When I speak in schools, I’m often asked for advice on how to help a friend with an eating disorder (and not just girls – a male student ask me in a school in regional NSW recently). So I was really pleased to see the piece ‘Help! My BFF is wasting away before my eyes: How to deal when your bestie has an eating disorder’. Lydia Turner, co-director of BodyMatters , says one in five diagnosed with anorexia nervosa will die from the illness, while other types of ED’s like bulimia nervosa are linked to high rates of self-harm and suicidal thoughts. While alarming, it is important for girls to know these harsh facts, especially in light of the raft of on-line pro-ana (anorexia) and pro-mia (bulimia) communities which encourage self-starvation as a life-style choice and post skeletal images as ‘inspiration’ for thinness.
While girls are advised to show patience and compassion, not centering conversations on food and appearance, it is imperative the need for professional help is stressed and GF does this. If the friend with disordered eating refuses to seek help, readers are encouraged to disclose to a trusted adult (such as a school counsellor) regardless – it could save her life. “It is extremely distressing to watch a friend deteriorate before your eyes, but it’s not your responsibility to save her and you don’t have to shoulder this burden alone. You need to let the experts take charge…remember that this is a complicated illness and you cannot deal with it yourself,” GF wisely advises.
Related is ‘Why diets are dumb’ about how fad diets compromise nutrition and health. Deprivation is discouraged in favour of learning to eat in a balanced, healthy way. Specifically addressed is carb cutting (some girls won’t even breathe around carbs let alone eat them) and informed of the benefits of carbs for health. Body detoxing is described as “completely unnecessary and bad for you.” Liver and kidneys perform that job. Skipping meals messes with metabolism and can lead to binging afterwards. Meal replacements are also discouraged, as they don’t allow the full range of foods for long term health. Read more here.
Following my Sunday Herald Sun column critical of ‘The Biggest Loser’ last week , I heard from a number of women in recovery from eating disorders, who wrote about the negative impact the series had on them – including Melbourne woman Belinda Davis, 38, who was happy for me to share her story here.
It all began when I was about 10-years-old. Having footage beamed into our lounge rooms every night of starving Ethiopian children just filled me with immense guilt. I would tell my mother that I would eat less so that those kids could have my share It was probably then that I developed unusual eating habits and thoughts around food.
In my 20’s I tried every bizarre new diet on the market plus a few I made up myself. There would be periods of my life that weren’t heavily dominated by the eating disorder but it was always there, lingering, waiting. That was until I was 31 and I longed for the voice to return just that little bit stronger, just to help me shed those few kilos. The eating disorder voices (demands) are strong, powerful and destructive, especially when looking for control in one’s life.
Before I knew it, this “voice” had taken over my life. Of course, there are many reasons behind an eating disorder but those childhood feelings of guilt still remain. I was severely emaciated and weighed everything before I even thought of consuming it.
With the support of great people, including an amazing clinical psychologist and a dietician who supported me daily in the initial stages of recovery, I have been able to recover. It was a long road, my general health was poor. Eating disorders are not glamourous in the slightest. Having ECGs, Dexa scans (for bone density) and regular blood tests are not what one thinks of when dreaming of “thinness”.
Since my recovery I lost my fiancé to suicide (August 2009) which lead to nervous breakdowns that landed me in hospital. But thankfully, though I was vulnerable, anorexia didn’t rear its ugly head again this time. Fortunately, I had learned that dieting didn’t bring me happiness, contentment or a life I wanted.
The Biggest Loser
I still recall the very first season. It was 2006, during the peak of my anorexia.
I was thrilled with the motivation it gave me to exercise after the episode. Obviously, I wasn’t the only one. In the beginning, my partner and I would see a number of people heading out of their houses for a brisk evening walk or jog. I thought this was a good thing. As the show continued, I saw the obsession with calorie counting, specific diets and of course, the Sunday nail biter, “the weigh in”. I wished I could lose as much as them. I couldn’t.
As the years went by, the show got worse, more extreme. Today, I cannot watch it for I learned (the hard way) how to manage a healthy weight. And I knew the show would set me back. All I see in the commercials is contestants being belittled, put down, yelled at, being sick, crying and with forlorn expressions.
