ARE DIRE, THE PSYCHOLOGICAL AND SOCIAL IMPLICATIONS MATTER MOST TO KIDS THEMSELVES.>>HONESTLY, CHILDREN DON’T CARE AS MUCH ABOUT THEIR RISK OF MEDISAL COMPLICATIONS.■ BUT NOT FEELING GOOD ABOUT YOURSELF IS SOMETHING YOU HAVE TO LIVE WITH EVERY DAY■>>Reporter: ALI’S EXPERIENCE IN THE FAT SUIT WILL BE WITH HER FOREVER. BUT UNLIKE THE MILLIONS OF TRULY OVERWEIgHT CHILDREN, ALI’[email protected] WEIGHT CAME OFF IN ONE HOUR.>>I KNEW THAT THESE PEOPLE■ DIDN’T KNOW ME FOR ME. AND I KNEW THAT I WASN’T ACTUALLY A FAT GIRL. BUT JUST BEING PUT IN THAT POSITION MAKES YOU REALIZE THAT IT’S JUST THAT HARD, AND I WAS ■MPLETELY MISERABLE.■>>READY FOR YOUR MAKEUP TO COME OFF?>>OH, YES.■ I NEVER THOUGHT ABOUT IT. I NEVER EVEN REALIZED IT COULD POSSIBLY BE THIS HARD. I THOUGHT IT WOULD JUST BE A PASSING EXPERIENCE. I DIDN’T REA■LY EXPECT IT TO TURN INTO SOMETHING AS HUGE AS IT DID. I WAS THINKINGOW, HOW FORTUNATE I AM THAT I’M ACTUALLY NOT THAT BIG. AND HOW I TAKE IT FOR GRANTED THAT I’M NOT THIS■ SIZE. AND HOW HORRIBLE IT WOULD BE, BEING IN HIGH SCHOOL, ■EING 15 YEAR OLD AND HAVING TO DEAL WITH THIS. IT’S ALMOST LIKE A HANDICAP IN SOME WAYS. IT’S A DISABILITY. THANK, GOD. IT’S TERRIBLE, BUT I’M HAPPY TO BE BACK.>>HEY, WELCOME BACK.■ HERE YOU GO, HOLD IT■ ON YOUR FACE. RUB IT I DON’T RUB TOO HARD, THOUGH. ■>>I WANTED THEM TO REALIZE THAT TO BE.’T ACTUALLY WHO I AP I CAN’T WAIT TO GO BACK TO BIO — SWEET REVENGE.>>Reporter: ALI WAS EXCITED TO SHOW HER TRUE SELF TO THE KIDS AT STRATFORD HIGH.■>>I WANTED TO GO BACK TO ALL OF MY CLASSES BECAUSE I WANTED■■ TO TEACH KIDS A LESSON, THAT JUDGING IS TERRIBLE AND THAT YOU SHOULDE CAREFUL OF WHAT YOU SAY AND WHAT YOU DO.>>YOU WANT TO COME TO THE FRONT? COME ON.>>ALI WAS ENCOURAGED TO [email protected] HER EXPERIENCE WITH HER CLASSMATES.>>MY NAME IS ALI SMITH. I WAS A STUDENT HERE YESTERDAY.■ I CAME IN A FAT SUIT. SO, I LOOKED A LITTLE DIFFERENT■ AND I — UM, I CAME IN H■RE KIND OF NAIVE TO WHAT WAS GOING TO B■ HAPPENING.■ BUT AS I WAS WALKING DOWN THE HALLS, KIDS WOULD MAKE■ SNIDE REMARKS, OR THEY WOULD LAUGH AT ME BEHIND MY BACK■ OR THEY WOULD JUST KIND OF LEAVE ME THERE WITH NO ESCAPE.■ I — I DON’T KNOW HOW ELSE TO PUT IT.>>YOU, BEING THE PERSON THAT YOU ARE, JUST LOOKING AT YOU NOW, YOU’RE A VERY, LIKE, SLIM PERSON.■ YOU NEVER HAD TO GO THROUGH SOMETHING LIKE THAT. ■p>>YEAH.■>>I JUST WANTED TO KNOW HOW YOU THOUGHT TH■T EXPERIENCE WAS, BECAUS■ I KNOW THERE ARE A LOT OF PEOPLE IN THIS SCHOOL THAT LOOK EXACTLY LIKE YOU LOOKED YESTERDAY.>>YEAH.>>AND THEY GO THROUGH THAT EVERY DAY OF THEIR LIVES. IT’S NOT A MASK. IT’S NOT A BODYSUIT FOR THEM.>>I COULDN’T IMAGINE HAVING■ TO DEAL WITH THAT EVERY DAY. I REALLY COULDN’T, BECAUSE IT■>Reporter: WHAT ALI EXPERIENCED THAT DAY IS ONLY A FRACTION OF WHAT MOST■ OVERWEIGHT KIDS EXPERIENCE EVERY DAY. STRATFORD HIGH WAS ONE OF ONLY 2 SCHOOLS OUT OF THE 100■ WE CONTACTED IN THE TRISTATE AREA THAT ALLOWED US TO CONDUCT THE FAT SUIT EXPERIMENT. IT WAS THEIR WAY OF ADDRESSING THE IMPORTANT ISSUE OF TEACHING TOLERANCE, COMPASSION AND RESPECT.>>Announcer: NEXT, TEARS FALL AS THE KIDS FROM STRATFORD HIGH OPEN UP TO ALI.>>I HATE TO SEE THAT THEY HAVE TO GO THROUGH THIS.■>>Announcer: NOW WE RETURN WITH “FAT LIKE ME: HOW TO WIN THE WEIGHT WAR.”>>I KNOW THIS SOUNDS TOTALLY CLICHE, BUT IT’S MADE ME A BETTER PERSON. IT’S REALLY CHANGED MY PERSPECTIVE OF THE WORLD. IT’S CHANGED MY PERSPECTIVE OF DIFFERENT TYPES OF PEOPLE THAN MYSELF. IT CHANGED EVERYTHING ABOUT MY FORMER SET STEREOTYPES OF APPEARANCES.>>WE ARE HERE WITH ALI, JON MARKS, CHRISTIANNE, AND SOME OF THE STUDENTS FROM STRATFORD HIGH SCHOOL.■ AND STRATFORD HIGH SCHOOL’S PRINCIPAL, DAN HATCH. FIRST OF ALL, THANK YOU ALL FOR JOINING US. ALI, I WANT TO START WITH YOU, BECA SOUNDS LIKE A CLICHE, BUT I’M A BETTER PERSON FOR HAVING GONE THROUGH THIS.” HOW HAS YOUR PERSPECTIVE CHANGED?■■>>WELL, PERSONALLY I THINK THAT YOU CAN’T UNDERSTAND SOMETHING UNTIL YOU EXPERIENCE IT YOURSELF. AND IT’S CHANGED MY ATTITUDES. BECAUSE JUST FOR ONE DAY, FOR A FEW HOURS, BEING SOMEONE THAT I WAS NOT, I COULDN’T IMAGINE DEALING WITH IT EVERY SINGLE DAY OF MY LIFE. I DIDN’T EXPECT KIDS TO BE SO OUTWARDLY MEAN TO ME, TO MY FACE. AND I REMEMBER ONE KID LOOKED ME RIGHT IN THE EYES AND STARTED LAUGHING.