Dale Knuth, now 58, says that in childhood her weight was a source of anguish — largely because of how her family treated her. "I had a brother who tormented me constantly," she says. "If I came home from school and was hungry and ate an apple, I'd be called a cow, or a pig or whatever."
Her parents, she says, did nothing to stop her brother "except to say, 'Yeah, you're getting fat.' " She had no physical outlet for her frustration — she wanted to play softball, but her mother wouldn't allow it.
Decades later, Knuth is much happier. She has an active life that includes riding bikes and playing racquetball. Her husband tells her he loves her at any size and always will. But she still thinks about how her life could have turned out without so much shaming in childhood.
"Had it not been pointed out at every meal, at every point, had I been given more support to play in sports," she says, perhaps she could h…