Thursday, June 1, 2023
HomeFashionWeight-shaming kids isn't just ineffective, it's cruel

Weight-shaming kids isn't just ineffective, it's cruel

Last month, the American Academy of Pediatrics released new guidelines for the evaluation and treatment of obese children and adolescents. The recommendations include instructions to physicians to refer children as young as two years old to a program of “intensive health behavior and lifestyle therapy” if their BMI is deemed too high. They also include guidelines for prescribing weight-loss drugs such as Wegovy and Ozempic (and in severe cases, even referral for bariatric surgery) for children aged 12 and older. )

Is it true that about 12.7 million children in the United States are obese? Absolutely, this is a real health issue that requires a response from the medical establishment. But I’m not alone in worrying that the medicalization of children’s bodies proposed by the new AAP guidelines may simply result in them being absorbed into a cycle of overeating restriction that rarely leads to sustained, permanent weight loss (and, more importantly, some ability to deeply damage a child’s self-esteem). As Virginia Sole-Smith wrote in a recent New York Times op-ed, “Purely Weight-Based Medical Models Train Doctors to ‘Normalize’ Children’s BMI To prioritize that number rather than treating that number as a curious data point. This leads providers and patients to focus on weight loss in the hope that weight loss will solve everything else.”

Weight loss is Pei Nelop shroud target, I’m probably chasing between and , learn to skip dessert early, save Under my indulgence of tiptoing to the kitchen while everyone in the house is asleep. I’d swallow whole loaves of white bread and suck frosting straight from the tube under the fridge light, not knowing that my secretive and shame-filled practice with food had a name (but I knew I didn’t want anyone to know about it). I didn’t really exceed my BMI (a measure of health, by the way, which has always been questioned) until my mid-20s, but the eating disorder I still live in was there long before then. I spent years bingeing, restricting, hiding and never fully allowing myself to enjoy food, I think my ER has been able to secretly thrive for so long because I somehow believe – without anyone telling me , not to mention my doctor – fat is the worst thing that can happen to me.

I am fat now, and have been for years as I write this. I consider giving up on dieting to be one of my proudest accomplishments, but there are still days when I look at my body in the mirror and hear that old voice in my head urging me to weigh myself daily and take long hours of punishment The cold morning air replaces the more gentle workouts I love, counting my almonds, pinching my belly fat, and blaming myself until I’m skinny again. Never mind that the lowest number I’ve seen on the scale as an adult coincides with a time in my life when I smoked constantly, cried every night, and felt completely alone in the world. I’m small, and isn’t smallness the reason for goals, rewards, all this?



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