The Feeding Doctor on Pinterest

a link to “leave the fat kids alone.”

Posted by on Mar 11, 2011 in Blog Posts | 10 comments

I haven’t even read all of this (I have dripping hair and I need to make and eat breakfast, make M’s lunch, and drive to a workshop site where I will sit in the parking lot on a conference call until 10…)

But, please give this a read, and comment.

One paragraph I like in reference to SLATE.com’s quest to find the answer to childhood obesity and solicitation of “solutions” from readers…

These proposals are so plainly ill-advised, so thoroughly at odds with the available evidence on the causes of obesity, and so utterly detrimental to the welfare of our children, that I can only indulge in the fantasy that they’re meant as satire. Let’s be realistic, though: They’re not. And their presence in the Hive—among many other suggestions, to be sure—reflects the danger of equating a child’s health with the shape of his body.

Can’t wait to get back and read it all! Hope there is nothing awful in the last 1/3…

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10 Comments

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  1. Emgee

    I went to a bunco party last night, and was upset to hear the moms talking about their kids and food. One mom talked about her son being a picky eater. She is dieting and tends to only serve salad, grilled meat and veggies and her son is refusing to eat it. She said her doc is telling her to just refuse to provide any food between meals. Another mom said she should do as she does, wrap up the uneaten dinner and present it for breakfast: “Don’t worry, he’ll eat when he’s hungry enough.” I wanted to cry, but no one asked my opinion, so I just listened. Of course the rest of that conversation was dieting and exercise talk–“you just have to keep track of everything that goes in your mouth, and eat salad, grilled meat and veggies.”

  2. closetpuritan

    Hey, I was just coming over here to link to this! (Because in the comments of an earlier post someone was talking about the Slate Hivemind project.) Daniel Engber has been writing some good pieces about the Obesity Epidemic/Epipanic on Slate for a while now; I think he links to some of them in the piece. (Also check out this one, not by Engber: http://www.slate.com/id/2281534/)

    Here’s one of my favorite parts of the article:

    It’s nice to imagine there’s some critical period of development when our physiologies can be reprogrammed for thinness. But the same logic applies just as well to the mind as the body. Tell a little kid he’s fat (or obese, or at elevated risk of obesity, or whatever clinical spin you put on it) and you might help him to eat his fruits and veggies—but watch what happens to his bendy little brain. Get in there early enough, and even the best intentions can metastasize into a deep-seated anxiety. What happens in the mind of an adolescent could be inscribed there for years to come.

    Some of the “editor’s picks” from the Hivemind proposals are interesting. The first one, “Stress, Obesity, and Metabolic Syndrome”, is pretty good. [“My proposal is to address the economic disparity in the country and maintain programs like WIC, which while providing nutrition also helps reduce some of the stress of poverty.”]

    “Teach Children Cognitive Control” is a weird one. Without mentioning intuitive eating or the Ellyn Satter model, it seems to be saying, “Those models might be OK in some environments, but not anymore!” [“We need to acknowledge that it is unlikely that our children’s generation will be in an environment in which cognitive control of weight is not required.”] It’s mostly a control-based model of eating, but then also mentions “understanding hunger cues”.

  3. Jenna

    Wow… just. yes. I have so much inside me to share will try to keep this as short as possible.

    I started gaining weight at 5 went to a high of 210 pounds in my formative years and am now a vegetarian adult in a size 14 at the age of 33… the thinnest I ever got was a size 10 for about 6 months. I have always been on the heavier side with my weight peaking to the tune of what dysfunction was going on in my alcoholic family at the moment.

    I was horrendously, horrendously, horrendously ridiculed by peers and some family members (the thin ones not the ones I was related to the heavy ones) for being fat. I almost committed suicide on a number of occassions. I used to hit and punch my own fat as a child I hated myself so much. I could write a book on what I went through. The emotional scars are very, very deep and I have battled with body dysmorphia as a result to the point where I had to go into treatment for it. I see counselling about what I went through.