>>Reporter: JOEL, YOU WERE IN THE LUNCHROOM RIGHT? DO YOU REMEMBER SEEING, UH, ALI COME IN?>>YES, I DO. SHE WALKED IN. AND SHE WALKED BY. AND SHE KNOCKED A CHAIR DOWN WITH HER BACK SIDE. WE ALL STARTED LAUGHING AT HER.>>Reporter: BECAUSE SHE WAS FAT?>>YES, YEAH.>>Reporter: CHAD, YOU WERE IN THE HALL, AND YOU WERE CAUGHT ON TAPE, TOO.>>YEAH. I DID LAUGH THAT DAY SHE CAME IN. BUT I TRIED TO KEEP IT AT SOME LEVEL OF RESPECT. I GUESS YOU COULD SAY, I DIDN’T GO RIGHT TO HER FACE LIKE SOME — PROBABLY SOME OTHER KIDS DID. BUT I DID LAUGH WHEN SHE TURNED AROUND. IT WAS MORE OF A REACTION OF BEING SHOCKED, I GUESS, THAN JUST BEING MEAN, YOU KNOW.>>Reporter: DO YOU THINK THAT FAT KIDS ARE FREE GAME?>>I DON’T WANT TO SAY FREE GAME. BUT IT’S — THEY STICK OUT MORE THAN A REGULAR PERSON, YOU COULD SAY — I DON’T WANT TO SAY REGULAR. BUT THEY KIND OF JUST GET MADE FUN OF FIRST, BEFORE A POPULAR KID WOULD.>>Reporter: SHAWN, YOU’RE SHAKING YOUR HEAD.>>SHE CAME TO OUR HISTORY CLASS. AND YOU KNOW, THE FIRST THING PEOPLE SAID WAS LIKE, “WOW, SHE’S BIG.” I LOOKED AT HER, AND I THOUGHT IN MY HEAD, LIKE, “WOW, WHAT IS HER MOTHER FEEDING HER?” BUT IT WAS RUDE BECAUSE PEOPLE, LIKE, WHO WERE SITTING BEHIND HER JUST GOT UP, AND THEY SAT ON THEIR DESK LIKE SHE WAS TOO BIG TO SEE OVER HER.■>>Reporter: SOMETIMES THE REACTION IS TO MAKE FUN, POKE FUN. T THERSO IT SEEMS AN INCLINATION TO NOT LOOK AT THE PERSON. AND I KNOW IN BIOLOGY CLASS, WHEN ALI CAME INTO THE CLASSROOM, YOU IGNORED HER, THE TWO OF YOU. JESSICA, WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO IGNORE HER?■>>WHEN SHE CAME IN THE ROOM, I DIDN’T REALLY THINK THAT I WAS IGNORING HER, ‘CAUSE SHE WAS JUST A NEW STUDENT. AND I WAS JUST — AND I JUST DIDN’T REALLY CARE. BUT ON THE TAPE, IT ■OES SEEM LIKE I DID IGNORE HER. I DIDN’T MAKE EYE CONTACT WITH HER. BUT THEN AGAIN, I DIDN’T WANT TO STARE AT HER THE WHOLE TIME.>>Reporter: BUT YOU HAD A DIFFERENT FEELING, ALI, BEING IN THE ROOM.>>YEAH, i DID. I DEFINITELY THOUGHT THAT YOU WERE IGNORING ME.■ YEAH, THAT HURT ME A LOT. I THOUGHT THAT YOU LOOKED AT ME, AND YOU SAW THAT I WAS FAT. AND I SAT DOWN. YOU GUYS DIDN’T REALLY MAKE AN EFFORT TO COMMUNITY KATE WITH ME.>>Reporter: MARIE, WHAT DO YOU THINK WHEN YOU HEAR THAT?>>I FEEL BADLY I DIDN’T REALIZE THAT SHE FELT LIKE WE WERE■ IGNORING HER AND STUFF. BUT, LIKE, IT HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH HER WEIGHT OR ANYTHING.■>>Reporter: SO, THE FACT THAT THIS VERY LARGE GIRL WALKED INTO THE CLASSROOM HAD ABSOLUTELY NO IMPACT ON YOU?>>NO, NOT REAL■>>Reporter: ALI, WHAT’S GOING THROUGH YOUR HEAD RIGHT NOW ■ISTENING TO THESE COMMENTS?>>I HAVE TO SAY THAT I DO QUESTION THE SINCERITY OF SOME OF THEM. JUST BECAUSE I AM WONDERING WHETHER OR NOT THEY ARE BEING COMPLETELY HONEST. TO ME, I’M — I CAN’T REALLY■ TRUST ANYONE IN THIS SITUATION.>>Reporter: THERE ARE SOME KIDS WHO HAVE SAID THAT THEY DON’T EVEN WANT TO BE FRIENDS WITH A KID WHO’S■ OVERWEIGHT. THAT’S JUST NOT SOMEONE WHO THEY WANT TO ASSOCIATE WITH. ALI, WHEN YOU WENT INTO HISTORY CLASS, YOU MET KARLA, RIGHT?>>ONE OF THE PEOPLE IN THE CLASS SAID “EARTHQUAKE,” WHEN SHE WALKED IN AP AND I JUST LAFD BECAUSE EVERYONE ELSE WAS LAUGHING BECAUSE I FIND IT FUNNY.■ LIKE, I KNOW IT’S MEAN, AND THAT’S WHY I FELT REALLY BAD THE NEXT DAY, AND I WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT HER EXPERIENCE BECAUSE, LIKE, IT’S — IT’S HORRIBLE, LIKE JUST EVERYTHING ABOUT THAT. LIKE I — I’M GLAD YOU HAD T■AT EXPERIENCE, BUT I ALSO FEEL BAD THAT YOU HAD TO GO THROUGH WHAT YOU WENT THROUGH. LIKE NOBODY SHOULD EVER HAVE TO GO THROUGH THAT, BUT THAT HAPPENS EVERY DAY. I’VE BEEN MOSTLY OVERWEIGHT FOR MY WHOLE LIFE. AND I KNOW WHAT SHE WENT THROUGH. I KNOW HOW MUCH IT HURTS TO BE MADE FUN OF.>>Reporter: BUT THEN, KARLA, YOU WERE NOT ABLE TO GET UP AND SAY “STOP THIS,” THIS ISN’T RIGHT, KNOWING WHAT YOU KNOW.>>IT’S — I THINK IT’S MORE THAT YOU DON’T WANT TO GO AGAINST WHAT EVERYBODY ELSE IS DOING. AND THAT’S WHY THERE’S THE STEREOTYPE THAT YOU CAN MAKE FUN OF FAT PEOPLE, BECAUSE NOBODY WANTS TO GO AGAINST THE CROWD. ALI, I’M PRETTY SURE YOU WOULD HATE TO HAVE, LIKE — YOU NEVER — YOU’VE PROBABLY NEVER BEEN MADE FUN OF LIKE ABOUT [email protected] LIKE, YOU’RE BEAUTIFUL. YOU’RE SKINNY. AND YOU HAVE NOTHING■ SERIOUSLY, LIKE, WRONG WITH YOU, AND NOBODY WOULD EVER THINK■ TO MAKE FUN OF YOU. BUT WHEN IT COMES TO FAT PEOPLE, EVERYBODY THINKS IT’S OKAY.