The Not So Popular Criticism Of The Let’s Move Campaign

June 15, 2011  |  

That is the real issue.  Weight discrimination is an acceptable form of prejudice in the United States.  According to a study published in the journal Obesity, weight bias has increased 66 percent in the past decade.  Unlike racial and sexual orientation discrimination, there is no current legislation that prevents weight discrimination.  Weight acceptance isn’t taught in classes on bullying or diversity seminars.  According to Lynn McAfee, director of medical advocacy at the Council on Size and Weight Discrimination, unless weight discrimination is addressed on all levels, bullying obese children will continue to exist.  “Until we clean up language like ‘war on obesity’ and have authorities speak out about it, discrimination will continue to increase.”

It can’t be denied that childhood obesity is an issue in America.  It is.  First Lady Michelle Obama and her husband’s administration are addressing the surface of the issue.  But, creating an initiative that portrays obesity in a negative light puts obese children in a position to develop an unhealthy body image.Several studies have shown that ridiculed obese children often evolve into depressed and unproductive adults, so until weight acceptance instead of loss is promoted, obesity will continue to increase.  Gaining a healthy body image is equally as beneficial as losing body mass, so rather than forcing obese children to dislike themselves, the White House should create another initiative that addresses the mental needs of obese children.  Focusing the spotlight on children who are constantly on display may help them lose weight, but it also forces them to lose something that will benefit them as much as good health – confidence.

Yes, Let’s Move might have a positive outcome, but there are alternatives that promote weight loss and size acceptance.  According the Rachel Campos-Duffy, a columnist for The Americano, the best and cheapest alternative is to allow parents to teach their children how to eat without intervention from the government.  “Parents don’t need a task force, government program, or mandated bigger nutrition labels to tell us that Oreos, Hot Pockets, Dr. Pepper, and Big Macs can make kids fat – especially if they spend a lot of time in front of the television or computer instead of playing outside or joining a sporting activity.”  Other experts, including Dr. Linda Bacon, author of “Health at Every Size” tend to agree. “It’s done much more damage than good.”

 

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