I have been battling a most pernicious bug since the first day of the New Year. Perhaps some strange kind of karmic pay back for the blog post I wrote expressing my disdain for New Year’s Resolutions…or mere coincidence. Either way, I don’t get sick very often, and when I do, I don’t do sick well. (Wow, a head filled with mucous and I can still squeeze out an unconscious oxymoron).
I’m not sure anyone really does sick well, but some folks are able to give themselves over to the invasive bug or virus and hunker down into the healing mode. I just can’t do that; it’s a flaw. There is always something that needs my attention and is more demanding than my sniffles and sneezes. So, even though the words are swimming in front of my eyes as I type this, I am determined to meet my deadline and fulfill my obligation for this blog post to the best of my ability.
Fortunately (or unfortunately depending on how you look at it), the Georgia S4L anti-childhood obesity ad campaign has supplied me with an enormous amount of content to share with you, making the task of writing this blog, a bit easier. If you have missed this ad campaign, it has had journalists, bloggers, activists, mental health professionals, parents, medical practitioners, etc. all engaged in a heated discourse. And with today being the first day of Healthy Weight Week (see public service announcement below) this conversation is very timely.
The Strong4Life ad campaign consists of commercials and billboards of fat children bemoaning the fact that they are fat. The billboards, like mug shots of fugitives scattered along the highways, are defended by many as a necessary intervention for addressing the critical epidemic of childhood obesity and saving the children. Opponents of the campaign adamantly assert that shaming a person, especially a child, is no way to facilitate positive change in anyone. Adding injury from insult, this also results in sanctioning bullying of fat children under the guise that it is “for their own good.” No surprise that I am aligned with the latter point of view of having already written about these types of shaming campaigns in Tasty Morsels, FFF’s website, and on the Leftoverstogo Facebook Page.
Perhaps you will have a different opinion, however, and I am curious as to how my readers weigh in on this subject. The former University Professor in me is assigning all of you an extra credit reading assignment. I am providing you with a list of blogs and articles to read, a Facebook page created by Atchka devoted to fighting the campaign, a petition to sign created by Chevese Underhill of BEDA protesting the campaign, and a letter writing campaign created by Dr Pattie Thomas of Psychology Today, should you decide to voice your opinion, pro or con on the issue.
Whatever side you wind up taking, I urge you to take the time to get educated on this vital topic and make your decision based on fact checking and vigilant research. If you have additional links, please share them with us as well.
Thanks to Duckie Graham for these phone numbers:
> Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH): 301-496-2433 (Dr. Collins)
> Director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH): 301-443-3673 (Dr. Insel)
> Director of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD): 301-496-3454 (Dr. Guttmacher)
> Director of the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD): 301-402-1366 (Dr. Ruffin)
HEALTHY WEIGHT WEEK CELEBRATED JAN. 15-21
By the third week in January, New Year diets are dumped, the rebound binge is over and people are looking for balance to get their lives back on track. They can find it in the 19th annual Healthy Weight Week that begins Sunday, promoting lifestyle habits of wellness for people of all sizes and shapes. “It’s a time to say ‘I’m okay and so are you.” Let’s stop dieting and get on with living in normal healthy ways,” says Francie M. Berg, MS, licensed nutritionist and adjunct professor at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine, who chairs the event.
Healthy Weight Week features two sets of awards. Adele, the young British singer, topped the Women’s Healthy Body Image Awards. The Slim Chance Awards for worst diets of 2011 went to a 23-year-old self-made millionaire, HCG hormone treatment, Sensa weight-loss crystals, and a plastic bracelet set with hologram discs.
During Healthy Weight Week, people are encouraged to improve habits in lasting ways by eating well, living actively and feeling good about themselves and others. For more information see http://www.healthyweight.net/hww.htm
Ronda Irwin or Francie M. Berg
Healthy Weight Network
402 South 14th Street
Hettinger, ND 58639
Dr. Deah Schwartz has more than 20 years experience using therapeutic arts, music, drama and recreation activities in a variety of clinical and educational settings with clients ranging in age from 5 to 80+. She has a Doctorate in Education, a BA in Theater, an MS in Therapeutic Recreation, and an MA in Creative Arts Education and is a Nationally Certified Recreation Therapist. This background, coupled with her fervent belief in size acceptance, has led to her passionate involvement in the “Leftovers Workbook/DVD set,” that helps people make peace with their bodies. She is also a co-author and original cast member of “Leftovers: The Ups and Downs of a Compulsive Eater,” and a co-founder of Education Through Therapeutic Arts (ETTA). Her inspirational and thought-provoking posts are syndicated with permission on More of Me to Love from her blog, Tasty Morsels.
To learn more about Dr. Deah, click here.