The saddest part is to think that this show is aired in a very family friendly time slot. Just trying to imagine how many families sit down to watch this program together makes me hang my head in shame. What have we become? I really do feel for all those kids out there that are subject to this propaganda. The messages they must be learning could be not only damaging but life threatening. Let’s think about it (from the mind of our inner child):
It is ok if people in authority yell at me and call me names. It does make me feel bad about myself but they are “trainers” so they must be “right”.
If I am thin I am worthy of a relationship (think back to the “Singles” series that aired last year).
People cheer and get excited when I lose weight, it must be VERY important (and being ‘big’ must be VERY bad).
I am defined by my size (which is only good if I look like someone who works out at the gym for a living).
I now associate the word “loser” with someone who is bad (fat, lazy, greedy etc).
Fat shaming, the obesity ‘epidemic’ and extreme over correction is no way to control weight.
Why, as a society, can we not appreciate good deeds, intelligence, kindness and respect? It all comes down to what we/they can sell. I can only be happy that I am now in a fairly strong recovery because programs that embrace unhealthy under- eating and obsessional behaviour only serve as a trigger.
I cannot believe that this type of show is allowed on the air. With a failing public health system, it shocks me to see that people are being pushed to follow this extremism. Show me a study that says losing more than 500g per week is healthy or a study that says morbidly obese people should be expected to work out in a gym? I was so worried that “Big Kev” was going to have a heart attack.
I now know what a healthy diet consists of, how healthy weight loss works and the importance of fitness appropriate exercise. The Biggest Loser doesn’t promote any of this.
REALITY weight-loss show The Biggest Loser claims to be all about health – leading a new “social movement” against the “obesity crisis”.
But many authorities – and those suffering from disordered eating – say it actually contributes to bad health.
Parading and humiliating obese people, dangerously rapid weight loss, severe calorie restriction, pre weigh-in dehydration and punishing exercise do not develop healthy patterns for long-term health.
Whenever the series returns, Melbourne woman Jodi, 24, (who asked her surname not be used) avoids TV.
Seeing the show, or even ads for it, can trigger harmful eating patterns.
As a recovering binge and restrict eater, and accredited exercise scientist, Jodi says just hearing about TBL makes her feel “sad, pathetic, not good enough”.
“My logical self knows that I’m not overweight or obese, but my eating disorder tells me I am,” Jodi says.
“Contestants receive so much praise and recognition for their weight loss, which contributes to me linking my self-worth with my weight.
“It makes me aware that other people notice my weight and might judge me on it.
This makes it harder for Jodi to trust her treatment team, which encourages her to take small steps, eat mindfully and exercise in a healthy way.
Hearing trainers screaming at contestants that they are just weak undermines professional advice.
“I’m concerned as this is being passed onto the fitness industry, where trainers now think it’s OK to train clients at those same intensities.”
The show can also scare people off exercise. Researchers in the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation found that watching a short video of The Biggest Loser fuelled negative attitudes toward exercise.
“People are screaming and crying and throwing up, and if you’re not a regular exerciser you might think this is what exercise is – that it’s this horrible experience where you have to push yourself to the limits, which is completely wrong,” says Tanya Berry, Canada Research Chair in Physical Activity Promotion.
Authorities say that because the only measure of success is scales, the show is purely about weight-loss not about overall health. The fact that contestants can’t even cover their bodies in a lightweight top during the weigh-in shows TBL is about sadistic voyeurism – and fuelling a $414 million weight-loss industry.
Eating disorder professionals say the show makes their work harder, as clients believe what they see on the show is realistic in daily life. Sarah McMahon, co-director of BodyMatters Australasia, says there is no evidence to support long-term sustained weight loss and behavioural change in most contestants.
“These clients are typically young and have poor media literacy and limited education about exercise and physiology,” she says.
“It makes a humiliating public spectacle of them under the guise of ‘self- improvement’. They will actively participate in their own persecution because the dream of being thin has been sold so convincingly”.
Dr Rick Kausman, Director of The Butterfly Foundation and author of best-selling If Not Dieting, Then What?’, says if you wanted to make a show that helped people be healthy, you’d do the opposite of TBL.
“Instead of shaming you would use compassion.
Research shows self-compassion helps us take care of ourselves much better than self-criticism.
Instead of a focus on weight, small meaningful changes in behaviour are much more likely to be sustained.”
“Rather than inspire people to make change, the show is more likely to make people mentally and physically unhealthy.
