May 8, 2012

Fighting Obesity


Scott: By now, you already know there is a real problem with obesity in this country. In fact, one new study says if something is not done, 42% of all Americans will be obese by the year 2030. But here is a story about one teen who is doing something.

“That’s good. That’s really good.”

Scott: For Mason Harvey, a healthy fruit smoothie was not his after school drink of choice a year ago. Back then, the sixth grader weighed 206 pounds and school life was tough.

Mason Harvey: Bullies. It started in third grade. They would call me names and push me around. Fat jelly roll.

Scott: The more he was teased, the more Mason ate. His parents, Mike and Julie Harvey, admit they didn’t do anything to stop him.

“We never looked at him as fat. We never called him obese. We never told him, ‘Mason you’ve got to lose weight.’”

Scott: But Mason was fed up with the bullying. So, he began to take small steps. He got off the couch and hit the gym, stopped drinking soda and no more burgers or pizza.

Mason: I’m eating carrots at my school. I’ll splurge a little bit and I’ll put a little bit of Ranch on the side for me but other times, I’ll have a salad with no dressing and they have tomatoes and mushrooms and celery in there.

Scott: It has paid off. Mason lost an impressive 85 pounds.

Mason: I can’t believe that I was 85 pounds heavier. And over the last year, I dropped that much weight. That’s a big accomplishment.

Scott: Mason decided not to stop there. He convinced his parents to join him.

“On the weekends, even. We’re not just sleeping in all day, laying around. We’re getting up, we’re moving and it’s making us feel better.”

Scott: Mason’s father once weighed more than 324 pounds. Now he is down to 298.

Mike Harvey: I have this voice in my head now — that is Mason. And it’s constantly telling me things. It’s in my head, it’s saying, ‘No! Don’t quit! Keep on truckin’!”

Scott: And Mason is convincing others to keep on truckin’. He has organized fitness events from laps around the track to victorious moments like the scene from Rocky, climbing up and down stairs. And it has changed his life.

Mason: Getting a lot more friends.

Scott: Proof that small steps can make big changes.

Mason has even organized events at his school. He has sparked a whole fitness movement in his community.


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