Memorial Park District held their annual Little Mr. & Miss Fashion Show on April 14, 2011. Contestants were dressed in their parents/grand-parents' hats, clothes, jewelry, and shoes.
Each child strutted down the runway showing their pizzazz and style!
It was so cute! Our very own LaNiyah placed first!! Congrats honey!!
Here's a pic of LaNiyah and her trophy.
Scott Strazzante: Chicago Tribune Photojournalist |
Back on March 31st, I had the joy of spending a couple hours with LaNiyah Bailey, a delightful and energetic kindergartener and her parents Songo Bailey and LaToya White.
I was sent to photograph LaNiyah because, along with the help of her mother, LaNiyah has written a book entitled "Not Fat Because I Wanna Be" about being bullied because she is overweight.
To see photos and read the entire story click HERE.
On Monday, April 11, 2011 LaNiyah and singer/actress Franchika were interviewed on NBC's "The Talk" where they talked about bullying, LaNiyah's book & Franchika showcased a snippet of her anti-bullying anthem "Single Me Out" that she dedicates to LaNiyah.
Check it out here or view the clip below.
With LaNiyah speaking out on two things which are bullying and child obesity there are many questions and assumptions out there about her weight and lifestyle.
Well, I'm going to take the time to educate on the many "unknown" diseases that cause and/or contribute to obesity. People have this misconception that when you're fat you just eat too much of the wrong foods. Yes, this can be true in some cases but it's not always the case... as in LaNiyah's world.
Below you will find the many causes of childhood obesity & there symptoms:
1. Cushing’s disease
Cushing’s disease is a condition in which the pituitary gland releases too much adrenocorticotropic hormone (ATCH). The pituitary gland is an organ of the endocrine system.
Cushing's disease is caused by a tumor or excess growth (hyperplasia) of the pituitary gland. This gland is located at the base of the brain.
People with Cushing's disease have too much ACTH. ACTH stimulates the production and release of cortisol, a stress hormone. Too much ACTH means too much cortisol.
Cortisol is normally released during stressful situations. It controls the body's use of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins and also helps reduce the immune system's response to swelling (inflammation).
2. Prader-Willi syndrome
Prader-Willi syndrome is a congenital (present from birth) disease that involves obesity, decreased muscle tone, decreased mental capacity, and sex glands that produce little or no hormones.
Prader-Willi syndrome is caused by a gene missing on part of chromosome 15. Normally, your parents each pass down a copy of this chromosome. Most patients with Prader-Willi syndrome are missing the genetic material on part of the father's chromosome. The remaining patients frequently have two copies of the mother's chromosome 15.
The genetic changes occur randomly. Patients usually do not have a family history of the condition.
Rapid-onset Obesity with Hypothalamic dysfunction, Hypoventilation and Autonomic Dysregulation (ROHHAD syndrome) is a very rare disease. Patients with ROHHAD, as well as patients with Congenital Central Hypoventilation Syndrome (CCHS) have damaged the mechanism governing proper breathing. ROHHAD syndrome is a disease that is potentially lethal and incurable. Fifteen patients with ROHHAD were evaluated by Diego Ize-Ludlow et al. work published in 2007.
5. Leptin Resistance
Protein hormone produced by adipocytes; serves as one of inputs into signaling pathway believed to be involved in control of eating behavior. The hormone leptin can influence how much we feel like eating. A defective leptin gene will influence our eating patterns.
Read a great article about the leptin gene here, it is very interesting!
6. Bardet-Biedl syndrome
Bardet-Biedl syndrome is a rare genetic disorder that affects the brain and can cause multiple physical problems including a deterioration of the intellect and neurological functions. The syndrome sometimes affects eyesight with a condition called rod-cone dystrophy, a degeneration of light-sensitive cells in the periphery of the retina. This eye disorder causes night blindness, tunnel vision, decreased visual acuity, and photophobia (extreme sensitivity of the eyes to light). Other symptoms of Bardet-Biedl syndrome may include extra toes and/or fingers, mental retardation, kidney disease, and obesity.
7. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is a hormonal imbalance linked to the way the body processes insulin after it has been produced by the pancreas to regulate blood sugar (glucose). Insulin Resistance, an underlying cause of PCOS, has many factors that contribute to its presence in the body.
Psychogenic polydipsia is a form of polydipsia. Polydipsia is a medical symptom in which the patient displays excessive thirst. Polydipsia that is aggravated by a mental disorder is considered psychogenic polydipsia. Patients drink large quantities of water. Consequently, the patient produces excessive urine with a low electrolyte concentration, polyuria. The patient's kidney will be unable to manage the fluid overload and weight gain will result.
9. Other causes: cortisol hormone and metabolic disorders
And these are just the few that I've researched, people have told me about or that we're testing for, I'm sure there are other causes out there that we're not aware of.
Thank you and hopefully this will help open people's eyes that not everyone who is fat is fat because they want to be.
