Are You Throwing Rocks From Your Glass House?
So I’m watching Good Morning America after getting a cup of coffee
and I hear a clip about paren
ts being upset at Weight Watchers over an app designed for child weight loss. The app, called Kurbo by WW, offers menu tracking with a stoplight of foods that are in the green, yellow, and red zones. There are other items in the app including before and after stories of children as young as 8, breathing exercises and 1:1 coaching. My first thought was “are you kidding me??”. I often tell my clients to zoom out and look at the bigger picture.
Zooming out reminded me of the saying “Don’t throw rocks in glass houses”. Change.org reports that more than 78,000 people have signed a petition bringing attention to this app. I got to thinking “why does this app even exist?” It exists because people have asked for it. There’s a reason why garlic ice cream is a novelty product and not on every shelf. Weight Watchers is a multibillion dollar company and parents, doctors, educators, politicians, and the media have called for years to “cure childhood obesity”. Before we ask for Weight Watchers to change a spin off company lets take some accountability and not throw more rocks.
How do we throw rocks? Children learn self-judgment from their parents and loved ones. Do you look in the mirror and “pinch your fat”? Maybe make a little statement like “I need to lose some weight” or “I look horrible today”. Brene Brown shares that shame is given to us by others. Another common habit that gets taught is a good food-bad food mentality. I teach parents all the time to look at food as fuel. When you go to a gas station do we hear our cars say “Oh man that gas station is junk?!”. Food is fuel and we have to remember that foods are an exchange of nutrients and calories that our bodies absolutely need. Lastly the media that we have in our environments can sometimes be confusing. Do we have magazines laying around the house suggesting diets, workouts, and other unrealistic expectations? We want to represent a realistic picture (pun intended) of what bodies really look like and not what they look like after a master editor gets to work.
The tough reality is that we have children that are obese, some from medical related issues, and others from this poor learned behavior around food, self-esteem, and limited physical exercise. So how do we help? Simple tips on how to help:
Practice being nice to yourself and in doing so your impressionable minds will be nice to themselves.
Consider going to a dietician to get great tips on balance, variety, and moderation in ourselves and our little one’s life.
Increase physical activity as a family. When was the last time fido went on a long walk? Dust off that bike of yours in the garage and get some outdoors time.
If you do feel like you need some support/education find a local eating disorder specialist, like me, who can walk you through a better relationship as a family. Also check below at https://www.edreferral.com/treatment for easy ways to find great support.