>>Reporter: I WANT TO TALK TO PRINCIPAL HATCH WHO HAS BEEN SITTING THERE VERY PATIENTLY AND QUIETLY. WHY DID YOU OPEN UP YOUR DOORS■ AND WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED FROM THIS?>>I THINK WHAT YOU HAVE DONE HERE IS ALLOWED THIS ISSUE TO BE DISCUSSED AMONGST YOUNG PEOPLE. AND THAT IT IS HURTFUL WHEN YOU MAKE THOSE TYPES OF COMMENTS. BUT IT’S A RISK. AND WE DECIDED THAT THE RISK WAS WORTH IT, AND YOU SEE THAT HERE THIS AFTERNOON.>>Reporter: JON, I KNOW YOU’VE EXPERIENCED FIRSTHAND WHAT IT’S LIKE TO BE TEASED. SO LET’S JUST TAKE A LOOK AT WHAT YOU HAD TO SAY.>>I GET MADE FUN OF ALL THE TIME. I’M PICKED ON BECAUSE OF IT. I KNOW THAT I’M FAT■ BUT I DON’T WANT TO BE REMINDED OF IT EVERY TEN SECONDS.■■>>Reporter: THAT’S A TELLING LAST LINE. “I KNOW THAT I’M FAT, BUT I DON’T WANT TO BE REMINDED OF IT.”>>WHEN I’M IN [CHOOL OR ANYWHERE IN PUBLIC, OR MOST OF THE TIME, I HEAR PEOPLE COMMENNG BEHIND MY BACK. AND IT ANNOYS ■HE HECK OUT OF ME.>>YOU CAN’T, LIKE, JUST SIT THERE AND, LIKE, LET PEOPLE TALK ABOUT YOU, HAVE TO LIKE SAY SOMETHING TO THEM. FIRST OF ALL, YOU CAN’T JUST SAY THAT.>>IT’S EASY FOR YOU TO SAY THAT.>>YEAH, IT IS.>>BUT WHEN I LOOK IN THE MIRROR, IT’S HARDER FOR ME TO SAY WHAT YOU ARE SAYING, BECAUSE I AM REALLY FAT. I KNOW THAT I AM GOING TO GET PICKED ON, BECAUSE I HAVE HAD IT THROUGH ALMOST MY ENTIRE LIFE. I’VE HAD LOW SELF-ESTEEM BECAUSE OF IT. SO, IF YOU ARE ONLY GOING TO BE LIKE FAT FOR ONE DAY, IT DOESN’T SHOW THE PERSPECTIVE OF SOMEBODY WHO HAS HAD IT THEIR ENTIRE LIFE.>>Reporter: WHAT I FOUND SO INTERESTING WITH ALI IS SHE’■ GOT TREMENDOUS SELF-ESTEEM. AND WITHIN THE MATTER OF A DAY, SEEMED TO LOSE A BIG CHUNK OF IT.>>I HAD NEVER KNOWN HOW SOMEONE FAT CAN BE SO INSECURE AND [email protected] SO LITTLE SELF-ESTEEM. LIKE I THOUGHT I KNEW, BUT I — I DIDN’T. EVERY SINGLE SECOND OF THAT DAY, I JUST WAnTED TO STRIP THE FAT )aREALLY ME.■RYONE IT >>Reporter: I KNOW, CHRISTIANNE, FOR ALI THIS WAS A ONE-DAY THING. YOU HAVE LIVED WITH THIS■ FOR A LONG TIME. YOU KNOW WHAT IT IS LIKE ON AN EVERYDAY BASIS. I’D LOVE TO HAVE EVERYONE HERE GET A CHANCE TO HEAR YOUR WORDS.>>WHEN”YOU ARE OVERWEIGHT, DISAPPOINTMENT IS LIKE AN EVERY DAY THING. SO ANYMORE, DISAPPOINTMENT IS A LOT HARDER TO DEAL WITH.■ THAT’S WHY OVERWEIGHT GIRLS WEAR BIGGER CLOTHES, SWTSHIRTS, SWEATPANTS, BECAUSE THEY HAVE THAT FEELING IF THEY WEAR SOMETHING TIGHT, SOMEONE’S DEFINITELY GOING TO SAY■ SOMETHING. IT’S REALLY HARD BECAUSE YOU TRY TO LOOK THE OTHER WAY, AND YOU CAN’T. NO■MATTER WHERE YOU ARE, THERE■■ ARE ALWAYS PEOPLE TO MAKE FUN OF YOU. IT’S HORRIBLE BECAUSE YOU CAN’T■ JUST TAKE(OFF THE FAT SUIT AT THE END OF THE DAY, AND SAY I’M GOING TO GINORROW AND SHOW ALL OF THEM HOW GOOD I LOOK, BECAUSE YOU GO THE NEXTK THE SAME AND THE SAME THING HAPPENS.■>>Reporter: AMANDA, I’M LOOKING AT YOUR FACE, AND I CAN SEE THAT THIS IS UPSETTING YOU. AND I WANT YOU TO TELL US WHAT’S GOING ON WITH YOU RIGHT NOW.>>I HATE TO SEE THEM GO THROUGH THIS EVERY DAY –■ AND SEEING CHRISTIANNE’S VIDEO AND HER SAYING HOW HARD IT WAS AND SHE HAS TO LIVE THROUGH IT. JUST NOT BEING ABLE TO KNOW HOW THEY FEEL AND CONNECT WITH THEM JUST HURTS. AND I FEEL REALLY BAD.>>Reporter: SO, YOU FELT■HER PAIN AND WANTED TO RESPOND TO IT.■ SO, JOEL, YOU’RE SITTING NEXT TO CHRISTIANNE, AND I KNOW THAT YOU WERE ONE OF THE KIDS IN■THE LUNCHROOM WITH ALI WHO SAW HER KNOCK OVER THE TRAY. AND IT WAS FUNNY. CAN YOU RESPOND TO WHAT CHRISTIANNE IS SAYING? ARE THESE THINGS YOU’VE NEVER MAYBE THOUGHT ABOUT OR –?>>NO, I DIDN’T REALLY. LIKE I KNOW THEY HAD FEELINGS, BUT I ■EVER THOUGHT LIKE THEY FELT LIKE THAT. NOW THAT I KNOW, YOU KNOW, IT’S CHANGED MY WHOLE — I DON’T THINK I’LL MAKE FUN OF FAT■ PEOPLE ANYMORE.>>Reporter: I THINK YOU’VE A■X BEEN EXTREMELY ARTICULATE. IT WAS BRAVE OF ALL OF YOU TO COME HERE TODAY AND TO SHARE YOUR HONEST OPINIONS ABOUT ALL THIS. THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH. WE’LL BE RIGHT BACK.>>Announcer: WHEN WE COME BACK, HOW YOU, AT HOME, CAN JOIN IN THE DISCUSSION.>>>WELCOME BACK. BELIEVE THAT OBESITY ISON’T A SERIOUS AND GROWING PROBLEM IN THIS COUNTRY, CONSIDER THIS. SCIENTISTS AT THE CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL PREDICT THAT WITHIN SIX YEARS, 40% OF US, 68 MILLION AMERIKANS, WILL BE OBESE. A STAGGERING STATISTIC. TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT WINNING THE WAR ON WEIGHT AND TO CHAT ONLINE WITH SOME OF THE EXPERTS FROM TONIGHT’S SHOW, GO TO ABCNEWS.COM. FROM ALL OF US AT ABC, “PION” A “MEN’S HEALTH,” GOOD NIGHT.>>)[ AN ABC NEWS/RODALE TELEVISION PRODUCTION. — Captions by VITAC —
