I have to admit I was appalled when I read this story. One woman in North Dakota is slipping “fat notes” in the goodie bags held out by children at her door step this Halloween. She is so bent on “being a village” that she decided to go to Fox News with her crusade. No, I’m not kidding. Here’s the link. http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/10/30/woman-to-hand-out-obese-letters-to-overweight-children/
While we here at Odom Health & Fitness want to promote healthy bodies, we are also a company that believes in doing what’s right and helping families through positive reinforcement. We want our clients, and their children, to have positive attitudes about their bodies no matter what! Yes, Halloween isn’t the greatest holiday going when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle. This said, it shouldn’t turn into a shaming event- especially for children. Negative weight talk to and about children from adults has been proven to actually increase the weight of the child in question.
A healthy body can be the result of healthy self-esteem. The opposite is also true. Here’s what WebMD recently said on the issue; “A small study that surveyed parents of fourth and fifth graders showed that the more frequently parents made comments to their child about the child’s weight, the more it seemed to have a negative impact of how the children felt about their bodies.
Parents’ attitudes about their own weight also seemed to affect their kids’ body images. Girls, in particular, seemed to be deeply affected by how parents felt about themselves. Girls whose parents regularly complained about their own weight or were concerned with thinness were unhappier with their bodies and more prone to going on unhealthy diets.”
Our own Dr. John Odom agrees. He believes a parent should remain positive about their child’s weight issues and focus on changing the child’s lifestyle versus demeaning the child about his or her weight. If you feel your child has a weight issue, don’t panic and don’t criticize the child. First, rule out any medical causes. Some ADHD medications can cause weight gain in children. Second, don’t set a weight loss goal. Instead, set a lifestyle goal. Our skilled team can help you with this sensitive topic and can develop a game plan for each parent.
Voicing opinions is what this country was founded on. However, leaving fat notes in a child’s Halloween bag is a little drastic and certainly not a way for the “village” to promote emotionally healthy children. In fact, hurtful notes like the one composed by the North Dakota woman can lead to other medical issues, such as Bulimia, down the road.