    Funny this is… hey Im still FAT! All that shaming and ridicule did not cure me, I am genetically predisposed to gain weight. It just made me hate myself so much I almost took my life. Funny thing is as a kid I was super healthy, too. Our family was poor we did not have treats or sodas most of the time in the house but we had plenty of cheap carbohydrates, like when we were homeless my mom and us running from abuse so we lived in a shelter and ate two meals a day as fast food cause we had no kitchen and no were to cook. I could run a mile under 12 minutes then under 8… I could ride my bike for miles and walk for miles… I was actually a really active kid.

    Last year it got so bad dealing with my emotional scars I started blogging with fat acceptance sites and reading up on that community. The progress I have made in accepting and loving myself is… nothing short of amazing. I still have a long way to go. If people really understood the damage they do, the long term damage, when they ridicule and shame fat kids…I just, I wish I could hold every single chubby, fat, obese whatever child. Hold them close and tell them how beautiful they are and how precious and so deserving of respect and love.

    I wrote a poem about my experience on my blog here if anyone is interested. I have found writing poetry about my experience to be extremely cathartic:

    http://www.axisoffat.com/2010/12/my-heart-shakes-the-ground-greater.html

    • katja

      it.. is.. not.. OK…
      It was wrong, not fair…
      I loved your poem. I loved your post. There is an unspoken suffering that is condoned with this “war on childhood obesity.” We have declared war on fat kids. Wrong, shameful. I think someday, we will look back on this and hang our collective heads. I can only hope. Thank you for sharing your story. I love that you give hope. we need to do a lot more giving hope.

  4. Shaunta

    I think the saddest and most dangerous thing is how RIGHT parents like JP feel in what they do to their kids. When I hear stories like that, I always remember that horrible scene in the movie Rosewood where parents force their kids to watch and participate in lynchings. It’s up to us to speak up and say “that’s wrong” over and over and louder and louder until they hear us.

    • katja

      I agree, sadder to me is how many “experts” have reinforced him in that belief. The doctors, the trainers, the TV shows, pretty much everyone, except for a growing few who will continue to fight.

  5. Nicole

    It is a great piece. I read it yesterday and was almost crying from the relief of seeing something like that in a mainstream media outlet (especially one that has been so ridiculous lately about this topic). Thanks for giving it wider play. I can’t face the comments section; I hope others will have the strength.

    • katja

      I was beyond thrilled! I have been getting google alerts on “childhood obesity” and I can’t stomach it any more. I delete almost immediately. (It’s for my mental health.) I was shocked to see the first headline that I quickly glanced at was this one and I read on. Huzzah! Please go to the article, post it on FB, share it as much as you can!

  6. Anne

    Wow…that was just depressing – to see that so many people think shaming children is acceptable if the result is that they “get healthy”. I’m glad the author of the article is making the attempt but it appears that many of the commenters (and I suspect a large number of the Slate Hive) still don’t get it. Like this comment from JP:

    I had one son who was “husky” and for awhile, I didn’t let him eat ice cream. I had another son who couldn’t eat enough…They learned quick enough in high school not to eat too many french fries and junk food because of acne.

    So one kid gets to eat whatever he wants and the other doesn’t get to eat ice cream because he’s “husky”. I want to cry for that kid – what a fabulous way to set up disordered eating and sibling rivalry. Then perpetuating the myth that “junk food” and fried food causes acne. And that’s not the only comment that buys into “if kids didn’t eat junk food and got off the couch, they wouldn’t be fat”. Because no skinny kid ever eats chips, or watches TV or plays video games. It’s only those fat, lazy kids. That’s what people are believing and it’s damaging our children.

    • katja

      brutal, huh? i am seeing this misery with the control model when one child is large and the other is small. slapping food out of the hands of one child and force-feeding the other… horrible. you can imagine the misery, sisters, mothers calling me in tears bc it “feels” wrong but it’s what they are told to do… gotta run.