www.vitac.com AND IT WAS SOMETHING
THAT OLDER KIDS DID. [ ENGINE TURNS OVER ] Narrator: THIS COULD BE YOU. PAM LAFFIN IS GOING TO DIE…
SOON, AND UNTIL THEN, HER LIFE
AND HER DAUGHTERS’ LIVES ARE MUCH DIFFERENT THAN YOURS. THEY WATCH AS THEIR MOM GASPS
FOR BREATH AND TAKES PILLS. EVERY DAY, THEY HAVE TO PUSH
THEIR MOTHER AROUND IN A WHEELCHAIR. PAM LAFFIN IS DYING FROM A HABIT
STARTED WHEN SHE WAS A TEENAGER. SMOKING IS A HABIT
THAT TAKES YOU ON A SLOW RIDE… SIX FEET UNDER. THE CARCINOGENS IN TOBACCO
MAKE IT A DEATH DRUG. YOUR LUNGS SHRIVEL UP
AND TURN BLACK, AND THAT CAN SMELL SO BAD
AND LOOK SO GROSS, IT MAKES YOU WANT TO VOMIT. THIS IS THE REALITY,
THE TRUTH ABOUT TOBACCO. THEY SAY NICOTINE
ISN’T ADDICTIVE. [ INHALES DEEPLY ] HOW CAN THEY SAY THAT? Narrator: THIS IS THE FANTASY. Young man: ALL THE MAGAZINES
I READ, I ALWAYS SAW, YOU KNOW, BEAUTIFUL GIRLS
AND A BIG GROUP OF PEOPLE CROWDED AROUND PEOPLE
THAT WERE SMOKING. Narrator:
WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE AND WHY? EVERY DAY, THOUSANDS OF US LIGHT
UP AND GO ON WITH THE LIE. WE FALL FOR THE MARKETING TRAP
AND TRY OUR FIRST CIGARETTE. IT WAS EASILY ACCESSIBLE, AND IT WAS SOMETHING
THAT OLDER KIDS DID. Narrator: PAM LAFFIN
WAS SUCKED IN THE SAME WAY. I SAW THE MOVIE “GREASE,” AND
I SAW HOW THE CHARACTER SANDY MOVED TO A NEW TOWN AND WAS
HAVING TROUBLE MAKING FRIENDS, AND THEN SHE STARTED SMOKING,
AND EVERYONE WAS HER FRIEND. SO I SAID, “AH, THAT COULD BE
A GOOD WAY TO DO IT.” Narrator: LAVALE
BOUGHT INTO THE SAME LIES. EVEN THOUGH IT MADE HIM SICK,
HE STARTED SMOKING. “LAVALE, HERE, PICK THIS UP.
YOU KNOW, TAKE THIS.” “OKAY,” YOU KNOW?
LIT IT UP. I MEAN, THE TASTE —
IT WAS HORRIBLE. THE WAY MY BODY REACTED TO IT
WAS HORRIBLE. Narrator:
HORRIBLE AND PRETTY DUMB, PARTICULARLY FOR A KID
WHO WAS INTO SPORTS. LAVALE PROBABLY WON’T DIE,
BUT THE LIE MADE HIM WEAK. HE’S NOW ON A MISSION, A TOUR,
TO TELL THE TRUTH, TO MAKE SURE WE KNOW
THAT SMOKING AND SPORTS IS A BAD COMBINATION. CIGARETTES, DIP, BEEDIES,
AND SPIT. WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE —
THE TRUTH OR THE LIE? YOUR ANSWER COULD BE
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE LIFE
YOU WANT TO LEAD AND THE NIGHTMARE OF GASPING
FOR EVERY BREATH. IT DIDN’T HELP ME IN ANY WAY
THAT I THOUGHT IT WOULD, AND INSTEAD, IT JUST HURT ME
IN LOT OF WAYS THAT I NEVER THOUGHT
WOULD HAPPEN. Narrator:
PAM LAFFIN STARTED SMOKING WHEN SHE WAS 10 YEARS OLD. SHE WILL PROBABLY BE DEAD
BEFORE SHE’S 35. Laffin: IF SOMEONE HAD GIVEN ME
A CRYSTAL BALL AND SAID, “LOOK, THIS IS
WHAT’S GONNA HAPPEN,” OF COURSE I WOULD NOT
HAVE SMOKED. Narrator: WHAT WOULD THE CRYSTAL
BALL HAVE SHOWN PAM LAFFIN? A WHEELCHAIR, A LUNG TRANSPLANT, TWO DAUGHTERS WHO MAY GROW UP
WITHOUT A MOTHER, AND A LIFE FILD
WITH FEAR AND PAIN. Pam: WHEN I’M ACUTELY ILL
AND I CAN’T BREATHE, THAT IS TERRIFYING. THERE HAVE BEEN TIMES WHEN I’VE HAD PANIC ATTACKS
THAT HAVE LASTED HOURS BECAUSE I CAN’T BREATHE,
AND THAT’S TERRIFYING. AND I’M AFRAID IF I MOVE,
I’M GONNA DIE. AND IT’S IRRATIONAL,
BUT IT’S REALLY TERRIFYING. Narrator: PAM HAS EMPHYSEMA, A COMMON LUNG DISORDER
AMONG SMOKERS THAT MAKES IT DIFFICULT
TO BREATHE. Pam: EMPHYSEMA IS LUNG DISEASE. EVERYBODY HAS, YOU KNOW,
AIR PASSAGES IN THEIR LUNGS, THE BRONCHIAL TUBES, AND AT THE END OF THE AIR
PASSAGES, THERE ARE AIR SACS. AND THE JOB OF THESE AIR SACS ARE TO TAKE IN OXYGEN
AND TO RELEASE CARBON DIOXIDE, WHICH IS WHAT WE BREATHE OUT. Narrator: A HEALTHY LUNG THAT ALLOWS YOU TO BREATHE
NORMALLY LOOKS LIKE THIS, BUT PAM’S LUNG LOOKS LIKE THIS. Pam: WHEN A PERSON