“Stigma around weight acts as a barrier for people seeking health care.
“Studies shown that patients are less likely to see their doctor for regular check-ups for fear of being told off about their weight.” he says.
“This is a disaster for preventative health”.
If we truly cared about helping people be healthy, we’d take this manipulative and highly emotional propaganda off-air immediately.
Exciting times await us, comrades! As many of you know, BodyMatters recently launched ‘Endangered Bodies Australia’ – the Australian branch of a global non-profit grassroots movement that challenges visual culture and the multi-billion dollar diet industry. With branches in London, New York, Dublin, Sao Paolo, Buenos Aires and now Sydney, our well-oiled machine is here to wage war against the diet industry for the health and happiness of citizens across the globe!
But WE NEED YOUR HELP. With International No Diet Day just around the corner (May 6), there are 2 things we’re asking fans to do:
Step 1. Engage in guerilla warfare! It’s clear our fight against the multi-billion diet industry is not an even battle ground.
Street artist Banksy, had this to say about advertising:
Any advert in a public space that gives you no choice whether you see it or not is yours. It’s yours to take, re-arrange and re-use. You can do whatever you like with it. Asking for permission is like asking to keep a rock someone just threw at your head.
You owe the companies nothing. Less than nothing, you especially don’t owe them any courtesy. They owe you. They have re-arranged the world to put themselves in front of you. They never asked for your permission, don’t even start asking for theirs. Read more>
“Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels” is used as a source of ‘thinspiration’ for girls. It features prominently on pro-anorexia websites. The slogan is cited to strengthen the resolve of an eating disorders sufferer, to help them exercise ‘willpower’ in their quest for ultra-thinness. It is a slogan contributing to suffering and death.
But does substituting the word ‘fit’ for the word ‘skinny’ really make much difference?
Of course it’s good to be fit. I support and encourage fitness for girls. But the slightly edited slogan is still too reminiscent of the original, still too enmeshed in eating, and the taste of food, to be harmless. “Nothing tastes as good…” implies a sacrifice of the enjoyment of food for the sake of ‘fitness’ which in the minds of many girls is easily interchangeable with ‘skinniness’.
This is not new – a previous ‘inspirational’ Lorna Jane t.shirt stated “I earn my chocolate one step at a time”. These messages are blatantly irresponsible for any company, especially one which is part of the fitness industry, when we know that eating disorder populations are over- represented in women who exercise regularly. It sends the message that food must be “earnt” or “deserved”, which is a belief underlying the onset of eating disorders and the mechanism that maintains them.
This is a very intentional hijacking of this harmful phrase. It sends a double meaning as it capitalises on wording familiar to those who have been exposed to pro-ana material. It’s quite sickening for a company like this to be capitalising on diseased thought patterns.
However these messages aren’t just dangerous for a clinical population, they send the message to anyone that it is OK not to eat and contributes to our existing confusion about what “health” actually is.
As my Collective Shout colleague Nicole Jameson write on Lorna Jane’s FB page: “I guess ‘nothing feels as good as accepting your body and enjoying food’ isn’t going to sell much overpriced gym wear”.
Some other comments which perfectly capture what’s happening here:
Clinical director of BodyMatters Australasia and co-founder of Collective Shout, Lydia Turner has a piece on ABC The Drum today defending the position she took in leading a campaign critical of a conference of girls’ educators inviting the CEO of Jenny Craig as its keynote speaker.
Every day in my work as an eating disorders therapist I see the harm the diet industry inflicts on girls.
I see girls’ education interrupted with several bouts of hospitalisation, girls unable to complete their homework as they are triggered by pop-up diet ads on the internet, girls distressed as all of their friends compete to see who can eat the least number of calories at the lunch table.
The diet industry thrives on creating body dissatisfaction and feelings of inadequacy, keeping itself financially well-padded off the backs of women and girls’ health and self-esteem. So when I heard that a major conference of girls’ educators was to have the CEO of Jenny Craig Amy Smith as its keynote speaker, I felt I had to take action.
