There’s a recent blog post by QoT at Ideologically Impure which really took me back to the roots of why I started this blog in the first place. (I know, right? After my last post? Crazy.)
Anyway, there’s this article over at The New Zealand Herald, and it seems to be wondering why there’s this whole apparent obesity problem still and why no one is talking about it, when meanwhile, “young children [are] joining weight-loss schemes.”
Yup, you read that right. Young children. In “weight-loss schemes.” Because that’s totally going to encourage the children to have a healthy relationship with food and themselves.
While the director of SureSlim New Zealand, Phil Pullin thinks it’s a-ok for their “lifestyle programmes” to include plans for children as young as SIX, you have to think there might be at least a couple of issues with that. If there wasn’t, then surely Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers would be all over that potential market, and they’re not.
Further into the article, the spokeswoman for Fight the Obesity Epidemic, Dr Robyn Toomath, claims “children joining weight-loss programmes was nothing to do with fashion-conscious mothers concerned with their child’s image.”
I see Dr Toomath’s claim, and raise her this (same article):
Good Talks speaker on body image Rachel Hansen said children were bombarded with unattainable messages from the media, peers and even their parents that girls should be thin and beautiful and boys strong and muscular to be accepted by society.
Of course parents enrolling their children in weight-loss programmes is due to societal pressure. We are all pressured to be this highly unobtainable ideal, constantly being told that we’re all too fat, that there’s this epidemic of fatness.
There’s something very wrong with all of us if three and four-year olds are saying, “I’m too fat, I can’t eat that.” That isn’t a concern they should be having. They shouldn’t be having any concerns, they’re children.
Like Ms Hansen goes onto say,
…healthy body weights ranged widely for children and instead of focusing on weight, parents should instead be subtly encouraging a healthy lifestyle with a nutritious diet and plenty of physical activity… parents could foster healthy habits without creating complexes by getting children involved in meal preparation, not having inappropriate food in the house, being more relaxed about their own body shape, and not “fat shaming” their children with comments such as: “Don’t eat any more chips or you’ll get fat.”
Body weights range widely for everyone, not just children. Fat shaming helps no one, neither does making foods forbidden (unless there’s an allergy or something, then duh). If we continue to do this, then, as a society, we are going to develop some very unhealthy relationships with food and our bodies. Who wants that kind of future for our children?
If you’re reading this anywhere but That Girl, Fae or a feed reader without attribution, it has been STOLEN! Who knew that my stuff was that good? ~ Fae
That Girl, Fae by R Simpson-Large aka Fae Teardrop is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 New Zealand License.