The anti-obesity campaign really irks me. If it was a healthy living campaign, focusing on healthy habits vs the numbers on a scale, then I'd be much more enthusiastic about it. Unfortunately, that is not what is happening. More and more the path is weight shaming and stigmatizing in the vein attempt to regulate our country's weight issues. The topic of weight stigma is far to vast for me to sum up in one post - especially since I'm exhausted and should really be asleep right now. Seriously, writing sentences that are comprehensible is really interesting with brain fog and neurological pain. So for right now I will focus on one area of this topic that is very important. Our youth.

Dina Zeckhausen is a psychologist and founder of the Eating Disorder Information Network. In an interview with CNN in 2013, Dina reported seeing kids in third and fourth grade who are already worried about being fat.

"There is so much emphasis on obesity," Zeckhausen said, "that there's a danger that we are going to produce a lot of anxieties in kids around weight."
See full article here

It seems like every other week (if not day) I'm hearing about some new way our communities are "fighting obesity" and each time it seems to be more infuriating than the last. Everyone has already heard about the "fat letters" sent out by some schools. Some say they're dangerous while others say that parents are being over sensitive. Honestly, if the schools were really trying to educate and advise families about health they would focus on teaching and focusing in healthy habits, not a number. Numbers do not indicate health.

There are many, many larger sized individuals who eat healthy, are very active, and have no health issues - except for what the scale says. Let me be clear, if someone (of any size) has a health issue, then treat that health issue. But that’s different than treating their weight as the issue. 

Carmen Cool, MA, LPC said it beautifully: “With all due respect, I need to disagree with you that we need this war on obesity. What we need, is to work together to end it. Not by making fat people thinner, but by recognizing and celebrating the truth of body diversity.  Weight is not the problem. The way we make assumptions about it is the problem. I want to live in a peaceful world. And a peaceful world starts with a peaceful self. Rather than fighting fatness, why don’t we help people of all sizes feel peaceful in the bodies they have.” 

see full article here: http://bedaonline.com/wsaw2013/weight-stigma-viewed-eating-disorders-lens-carmen-cool/#.UkJy_429LCT

I brought this up with my mom today and she immediately jumped in agreeing that it is ridiculous and dangerous. Aside from the obvious (obvious to my mom and I) health risks it poses, there is another very valid point she made regarding schools sending out "fat letters" that I had previously over looked - When there are students failing and struggling in reading and math, why would they focus on what the student looks like? Isn't that a bit of course? When there art, music, and science opportunities shut down by lack of funds why would the schools set their sites on the appearance of health (note the word appearance) with little to no regard for the individual student and their real health. Better yet, how is it even the school's place to decide who is healthy vs unhealthy based on a number? Oh, that's right, it's not.

If I am ever at a school (as a parent or otherwise) and I find out that the school has been sending anyone weight stigmatizing letters or promoting weight stigma in any way, I will be very upset. I will be beyond upset. I will be their worst nightmare.

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