HAS EMPHYSEMA, SEVERAL OF THESE AIR SACS
ARE BROKEN. AND IN THE BROKEN AIR SACS,
NO OXYGEN CAN GET IN, AND THE CARBON DIOXIDE
CAN’T GET OUT. SO WHAT IT FEELS LIKE PRETTY
MUCH IS LIKE HOLDING YOUR BREATH ALL THE TIME. Narrator: WHAT DOES THAT MEAN
IN REAL LIFE? BECAUSE OF PAM’S SMOKING, PAM CAN’T BREATHE WELL ENOUGH
TO WALK ACROSS A ROOM, SO SHE HAS TO BE WHEELED AROUND
IN A CHAIR. AT THE YOUNG AGE OF 31,
PAM HAS TO HAVE HER DAUGHTERS, WHO SHOULD BE HAVING FUN
AT THE GYM, SPEND MUCH OF THEIR TIME
HELPING THEIR MOTHER TO DO THE SIMPLE THINGS
LIKE TAKING A SHOWER. Pam: USUALLY,
IT’S ONE OF MY CHILDREN WHO WILL GO INTO THE SHOWER AND MAKE SURE THAT
I CAN REACH THE TOWELS AND I CAN REACH THE SOAP
AND THE SHAMPOO. ONCE IN A WHILE, I’LL GET MAD,
BECAUSE, LIKE — I DON’T KNOW. IT’S JUST, LIKE,
I DIDN’T MAKE HER SICK, SO WHY SHOULD I
BE SUFFERING FOR IT? SOMETIMES I JUST FEEL THAT WAY
BUT NOT ALWAYS. Narrator: EVERY DAY, AMANDA
HAS TO WATCH HER MOM SUFFER. WHY DID HER MOTHER GET SICK? THE AMERICAN LUNG ASSOCIATION SAYS 5,000 KIDS
BETWEEN 11 AND 17 TRY THEIR FIRST CIGARETTE
EVERY DAY. MOST OF THEM DON’T END UP
LIKE PAM LAFFIN. BUT ASK YOURSELF THIS — OF ALL THE PEOPLE YOU KNOW
WHO MESS AROUND WITH CIGARETTES, WHO WILL GET HOOKED? WHO WILL LIVE WITH EMPHYSEMA
AND HEART DISEASE? WHO WILL NEED A LUNG TRANSPLANT? WHO WILL DIE? NOBODY HAS A CRYSTAL BALL. THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE
THAT WE FACE IN PREVENTING
SMOKING-RELATED DISEASES IS THAT SMOKING BY ITSELF —
THE ACT OF SMOKING CIGARETTES — DOESN’T MAKE YOU SICK
RIGHT AWAY. Narrator: DR. SAMUEL AGUAYO
IS A PULMONOLOGIST. HE TREATS PEOPLE
WITH LUNG DISEASES AND OFTEN BRINGS HIS DAUGHTER
LAURA TO HIS CLINIC TO SHOW HER FIRSTHAND
ABOUT THE DANGERS OF SMOKING. BUT HE KNOWS PICTURES OF LUNG
CANCER MAY NOT BE ENOUGH TO CONVINCE EVEN LAURA. Dr. Aguayo: WHEN PEER PRESSURE
TAKES PLACE AND SOMEBODY LIKE LAURA MIGHT BE
INVITED TO SMOKE CIGARETTES AND THEY FEEL THE URGE TO TRY JUST TO PROVE THEMSELVES
TO THEIR FRIENDS, THEY’LL TAKE THAT STEP. AND WHAT THEY REALIZE IS THAT THEY ARE ABLE
TO INHALE THE SMOKE, COUGH A LITTLE BIT,
BUT IT’S NOT A BIG DEAL. IT DOESN’T GIVE THEM
BIG PROBLEMS. AND THAT’S THE TRAGEDY. Narrator:
“BECAUSE OUR FRIENDS DO IT.” IT’S THE MAIN REASON — PROBABLY, IF YOU’RE HONEST WITH
YOURSELF, THE ONLY REASON — YOU WANT TO START SMOKING. SOME PEOPLE DO IT ‘CAUSE, LIKE,
IF YOU’RE STANDING AROUND AND EVERYONE ELSE IS DRINKING
AND YOU DON’T DRINK OR, YOU KNOW, DOING SOMETHING
ELSE THAT YOU DON’T DO — SOME PEOPLE THINK THAT
IF YOU’RE SMOKING A CIGARETTE, THEN IT’S, LIKE, OKAY. THEN AT LEAST YOU’RE, LIKE —
YOU’RE DOING SOMETHING SO NO ONE THINKS
YOU’RE, LIKE, A TOTAL NERD OR, LIKE, UPTIGHT ABOUT IT. I SHOULD DO IT, YOU KNOW, JUST
TO FIT IN WITH THE CROWD. BECAUSE THEIR FRIENDS
ARE DOING IT. EVERYBODY WAS DOING IT. THEY JUST WANT TO BE COOL. Narrator: IT’S THE REASON
PAM LAFFIN STARTED SMOKING. SHE WANTED TO MAKE FRIENDS
AFTER SHE MOVED TO A NEW TOWN. IT DIDN’T WORK. IT DIDN’T IMPRESS ANYBODY
THAT I SMOKED. AND, UM, SO, IT DIDN’T HELP ME
IN ANY WAY THAT I THOUGHT IT WOULD, AND INSTEAD, IT JUST HURT ME
IN A LOT OF WAYS THAT I NEVER THOUGHT
WOULD HAPPEN. Narrator: NEVER THOUGHT SHE WOULD HAVE TO BREATHE
THROUGH AN INHALER AND POP A STEADY DIET OF PILLS
JUST TO GET THROUGH THE DAY. NEVER THOUGHT HER PLAN
TO WIN FRIENDS WOULD CAUSE HER OWN DAUGHTERS
TO LOSE SO MUCH. WHEN PEOPLE ARE SICK,
THE PEOPLE AROUND THEM, I THINK, SUFFER MORE THAN THE PERSON
WHO’S ACTUALLY SICK. BUT MY KIDS HAD NOTHING TO DO
WITH IT, BECAUSE THEY WERE NOT EVEN A
THOUGHT IN THE BACK OF MY MIND. I MEAN, WHEN I WAS 10,
I DIDN’T WANT TO HAVE KIDS, BASICALLY ‘CAUSE, YOU KNOW,
BOYS HAVE COOTIES, AND THEYEE NEVER
GONNA TOUCH ME. YOU KNOW, I WASN’T GONNA HAVE
KIDS WHEN I WAS 10. I KNEW I WASN’T. AND THEN HERE I HAVE
THESE TWO CHILDREN WHO I THINK, EMOTIONALLY,
SUFFER MORE THAN I EVEN SUFFER PHYSICALLY. Narrator: LIKE MOST, PAM SMOKED
WITHOUT SUFFERING FOR YEARS. THERE WERE NO SIGNALS
OF THE SLOW DEATH GOING ON INSIDE HER BODY. SHE BELIEVED SHE WOULD ESCAPE
CANCER, EMPHYSEMA, BUT IT WAS A LIE. THE TRUTH IS THAT 1,200 PEOPLE
DIE EACH DAY IN THE U.S. FROM SMOKING-RELATED ILLNESSES. PAM LAFFIN WILL BE ONE OF THEM. WILL YOU?
