I recently saw some pictures of me with my cousin when we were both little kids. He was six months older than me but was a lot smaller than me in all of the pictures. Seeing them brought back the memory of feeling too big. I said something to my mom and she said that he was always small for his age. Even looking at them now, I don't register him as small, I see myself as too big. I never had a weight problem as a kid but I always carried any extra weight I had in my belly. I was one of the smaller kids in my class, though I was younger than most of the others because I started school early, so I probably was about average. There were two very thin girls in my class, and everyone thought of them as the prettiest girls, and I only remember comparing myself to them.
I see adults comparing kids now and I want to make them stop. My nephew was a preemie, a very tiny preemie who didn't fit into even the smallest preemie clothes. My cousin had a son a month or two earlier, and his kid started out with a lot of baby fat. My aunt, his grandmother, worried about how big he seemed, which is really screwed up. She worried about the size of a healthy baby because she was comparing him to a premature baby! Of course the chubby baby thinned out as he started walking, and my nephew filled out as he got healthy.
I really wish that adults would think about how wrong it is to label a kid "fat" before he's even out of diapers. Once that "too big" label is out there, it tends to stick. Reading weight blogs, I wonder how many people now struggling with their weight would have grown out of their baby fat and gone on to be healthy, normal-sized people if they had never been taught to feel self-conscious and worried about their bodies when they were kids.
I'm not a parent so I know that it's easy for me to judge. Still, I'd like to see parents getting their kids out and active and having fun -- not overly-competitive sports and boring gym-class calisthenics, but playing and nature walks and bike rides. I'd like parents to give their kids a realistic amount of freedom to explore life on their own. I think parents should set a good example for their kids by buying and eating healthy foods but not make a big huge deal about it. And I'd like a ban on anyone over the age of 18 commenting on the body of a minor, whether or not the kid is present to hear it.