The recent U.S. Senate decision to pass a resolution naming September as “National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month,” gives this former fat kid much reason to pause and question. Hailed by many as a significant step forward, there are many out there who have good reason for concern. As I and any other person who has lived childhood as a fat person knows, being singled out and made to feel bad about oneself, erodes self-esteem and promotes inner criticism — two ingredients that harm far more than they could ever help.
The Association for Size Diversity and Health (ASDAH)results urges all of us to caution, encouraging us to take a less divisive and more positive approach to childhood physical and mental health. Their concern is that the process of singling out fat children further stigmatizes kids that are already marginalized. Citing research findings in the Journal of the American Medical Association and Lancet, a British medical journal, they suggest that despite significant cost in time and resources, there is little evidence that the current efforts focused on childhood obesity have any positive effect on children’s health and well-being. ASDAH, A Chance to Heal, and many other groups and individuals, worry that the well intended efforts of mandatory screening, reporting of children’s BMI (Body Mass Index), banning of junk food in school cafeterias and promotional campaigns emphasizing the dangers of excess weight, are actually doing more harm than good.
Read the full article at The Huffington Post.