WHAT ABOUT YOUR FRIENDS? YOU CAN’T PREDICT THE FUTURE. NO ONE HAS A CRYSTAL BALL. SO DEPENDENT TO A PRODUCT THAT I KNOW WOULD KILL ME. Narrator: LAVALE
CONSIDERS HIMSELF AN ATHLETE, A MASTER OF MARTIAL ARTS. HE ENROLLED IN KARATE CLASSES
WHEN HE WAS YOUNGER, LOOKING FOR A PLACE
TO GET OUT OF TROUBLE. I WAS A BAD LITTLE KID, MAN. Narrator:
PART OF HIS BAD-BOY IMAGE INCLUDED SMOKING
WITH HIS FRIENDS, NOT BECAUSE HE LIKED IT
OR IT MADE HIM FEEL GOOD, BUT BECAUSE HE THOUGHT
IT LOOKED COOL. “LAVALE, HERE, TAKE THIS.” “OKAY,” YOU KNOW? LIT IT UP. I MEAN, THE TASTE —
IT WAS HORRIBLE. THE WAY MY BODY REACTED TO IT
WAS HORRIBLE. Narrator: IT WAS A SIGNAL — A
HINT OF THE TRUTH ABOUT TOBACCO. SMOKING IS A NASTY HABIT
THAT FEELS BAD, SMELLS BAD, TASTES BAD, AND LOOKS BAD. BUT LAVALE WENT BACK FOR MORE. MY FRIENDS DID DO IT, YOU KNOW, AND I FELT KIND OF
OUT OF PLACE, YOU KNOW. LIKE, “OH, OKAY, YOU GUYS SMOKE. I GUESS I NEED TO SMOKE TO CHILL
WITH YOU GUYS.” SO LET ME HIDE
THAT LITTLE COUGH. LET ME TRY IT ONE MORE TIME. Narrator: JUST ONE MORE TIME. THAT’S THE THING — YOU DON’T REALIZE IT
UNTIL YOU’RE ALREADY HOOKED. EVERY DAY, I PICK UP A PACK,
DROP ONE. AS SOON AS MY PACK IS FINISHED, I GOT TO RUN TO THE STORE
AND GET ANOTHER ONE. Narrator: LAVALE ISN’T ALONE. ONE OUT OF EVERY FOUR
HIGH-SCHOOL STUDENTS HAS FINISHED A CIGARETTE BEFORE
THEY ARE 13 YEARS OLD. YOU CAN LOOK AROUND, AND YOU’D SEE ALL LITTLE KIDS
ABOUT 12, 11 YEARS OLD SMOKING CIGARETTES. THEY GET HOOKED PSYCHOLOGICALLY, AND THEY GET HOOKED PHYSICALLY
AND SOMETIMES EVEN SOCIALLY. I PLAY SOCCER, AND JUST TRYING
TO RUN TO STAY IN SHAPE, IT HURT AND COULDN’T RUN AS FAR
AS I USED TO BE ABLE TO. Narrator:
AND IT HURT LAVALE, TOO. HE WAS WEAK.
HE COULDN’T BREATHE. HE COULDN’T COMPETE. THINGS CRASHED WHEN HE WAS
AT KARATE PRACTICE, AND HE COULDN’T TAKE ON
AN 8-YEAR-OLD, A KID ALMOST HALF HIS SIZE
AND HALF HIS AGE. I’M SPARRING WITH THIS GUY,
YOU KNOW, DOING MY THING, AND, LIKE, FIRST TWO MINUTES,
I’M SWEATING — SWEAT, LIKE, JUST DRIPPING. YOU KNOW, MY BREATHING
WAS SO UNEASY. I FELT TERRIBLE. Narrator: AND OTHERS NOTICED. “LAVALE, YOU KNOW, WHAT’S UP? YOU KNOW, YOU USUALLY CAN BEAT
THIS GUY.” I’M LIKE, “YEAH, I KNOW.” HE WAS LIKE, “I MEAN, MAN, “YOU’RE LOOKING REAL SLOW
OUT THERE. I MEAN, THIS KID IS,
LIKE, 8 YEARS OLD.” THAT WAS THE FIRST TIME
IN MY LIFE WHERE I JUST FELT,
“I CAN’T DO THIS ANYMORE.” Narrator: BUT PUTTING DOWN
THE CIGARETTES CAN BE AS HARD AS LIGHTING THEM
IN THE FIRST PLACE. AND JUST LIKE THREE OUT
OF EVERY FOUR TEEN SMOKERS WHO TRY TO QUIT,
LAVALE FAILED. WHEN YOU’RE HOOKED ON TOBACCO
AND TRYING TO QUIT, YOU BECOME A VICTIM
OF WITHDRAWAL — CRAVINGS, IRRITABILITY,
LACK OF CONCENTRATION, AND BECOMING SICK
TO YOUR STOMACH. Dr. Aguayo:
THE BODY CRAVES NICOTINE, AND THE MOST EFFECTIVE WAY
OF DEALING WITH THAT CRAVING IS BY INHALING NICOTINE. I NEVER KNEW THAT I CAN BE
SO DEPENDENT TO A PRODUCT THAT I KNOW WOULD KILL ME. Narrator: AS LAVALE STRUGGLED,
HE GOT MAD. HE NEVER REALIZED
IT WOULD BE SO HARD TO QUIT. FIRST, I TRIED COLD TURKEY — YOU KNOW, JUST “I’M STOPPING
RIGHT NOW, RIGHT HERE.” BUT THERE COMES CERTAIN TIMES WHERE JUST, LIKE, CIGARETTE
COMPANIES KNOW — CERTAIN TIMES WE FEEL STRESS, CERTAIN TIMES YOU NEED
TO REGULATE YOUR BODY BY SMOKING A CIGARETTE. Narrator: FOR SO MANY YEARS, LAVALE HAD DENIED THE TRUTH
ABOUT CIGARETTES AND HAD BEEN FOOLED BY THE LIES. Lassiter: IT HURTS ME.
