She covers eloquently, all the reasons why we have to be so careful with language and our public health campaigns and zeal to "help." I fear that this is going to get worse before it gets better.
Label a child as obese or overweight (whether or not that child is healthy or growing in a way that is right for him/her) and s/he will:
- feel flawed in every way
- feel less capable
- be more likely to diet (and gain weight,)
- be more likely to engage in disordered eating behaviors
- be less likely to engage in physical activity
And yet, there is a huge push to identify and label children. It doesn't help and often makes matters worse. (With the electronic medical record I fear a whole new layer of harassment and misdiagnoses.)
FYI, the little boy in the picture is "obese" according to current CDC guidelines via BMI...
Share your stories about you or your child being labeled and the consequences?
Here are a few lines from the post from Fatshionista:
"I never had any weight-related health issues...But I began to diet. I did! In elementary school... My pediatrician sent me to a dietician, who prescribed daily menus in strict portions.... As the years passed and I ventured into the numbers-obsessed indoctrination of Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig, my standards become tighter and the “good” food list grew ever shorter... " (My note-this would be the "control model" of eating and dieting.)
"I was extremely hungry, you understand. All of the time... When I’d managed to eat so little as to feel tingling in my extremities and a racing feeling in my chest, I knew I was Doing Well On My Diet."
"Eventually I would surrender, devastated, heartbroken, and eat normal food again, and then the lost weight would return, plus more. And then, after that, I would marshal my forces and make a fresh attack on my fatness, one which would be doomed to failure like all the rest. I would return to exercise; but not the exercise of my younger days, playing games with friends, having fun. Exercise became a chore."