I wasn’t the only one concerned. I was soon joined by health professionals from all over the world, including psychologists, dietitians, medical doctors and eating disorder experts. Told by the conference organisers, the Alliance of Girls’ Schools, that there was to be no discussion on this issue, I started a petition to oust Jenny Craig’s CEO from the conference. One thousand and two hundred signatures were gathered within the first 48 hours. Despite being called a “witch” and a “bully” by certain radio ‘shock jocks,’ I persisted because this diet industry is killing girls. Read more>
Because children don’t already feel bad about themselves enough, there’s a new book just about to be released titled Maggie Goes On a Diet. I asked Collective Shout colleague, psychotherapist and managing director of BodyMatters Australasia Lydia Jade Turner, for her views.
Written by self-proclaimed “obesity expert” Paul M. Kramer, Maggie Goes On a Diet tells the story of an ‘overweight’ teenage girl who goes from chubby-loser status to become the soccer star at her school, following significant weight loss. The cover depicts a fat child seeing a skinnier version of herself reflected in the mirror.
Yesterday in The Punch, journalist Lucy Kippist praised the book which encourages dieting for girls as young as four.
Kippist argued that widespread criticism of the book was misplaced. Pushing aside concerns about eating disorders and other negative consequences of dieting, she attempted to legitimize the story by citing the statistic that one in four Australian children are obese.
Kippist described the “courage” Kramer had given the central character Maggie to “make changes in her life” and be “rewarded” for them, She ticked off a further benefit to Maggie’s weight loss: avoiding teasing by her classmates.
As a clinician who specialises in eating disorders, I have seen the damage that diets do to children who are labelled ‘obese,’ and what happens to those children when they are grown up.
The typical presentation is anything but one of good health – whatever their size. When we get children to focus on weight loss as a goal – however well intended this may be – we are putting them at significant risk of developing food and body preoccupation, weight cycling, reduced self-esteem, mood disorders, eating disorders, and other health detriments.
Any parent concerned about an ‘overweight’ child needs to know this: no weight loss approach has been shown to be effective for more than 95% of the population after two to five years. There are no exceptions.
While this failure rate for weight loss is based on a 1959 study by Dr Albert Stunkard and Mavis McLaren-Hume, this failure rate has been reproduced by numerous clinical studies, and acknowledged at both the Australian New Zealand Obesity Society conference in 2009 and again at the inaugural International Obesity Summit in 2010.
In addition, weight loss attempts typically lead to long term weight gain – and a weight higher than one’s pre-diet starting weight. So promoting weight loss may actually be contributing to the obesity “epidemic.”
Kippist’s citing of the obesity statistic for children does not justify a weight loss approach. The idea that there are so many more ‘obese’ children out there than ones with clinical eating disorders ignores the great spectrum of young people who do not meet the strict criteria for diagnosis but who compromise their health in pursuit of weight loss in other ways. For example, the Eating Disorders Foundation of Victoria reports that eight per cent of teenage girls smoke to control their weight.
Patients who were put on diets as children tend to tell me that as children, they felt guilty and ashamed of their seemingly oversized bodies. No matter how hard they tried to be “good,” the weight kept coming back and they blamed themselves for lack of “willpower” – rather than seeing the weight gain as a predictable course of dieting.
They felt like failures whenever their siblings were offered second helpings while they were given a list of “forbidden” foods they were not allowed. Or in cases where the family ate the same diet foods as the child in a spirit of solidarity, they felt guilty as they thought to themselves “everybody is being punished because of me.”
Many of my patients are now in a weight category that would see them labelled “obese.” I wonder what havoc has been wreaked on their metabolism, having been put on diet after diet since childhood.
Many have been so desperate to successfully lose weight that they have resorted to lap band surgery, the weight slowly creeping back three years later. They are terrified of returning to their pre-surgery weight.
When I ask them gently, “What was it like for you at that size?” the typical response is silence. Tears well up in their eyes – their pain is unspeakable.
But unlike what we are told in the “confession” sections of diet advertisements, the pain these women experience is not due to the physical experience of their large bodies. It is due to the deep sense of failure accompanied by widespread stigma and discrimination – the meaning that is attributed to their fat bodies.
Society makes assumptions that because a person is fat they must lack discipline, they must be lazy, they must be stupid and therefore worthy of our disdain. The discrimination they face in daily life is relentless – and like any population facing prejudice, risk of developing mental and physical health problems heightens as a result.
Instead of encouraging children to lose weight to avoid bullying, perhaps parents and educators should work together to change the school culture which enables the bullying to occur.