YOU KNOW WHAT I’M SAYING? IT HURTS BADLY, BECAUSE THESE
TOBACCO COMPANIES ACTUALLY KNOW THAT THESE CIGARETTES
ARE ADDICTIVE. YOU KNOW, THEY KNOW THIS. AND THEY’RE PROFITING
SO MUCH FROM THIS WHILE YOU HAVE THESE KIDS
OUT HERE WHO JUST CAN’T HELP BUT
SMOKE THESE CIGARETTES. AND THAT’S MY MOTIVATION
FOR COMING ON THIS TOUR HERE. Narrator:
IT’S CALLED THE TRUTH TOUR, A NATIONAL EDUCATION EFFORT FUNDED BY LAWSUITS AGAINST
TOBACCO COMPANIES, LAWSUITS FILED BY PEOPLE WHO SUFFERED FROM YEARS
OF TOBACCO USE. THE TOUR HELPS KIDS UNDERSTAND
HOW THEY HAVE BEEN MANIPULATED BY THOSE SAME COMPANIES. Lassiter:
THESE GUYS ARE SPENDING ALMOST $6 BILLION
IN TARGETING KIDS LIKE YOU. 1,200 PEOPLE DIE A DAY. YOU KNOW WHO’S REPLACING
THESE PEOPLE WHO DIE? PEOPLE JUST LIKE YOU. Narrator: WE ARE THE ONES
TRICKED BY THE LIES. IS IT BECAUSE WE ARE TOO NAIVE
TO FIGURE OUT THE TRUTH? STATISTICS SHOW THAT ADS AND GIMMICKS WILL LURE
AT LEAST 1/3 OF US — THAT MEANS KIDS —
TO TRY CIGARETTES. THE REAL TIP IS
TO MAKE THE KIDS REALIZE THAT THEY’RE BEING MANIPULATED. Narrator: SOMETHING ELSE THEY
DON’T TELL YOU — THE YOUNGER YOU ARE
WHEN YOU START SMOKING, THE BETTER CHANCE YOU HAVE
OF GETTING SICK. THE EARLIER THE SMOKING BEGINS,
THE WORSE THE CONSEQUENCES. WE KNOW THAT. Narrator: NOT ONLY THAT,
BUT SOME RESEARCHERS SAY WHEN YOU START SMOKING IS PROBABLY MORE IMPORTANT
THAN HOW MUCH YOU SMOKE. Hastings: IT’S SCARY. IT’S LIKE NOW I THINK I’M GONNA
DIE OF LUNG CANCER, YOU KNOW? Narrator: KATRINA WORRIES
ABOUT DYING OF LUNG CANCER, EVEN THOUGH SHE QUIT SMOKING
FOUR YEARS AGO. WHY? BECAUSE EVEN THOUGH SHE THOUGHT QUITTING WOULD
COMPLETELY HEAL HER LUNGS… BLOW IT OUT HARD, KATRINA. SQUEEZE! KEEP GOING. …THIS PULMONARY LUNG TEST
PROVED HER WRONG. ALL OF THE DAMAGE
CAN’T BE UNDONE. THE AIR SACS ARE ALSO DAMAGED,
AND IT’S NOT REVERSIBLE. Narrator: NEW STUDIES SHOW
THAT THE PRETEEN AND TEEN YEARS ARE THE MOST DANGEROUS TIME
TO START SMOKING. WHEN KIDS SMOKE, IT CAUSES PERMANENT DAMAGE
TO THE DNA IN GROWING LUNGS THAT CAN LAST A LIFETIME
WHETHER YOU EVER QUIT OR NOT. IT’S SCARY HOW YOU CAN
PERMANENTLY DAMAGE YOUR BODY JUST BY TRYING CIGARETTES
FOR A WHILE. SMOKING AS A KID PUTS YOU
AT AN EVEN HIGHER RISK THAN ADULTS WHO START SMOKING. BUT THE FACT IS THAT MOST ADULTS
DON’T START SMOKING. THEY KNOW TOO MUCH
TO BELIEVE THESE LIES. THAT’S WHY ADS ARE SO OFTEN
AIMED TOWARDS KIDS. FEEL STUPID NOW? THEN DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. Lassiter: WE’RE LETTING TOBACCO
PEOPLE KNOW, TOBACCO COMPANIES KNOW,
WE’RE NOT TAKING IT ANYMORE. WE KNOW THAT WE’RE TARGETS. WE KNOW THAT YOU’RE SPENDING $6 BILLION IN DIRECT MARKETING
TO US TEENS TO REPLACE THOSE PEOPLE
THAT YOU KILL EVERY DAY. WE’RE ON TO YOU GUYS.