Though alot of us are, we have the choice to change our daily habits and lifestyles. So, in that case there is no excuse it's all about choice. :-)
I hope to have shedded some light. Please leave your comments on the blog!!!
LaToya "Toyiah Marquis" White
Check out LaNiyah's interview on Wednesday, 4/6/2011 @ 9:20am CST, with Anna Davlantes.
LaNiyah and her parents sit down with Anna to discuss her book.
Watch it HERE
Girl, 6, gives frank talk about being fat Kindergartner's book aims to educate other kids about obesity, bullying
Children began teasing LaNiyah Bailey about her weight two years ago when she was in prekindergarten. She told me they called her "fatty-pants" and "big, fat elephant girl." Some kids said LaNiyah's distended abdomen looked like she was carrying a baby. One adult, a former day care provider, even called her "fatso."
LaNiyah's mother, LaToya White, said that though most adults don't say anything, many do stare when she and her daughter are in the grocery store. LaNiyah is now 6 and weighs 115 pounds, about 70 pounds more than the average child her age.
"People look at me like, 'What are you feeding her?'" said White, 34, who works for a property management company. "When we're in the store, they look in my shopping cart expecting to find a bunch of junk food. But she's always eaten healthy."
So, as this west suburban Berkeley child finds herself at the intersection of a couple of hot issues — the country's epidemic of childhood obesity and the destructive effects of bullying — her parents are determined to make sure neither erodes her self-esteem.
White said that she and LaNiyah's father, Songo Bailey, first noticed their daughter was gaining an abnormal amount of weight when she was 3. The family met with a nutritionist who put LaNiyah on a strict, 1,800-calorie-per-day diet. They also hired a personal trainer, but LaNiyah's weight continued to increase. She gained 30 pounds during 2009.
"The personal trainer said, 'Something is wrong,'" White said. "Outside of the training, she's a very active girl. She's taken dance classes, and she has a treadmill at home. And she runs around the house with our puppy."
White and Bailey took their daughter to doctor after doctor, and they blamed LaNiyah's weight on bad dietary habits.
"One doctor told me, right in front of LaNiyah's face, 'She's just fat because you're feeding her the wrong things,'" White said. "She became so self-conscious that she doesn't wear jeans at all. She wears sweatpants, and I buy her cute tops. Or she'll wear dresses because she's a girlie-girl."
Outraged and frustrated, LaNiyah's parents continued taking her to doctors until one ordered an X-ray, which showed LaNiyah had a swollen colon. Other tests have shown evidence that she may have a hormonal abnormality.
She now is being treated by an endocrinologist and a gastroenterologist.
"We want people to know that childhood obesity isn't always food-induced," said Bailey, 33, a firefighter.
Dr. Rebecca Unger, a pediatrician at Children's Memorial Hospital and a member of the Consortium to Lower Obesity in Chicago Children, said it's unusual for children to be obese because of issues not directly related to overeating. But it does happen.
"By far the most common cause of childhood obesity is the imbalance between calories in and the amount of energy expended," said Unger, who is not LaNiyah's pediatrician. "But even when a child's weight gain is because of medical reasons, the goal is to get it under control so there aren't other adverse physical and psychological effects."
White said that though LaNiyah's health was her biggest concern, she worried about how the weight was affecting LaNiyah's self-confidence. So she and her daughter decided to write about it. The result is LaNiyah's new book, "Not Fat Because I Wanna Be," self-published by her mother. (Her website is notfatbecauseiwannabe.com)
LaNiyah said it explains how the teasing made her feel as well as how "you can't judge a book by its cover."
"I came home crying to my mom and dad when I got teased and bullied," said LaNiyah, who is an effervescent and cute little girl. "I want people to learn that bullying isn't cool to do to other people."
White said that when she talked with her daughter about what to put in the book, the way LaNiyah expressed her feelings broke her mother's heart.
"I showed what I had to the editor (whom White hired), and she said that we had to make it more fun to appeal to kids," White said. "But when I read it to my daughter, she said, 'I don't want it to be fun. It's not funny.'"
Bailey said that when LaNiyah told him she was writing a book, he was surprised by how motivated and self-possessed she was.
"I started to cry because I knew what she had been through and I was so impressed with her," he said. "As a firefighter, I'm obligated to protect people and it doesn't matter what they look like. It hurts me that people don't have that same decency or kindness toward my child."
White said it's not clear what LaNiyah's future will hold in terms of her weight. She just wants her daughter to be healthy.
"Right now, her confidence level is through the roof," White said. "She told me she wants to be a chef or day care provider or a firefighter like her dad."
White said she understands that we live in a weight-obsessed world. She said she used to sing in a group, and her record label wanted her to be super thin.
"They make you feel like you have to be stick-thin," said White, who at 5-foot-6 weighs about 160 pounds. "At my thinnest, I was 120 pounds. I've learned to accept myself the way I am, and I want LaNiyah to accept herself, too, no matter her size."
Award-winning youth author and anti-bullying advocate.