Are We Obsessed With Obesity?


Sarah McMahon, a specialist on the subject of eating disorders, claims that our obsession with obesity has resulted in increased cases of eating disorders.

“Children are being given maths assignments where they have to count calories,” she said.

“Education is helpful for some people but for some with certain personality characteristics, it can tip them over into a disorder.”

Eating disorder support group Butterfly Foundation chief executive officer Christine Morgan said most anti-obesity messages had a high focus on dieting.

This could lead to disordered eating including binge eating and possibly bulimia or anorexia.

I agree that we may be a little obsessed with the term obesity, but I just don’t see the link between obesity and eating disorders.  I imagine that kids are worried about being larger than their ideal size, sometimes much larger, but I don’t think kids are worried about obesity.  I’m no expert, but I don’t think obesity takes up much of our kids head space.  I think they are worried about not being thin enough to be considered attractive or feel pressured to lose weight to fit in.  But obesity?  I can’t see the link.

Regardless, kids should not be hounded by horror stories on the dangers of obesity or made to count calories.  Instead they should be given the reassurance they need to be comfortable in their own skin, the education they need to make healthy choices and the support they need to be self-assured, confident and happy.

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