WE’RE NOT TAKING IT ANYMORE. MY PARENTS CAUGHT ME ONE DAY
IN MY ROOM, AND THEY WERE REALLY UPSET
BECAUSE MEMBERS OF MY FAMILY HAVE PASSED AWAY
FROM LUNG CANCER. AND JUST THE, LIKE, EMOTIONAL
IMPACT HITTING ME, REALIZING HOW MUCH IT HURT
MY FAMILY — I DIDN’T REALIZE HOW MUCH IT
WOULD HURT ME, BUT IT HURT MY FAMILY, AND SO
THAT WAS ENOUGH FOR ME TO QUIT. Narrator: IF YOU ARE USING
CIGARETTES, YOU’RE BEING USED. YOU’VE BEEN LURED IN, HOOKED, AND ARE SLOWLY DYING
IN THE PROCESS. AND IT’S NOT JUST CIGARETTES. THERE ARE ALL KINDS
OF OTHER TRICKS — NEW PRODUCTS, NEW FLAVORS —
TO GET KIDS HOOKED ON NICOTINE. AN ALTERNATIVE TO SMOKING ‘CAUSE I CAN GET AWAY WITH IT
IN SCHOOL. Narrator: IF YOU PLAY BALL,
CHANCES ARE YOU’VE SEEN THIS. IT’S CALLED SPIT,
A NASTY LITTLE HABIT THAT IS BECOMING AS POPULAR
AS THE SPORT ITSELF AND ESPECIALLY AMONG ATHLETES. IT’S A DIFFERENT TYPE OF FEELING AS YOU MIGHT HAVE
AFTER A COUPLE DRINKS. BUT IT IS A STIMULUS THAT SOMEBODY WHO IS ADDICTED
CRAVES AFTER A WHILE. Narrator: BRIAN McGUIRE
IS A COLLEGE ATHLETIC TRAINER. HE SEES A LOT OF ATHLETES
WHO WANT TO PLAY COLLEGE BALL, BUT CAN’T GET THROUGH THE GAME
WITHOUT SOME EXTRA HELP. ONE OF OUR ATHLETES
A COUPLE YEARS AGO WAS — I NOTICED HIM USING THE
SUBSTANCE — SMOKELESS TOBACCO. AND, YOU KNOW, HE TOLD ME, “BRIAN, YOU KNOW,
IT’S A LONG GAME, AND I JUST CAN’T DO
WITHOUT THIS.” I DIDN’T KNOW THAT THAT ATHLETE
WAS AS HOOKED AT THAT TIME, BUT I SAW THE LOOK IN HIS EYES, AND I WAS FAMILIAR WITH
THAT LEVEL OF ADDICTION. Narrator: BRIAN KNEW THE LOOK BECAUSE HE WAS HOOKED HIMSELF
AS A YOUNG ATHLETE. FOR 16 YEARS, HE SPIT TOBACCO. LIKE MANY ATHLETES, BRIAN THOUGHT HE COULD CHEW
OR DIP AND STILL PLAY THE GAME. ONE OF THE REASONS WHY
I STARTED WAS THAT, “OKAY, THIS STUFF ISN’T GONNA AFFECT
MY WIND AS SMOKING WOULD.” Narrator: BUT THEN HE COULDN’T
QUIT THE SPIT. THAT’S THE PROBLEM
BOTH ON THE FIELD AND OFF. SPIT TOBACCO
IS HIGHLY ADDICTIVE. IT WAS LIKE A CAN-A-DAY HABIT, AND IT WAS REALLY, REALLY TOUGH
TO QUIT. EACH TIME A PERSON TAKES A DIP, PARTICULARLY OF THE MOST POPULAR
BRANDS OF THE SNUFF — AND SNUFF IS THE MOST POPULAR — THEY’RE GETTING ABOUT THREE
TO FIVE CIGARETTES’ WORTH OF NICOTINE. Narrator: AND FOR KIDS LIKE
CORY, WHO NEED A NICOTINE FIX, SPIT TOBACCO IS A QUICK WAY
TO GET A BUZZ. SEE, I SMOKED ALL THE TIME,
AND I’D GO TO SCHOOL, AND I’D BE NICKING —
IS WHAT PEOPLE CALL IT — FOR A CIGARETTE,
SO I’D JUST GET A DIP. Narrator:
IN THE PAST TWO DECADES, THERE HAS BEEN A 300% INCREASE
IN THE USE OF SPIT TOBACCO AMONG MIDDLE SCHOOLERS
AND TEENS. IT’S A SECRET NICOTINE FIX. AN ALTERNATIVE TO SMOKING ‘CAUSE I CAN GET AWAY WITH IT
IN SCHOOL. Narrator: IF THEY DON’T NOTICE, THEN YOU CAN PRETEND
THIS DOESN’T HURT YOU. BUT IT CAN BE AS BAD,
IF NOT WORSE, THAN SMOKING. Dodd: I WANT YOU TO KNOW
THIS IS AS BAD AND IN SOME WAYS WORSE FOR YOU
THAN SMOKING. Narrator:
SMOKING CAN DESTROY YOUR LUNGS. SPIT CAN ATTACK YOUR MOUTH. AND THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS TO
PEOPLE WHO HAVE ORAL CANCER. THEY OFTEN LOSE PART OF THEIR
LIPS, GUMS, TEETH, OR JAW, ALL FROM SNEAKING A LITTLE DIP
OR CATCHING A LITTLE BUZZ. DIP, CHEW, SNUFF — IT’S JUST
ONE OF THE ALTERNATIVES TO GET YOU HOOKED ON NICOTINE. COOL CANS, NEW FLAVORS, A NEW KIND OF CIGARETTE
THAT LOOKS LIKE POT. TO BE, LIKE, A REBEL. DRIVE DOWN THE STREET,
SMOKE A BEEDIE — PEOPLE ARE LOOKING AT THEM
LIKE THEY’RE SMOKING A JOINT. Narrator:
BEEDIES, INDIAN CIGARETTES, WITH FIVE TIMES THE AMOUNT
OF TAR AND NICOTINE AS REGULAR CIGARETTES. Dr. Asma:
THEY CONTAIN MORE TOBACCO, THEY CONTAIN MORE NICOTINE, AND THEY CONTAIN MORE
OF OTHER TOXIC SUBSTANCES THAN THE CIGARETTES CONTAIN. Narrator: BUT KIDS OFTEN THINK
COOL PACKAGING AND FLAVORS MAKE THIS LITTLE HABIT HARMLESS. ONCE AGAIN, WE ARE THE ONES
BEING TREATED LIKE IDIOTS. MAYBE IT’S BECAUSE
WE ARE SO EASY TO FOOL. DO YOU BELIEVE THIS STUFF? THERE IS NO SAFE LEVEL
OF TOBACCO USE, AND ANY FORM OF TOBACCO USE
IS HARMFUL. Narrator: BEEDIES, SPIT — THEY’RE NOT BETTER FOR YOU
THAN CIGARETTES. THEY HAVE MORE NICOTINE,
AND NICOTINE CAN BE A KILLER WHETHER YOU’RE SMOKING IT,
SPITTING IT, OR IT COMES IN CHERRY FLAVOR. YOU HAVE A CHOICE. IF YOU HAVEN’T STARTED SMOKING,
YOU DON’T WANT TO BEGIN. IF YOU HAVE, IT’S TIME
TO CONSIDER QUITTING. KIDS THINK THAT THEY CAN QUIT
BEFORE THEY GET SICK, BUT THE THING IS THAT YOU DON’T
KNOW WHEN YOU’RE GONNA GET SICK. Narrator: NEW STUDIES
CONFIRM THE SUSPICION HELD BY MANY SMOKERS. JUST A FEW CIGARETTES
CAN LEAD TO ADDICTION. I DID QUIT FOR A WHILE. I’VE BEEN TRYING TO QUIT,
BUT I HAVEN’T YET. BUT I’M WORKING ON IT. YOU HAVE TO DIE SOMEDAY,
YOU KNOW? LIKE, I’M NOT TRYING TO SPEED IT
UP, BUT I GUESS I AM BY SMOKING. Narrator: ADDICTION CAN START WITHIN JUST DAYS
OF YOUR FIRST CIGARETTE. JUST ONE CIGARETTE JUST ONE TIME
AND THAT’S ALL IT TAKES. AND ONCE YOU’RE HOOKED,
IT’S SO HARD TO STOP. A LOT OF KIDS THINK THAT THEY
CAN QUIT BEFORE THEY GET SICK, BUT THE THING IS THAT YOU DON’T
KNOW WHEN YOU’RE GONNA GET SICK. Narrator: LAVALE REMEMBERS