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'VJ's Fat Experience': What It's Really Like To Be An Overweight Child (VIDEO)

09/17/2013 07:12 pm ET

We often speak about childhood obesity in America in terms of statistics -- one of every nine children is overweight. But, there are real people behind those numbers.

Now, a new video produced by "The Fat Experience Project," illustrated by Stacy Bias, goes beyond the data and, as the group explains on their website, "humanizes" the experience.

Adult narrator, VJ, tells her very personal story about being 10 years old and shamed for her weight. A nun at parochial school sent her home with a note, suggesting that VJ be taken to the doctor to deal with it. Her mother obliged, only to be taken to task by a medical professional. "He even insinuated that she was a bad mother because I was large," VJ recalls.

The doctor told VJ’s mom their family would lose public assistance if she didn’t send her daughter to an inpatient facility for kids with severe asthma and diabetes. As VJ says, "Apparently, fat was so bad that I had to be put in a facility."

VJ's most heartbreaking realization: "I learned that other people could be really cruel."

fat experience

Studies have shown that kids as young as 4 learn to discriminate against heavier people and overweight kids are more likely to be bullied at school -- and at home.

“We believe that, at the root of discrimination and judgment, there is often an unfortunate lack of basic understanding,” The Fat Experience Project says in its mission. “We believe that conversation -- hearing the truth of others, and speaking our own truths -- can be a healing force.”

Earlier on HuffPost:

Facts About Childhood Obesity
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