If your child has red hair and gets bullied, is the solution to dye his hair brown? If your child has big ears that stick out, is the solution to get her to undergo ostoplasty so her ears will be pinned back? There’s something illogical about fighting discrimination by getting the victim to change their appearance or behaviour.
A growing movement of health professionals and human rights advocates now recognize that promoting weight loss as a solution to the obesity “epidemic” is unethical.
About 95 percent of obesity research is funded by the weight loss industry- including research grants awarded to researchers at prestigious universities and professors who are beholden to the pharmaceutical company funding their research. This has contributed to many exaggerated health risks associated with obesity.
Then there is scientific bias- science has always been influenced by the zeitgeist of its time, and we are not free from this today. Many working within the health sector are well intended, and it can be difficult to accept that perhaps what one was taught their entire life is actually wrong.
Einstein once said “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Letting go of the pursuit of weight loss is not the same as giving up – it is recognising that what we’re doing, and have been doing for more than forty years in our war against obesity – isn’t working.
Emerging evidence shows that shifting away from a weight-based model to a health-centred one is showing promising results.
Instead of trying to get your child to lose weight, you can encourage health-giving behaviours which include finding physical activity that is pleasurable for them to engage in; learning to eat in a manner that is in tune with one’s body; accepting that bodies come in different shapes and sizes (as we would expect in any given population); and recognising that health is a multi-faceted, ongoing process that involves physical, spiritual, intellectual, social, and emotional aspects – not a number on a scale.
Helping your child to engage in these changes may not result in weight loss, but will bring about health benefits. More information on the health centred approach can be found at www.sizediversityandhealth.org
Shapewear line to help you be more like the “lucky” slim girls
I was recently asked to comment on a ‘story’ about underwear brand Triumph announcing new body shape descriptions, replacing fruit (apple, pear) with artists (Botticelli, Rembrandt, Ruben, Da Vinci, Raphael and Matisse). I gave a quick comment that it was still labelling and I didn’t think labelling of any kind was helpful . Emphasising health was more important than putting a label on body size, shape or weight.
At that stage I hadn’t seen the TV footage depicting women in underwear identifying themselves as a particular artistic shape, parading through Sydney’s Pitt Street to promote the brand.
As I looked into it more, I came to conclude that what we were seeing was an advertising puff piece masquerading as news – another excuse to show women (with generally ‘acceptable’ bodies in the first place) walking around the streets in underwear under the guise of body image concerns. ABC’s Media Watch featured Triumph’s media stunt here and reported it would have been worth over a million dollars in free advertising.
Triumph’s body image ‘shape report’ report seemed to be just the peg on which to launch some new underwear. As the media release says : “The Shape Report supports the launch of Triumph’s Shape Sensation range.” Oh my goodness – really?
An analysis of the findings of the report (conducted in conjunction with Marie Claire) with commentary from authorities in the field – sans the underwear models – would have been more convincing. But would the TV networks have been so keen to cover it without the public display of women in lingerie?
In promotions about the different body types, Triumph describes those with the body type considered ideal as “lucky”: “Do you have a smaller waist but a fuller bust and bottom? Lucky girl. You’re blessed with a typical Rembrandt body. ” This shows that despite mouthing platitudes about body image diversity, the company still gives primary value to a particular body type – which defeats the whole (supposed) purpose. The shapewear is designed to conform/bind bodies to an ideal – to make you more like the lucky girls.
When you click on the image for the ‘style advice’ you will see the women are magically transformed into something quite different – here’s what becomes of ‘Matisse’ and ‘Reubens’ for example. Yep that’s the transforming power of the Triumph Bonded Long Short.
As my colleague Lydia Turner from BodyMatters Australasia says: “The reality is women’s bodies are not limited to these shapes – trying to squeeze every woman’s bodies into them only perpetuates the idea that women’s bodies are objects to be categorized”.
If they really did want to celebrate all body types, and create an environment where women felt better about their bodies, they could start with including them in their catalogues.
The approach of Triumph – and other companies spouting body image concerns – isn’t to advocate changing the toxic culture which makes women feel bad about themselves but add to it with more products we can buy to make us look ‘better’.
