If you’ve never been over to Rachel’s FANTASTIC eating disorder and body acceptance blog, The F-Word, go check it out now. Specifically, she has a post up titled, “AED Releases Awesome New Guidelines for Childhood Obesity Programs.”
From her blog (links disabled, but they’ll work on her site):
Finally! A group that actually *gets* it! The Academy for Eating Disorders has issued new guidelines for childhood obesity prevention programs that take into consideration the harmful effects such programs can potentially have on children’s physical, social and emotional health, not to mention disordered relationships with food and body. As regular readers know, this is an issue I’ve been writing about for some time now — read here and here. Some of the group’s recommendations include (emphasis mine):
- Interventions should focus on health, not weight, so as to not contribute to the overvaluation of weight and shape and negative attitudes about fatness that are common among children and have harmful effects on their physical, social and psychological well-being.
- The World Health Organization defines health as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. Consistent with this definition, interventions aimed at addressing weight concerns should be constructed from a holistic perspective, where equal consideration is given to social, emotional and physical aspects of children’s health.
- Interventions should focus not only on providing opportunities for appropriate levels of physical activity and healthy eating, but also promote self-esteem, body satisfaction, and respect for body size diversity. [C]onstructing a social environment where all children are supported in feeling good about their bodies is essential to promoting health in youth.
- Weight is not a behavior and therefore not an appropriate target for behavior modification. Children across the weight spectrum benefit from limiting time spent watching television and eating a healthy diet. Interventions should be weight-neutral, i.e. not have specific goals for weight change but aim to increase healthy living at any size.
. . .
I personally think this should be required reading for anyone with a kid (or 2 or 3 or . . . YOU know). I’m so glad to see an organization finally, FINALLY trying to address the (very real and frightening problem) of how a focus on “fat” can fuck up our kids. (Sorry for the language, but COME. ON.)
Go now! Read more at The F-Word!