Thursday, December 07, 2006

A Call For Sanity

Once again, I am both impressed and moved by an incredibly sensible and well considered article by Sandy Szwarc, RN, BSN, CCP , at Junkfood Science. One the media ignored: Please don't weigh the children
The panic surrounding childhood obesity has led public schools administrators, politicians and consumer groups to get behind "prevention" approaches which encourage weighing and screening children for "obesity."
Without regard to the evidence.
Based on the findings throughout this Project, the researchers advise that public health interventions should avoid messages focused on weight.

Sadly, this is not the first such study to suggest harm. It concurs with the body of evidence showing the unsupportable nature of all "childhood obesity" initiatives.
. . . recommendations did caution that the potential harm of screening and weighing young people included: "labeling, induced self-managed dieting with its negative sequelae, poorer self-concept, poorer health habits, disordered eating or negative impacts from parental concerns."

Musings:Beliefs, not evidence, continue to come first. Don't our children deserve better?
Drop over and read the entire post.


Rain said...

I read the article you linked to. I don't know what schools are doing regarding children's weight but doctors do weigh for good reasons as part of assessing normal growth. When my son was about a year old (he's now late 30s) the doctor suggested I put him on 2% milk instead of whole to keep his weight in control as he was heavier than he thought good. That solved the problem.

I don't know what has gone wrong with our culture where it comes to weight. I do see more little children who are just plain obese and that isn't good for their exercising or social acceptance. At the same time we have teens with anorexia problems.

I don't remember schools weighing us when I was a child as it wasn't part of their mandate. There were fat kids but not so many obese ones that I remember anyway. Childhood obesity is something to be concerned about but overweight-- I don't think it is anybody's business but the families. Too much worry on a cultural norm, especially where the starlets and models look anorexic, is not healthy at all-- emotionally.

Betty said...

There are already enough things for children to be cruel to each other about without adding another.

Ginger said...

And another thing: At our house when my husband and I are dieting we try very hard to avoid the word, diet. I have a six-year old daughter and I don't want her to grow up with the concept of always dieting and thinking she's fat as I see so many of our teen and preteen girls do now. Why are their roll models all size zeros? Anorexia is certainly not the answer to childhood obesity.