The Feeding Doctor on Pinterest

do-bad do-gooders, #1

Posted by on Mar 16, 2011 in Blog Posts | 10 comments

Henrietta Sharp

The Magic Lunch Box HeroineHenrietta Sharp

“Every family has its secrets.  It’s just that Henrietta Sharp’ s family is in the business of saving the world.  And now she is too.  But when your ten-year-old body packs on some extra pounds, not even an uncommonly large vocabulary or the ability to travel between dimensional slices of the universe can make your hips look smaller.

While ten-year-old Henri grapples with her own weight, she is unaware that a sinister plot to enslave humanity is in the works or that the frenzied consumption of dangerously delicious food is part of the plan.  But there is more to the world and to Henri than meets the eye.”

Yuck, just yuck. Anyone out there feel compelled to write in, complain, comment on this website? Unfortunately, this is not the first “do-bad, do-gooder” that I’ve seen in terms of websites trying to be hip and “fun” and teach kids about “healthy” foods and weight. Blech. Harmful on so many levels.

This will be a new series. Folks, send in your “do-bad, do-gooder” sites. Maybe if enough of us barrage them with complaints, fight them with research about true health and weight, and disordered eating, things might change… BTW, a ten year-old body “packing on the pounds” is most likely the beginning of puberty, not a sinister plot. Yuck.

I’m in the middle of trying to put our house on the market. Anyone want to take on a one or two paragraph response why this is so harmful and counterproductive, and folks can cut and paste and amend?

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  1. Becky Henry

    WOW, I finally got around to going to look at this and am appalled, dismayed and saddend. Thank you Katja for bringing this to my attention…holy moly what a message to kids and their parents…I was going to paste Kelly’s response because it is so dead on and well said but when I got to the page it says: “Comments Closed” so I guess all of the feedback they got caused them to do that. I hope that they will remove that post and maybe even get rid of their philosophy of bashing kids who gain weight.

    I guess you and I will have plenty of job security as eating issues and eating disorders will definitely be on the rise with this type of propaganada out there being shoved down kids throats instead of food.

    I’m trying to not be sad and mad but WOW. I do believe people have good intentions but are not aware of the evidence and of course not aware of HAES.

    I’ll repost on my facebook page and maybe even start blogging again…
    Becky Henry
    Hope Network LLC

  2. Samantha C

    Ugh, how awful! I’ve been getting really curious and concerned about the way that puberty weight is treated – I have memories of my pediatrician praising me to high heaven the year that I leveled off gaining weight. Because, of course, those years between 11 and 16 couldn’t have been a growth spurt or anything, or settling into a new body with breasts and hips and periods and new hormones. No, clearly the expectation was I was going to gain weight at that rate for the rest of my life unless I dieted.

    To see it so blatantly stated that ten-year-olds starting to get hips is a Bad Wrong Thing, that’s just depressing.

  3. Emily

    That really is horrifying. I particularly hate this sentence

    “…not even an uncommonly large vocabulary or the ability to travel between dimensional slices of the universe can make your hips look smaller.”

    Even if these folks are right* and fat people are fat because they never move and stuff themselves constantly, maybe they might still have something to contribute to society?

    *And all the evidence suggests they are not.

  4. Emgee

    “an uncommonly large vocabulary”? “the ability to travel between dimensional slices of the universe”? Shouldn’t those things qualify you for awesome, no matter what your hips look like? Let’s not be shallow, boys and girls!

  5. Helen Musselman

    I posted this:

    ’m very disturbed about the messages you are sending to children about food and about eating.

    Shaming children about weight and teaching them to think about foods as “good” or “bad” has been demonstrated to make them *more* likely to weigh more in later years, and more likely to have disordered relationships to eating.

  6. KellyK

    I’ll give it a shot. You triggered my “rant mode.” I can’t promise it’ll only be a couple paragraphs, though.

    This is harmful on so many levels. First off, young girls have enough pressure on them to be thin and meet conventional beauty standards. This pressure gets particularly intense in the pre-teen and young teen years, when the normal changes that their bodies go through–like widening hips and bellies and developing breasts–are seen as bad because they deviate from that model-thin ideal. Ten year olds shouldn’t be worried about how their hips look. A ten-year-old girl with widening hips should be reassured that this is part of the normal change her body goes through, and that she’s beautiful exactly as she is.

    Secondly, the concept of “dangerously delicious” food has the ability to warp a kid’s relationship with food. It sends subtle the message that tasty food is dangerous and unhealthy and that food has to be unappetizing to be good for you. But fruits, vegetables, and whole grains prepared well can be delicious–as long as that isn’t sabotaged by teaching kids that we only eat them because they’re “good for you.” And making sweets the forbidden, dangerous luxury only makes them that much more attractive.

    Finally, the plot seems to be built on stereotypes. The “frenzied consumption of dangerously delicious foods” is what many people associate with fat kids, teenagers, and adults. But a number of studies have shown that you can’t predict what someone eats by what they weigh, and that heavy children often eat *less* than their thinner peers. Heavy kids get enough bullying as it is–can we please not reinforce stereotypes about sloth and gluttony that aren’t rooted in reality?

    Instead, how about we encourage *all* kids—fat, skinny, somewhere in between–to love their bodies just as they are. How about we encourage a healthy relationship with food where you eat a variety of things, paying attention to when you’re full and stopping when you’ve had enough? And while we’re at it, we can encourage kids to be more active without tying that to weight loss. It doesn’t take much–most kids are naturally inclined to play and run around. All it takes is to avoid sucking the joy out of bike-riding and roller-skating and just plain running around. And the quickest way to suck the joy out of movement or eating is to turn it into a chore.

    • katja

      PERFECT! Thank you so much. I posted on FB that you had a lovely response and encourage folks to cut/paste and comment on their website…

    • KellyK

      Gah…should be “sends the subtle message” in the 3rd paragraph.