The O-Word

July 03, 2006

There is an interesting debate going on in the medical community about whether or not we should tell children that they are obese. Some doctors are apparently referring to obesity as "the o-word."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends not using the word "obese." Some in the medical community support this approach and contend that it could emotionally or psychologically damage children to call them obese. Others argue that childhood obesity has become such a large problem that it must be addressed openly and thus we should call it like it is.

This is an interesting debate that demonstrates the importance of being careful what words we use and the impact thereof. Are there any words that we as Christians are reluctant to say despite the presence of a problem? Hopefully for any word or words we treat as unspeakable we have a good and thought-out reason for avoiding it.

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