‘Poisonous lies about what we have to do to be considered attractive’
Triumph is also running a competition looking for six ‘real’ women to be ‘ambassadors’ for their body type to promote the company’s new range of body shaping lingerie. We can apparently only feel better about ourselves if we look attractive and acceptable and that means ‘real’ women need to “find their shape and change using Best Body Shapewear”. As Collective Shout supporter Nicole Jameson of Adelaide points out in her March 30 letter to Triumph, it ends up being just another beauty contest – entrants’ success is dependent upon online votes with finalists then flown to Sydney for a ‘final judging session’.
Today I was asked by a friend via Facebook if I would vote for her entry to become “an ambassador for her body shape”. Intrigued, I clicked the link and arrived at the website for your “Shape Ambassador Body Shape Competition”.
At first, I was encouraged to see a lingerie company seeking ‘real women’ to represent their product. But the more I explored your website, the more confused I became. You are seeking for women to represent “real female body shapes”, yet these women will become the public face of a product which hides and changes their bodies.
We live in a toxic culture, which promotes unnatural and unattainable standards of beauty to the detriment of the mental and physical health of millions of Australian and NZ women. Your own survey has identified that 70% of respondents are unhappy with their body, and that 82% would prefer to have a different body shape. This not a marketing opportunity – this is a tragedy. Women do not need to be sold a product which exploits our insecurities in order to help us attain false ideals – we need to be told that we are acceptable and beautiful as we are. Your competition, along with your ‘shapewear’, denies that there is beauty to be found in our ‘real’ bodies and feeds poisonous lies about what we need to do in order to be considered acceptable and attractive. It is disgracefully disingenuous of you to dress up such a hideous assault to our self-esteem in the guise of ‘body confidence’.
So no, I am not going to vote for my friend’s entry. Rather, I am going to discourage her, and everyone else I know, from entering your competition. Then I’m going to tell them that they are beautiful as they are, and don’t need to waste their money on appearance-altering underwear to cover up their ‘real’ bodies. Australian women don’t need to “find our shape and change”, Triumph. Your company, on the other hand, could apparently do with a good long look in the mirror.
I’ve watched a couple of episodes of The Biggest Loser Families and find myself cringing at the extent of degradation and shaming. To see Sarah-Jayne begging through tears not to have to stand on the scales the first time, was harrowing. It was as though she was being led to a torture rack. To hear each contestant declare their name and weight – “Hi, I’m Meg, and I weigh *** kilos” – was like watching a forced confession. Each individual was reduced to the sum of their weight.
This description of last night’s episode, from The Australian’s TV section:
“The trainers aren’t happy with their weight gain after a week of unhealthy food, but they still get the last laugh with an early morning training session and a bio-age test for all the contestants.”
The last laugh? Revenge on the fatties? Trainers hurling abuse and insults? Being punished for a life history of poverty, poor nutrition, unemployment and lack of opportunity? Is this how we encourage public health in this country?
Episode 1 of The Biggest Loser Australia 2011 debuted on Sunday night. The new series, targeting four family units, pitches being overweight as a problem experienced by individuals – indeed whole families – who are lazy, greedy, and slothful: in short, morally weak. They “do it to themselves”.
Trainers were given a week to “live in the shoes” of contestants. They are presented as barely surviving the experience of being drowned in gluttony and laziness.
OMG- and you have this every day?!?!… I can’t even look!!… I don’t know how you do it, I don’t know how you can physically eat this much food!! – Tiffiny, Trainer.
All that food… I was a little frightened; taken back… how many carbs can you have on one table? – Commando, Trainer.
Contestants were shown continually eating fatty and highly-processed foods. As this atypical eating behaviour was played up for the camera, the trainers (and probably viewers) reeled in disgust. Despite the participants revealing the hardships they believed contributed to their weight gain – such as childhood poverty, bullying and compromised family backgrounds. The take-home message is that, really, they have wreaked disaster upon themselves. Read more>>
Collective Shout colleague and Managing Director of BodyMatters Australasia Lydia Turner has written an important piece for Healthy Weight Week highlighting the conflicts of interest in anti-obesity research. She urges a health-based, not weight based approach to health.
This week marks the start of ‘Healthy Weight Week,’ brought to you by the Dieticians Association of Australia (DAA).
With the DAA claiming that 61 per cent of Australian adults and 25 per cent of Australian children are either overweight or obese, many people would think this is a great initiative. So why are a growing number of health professionals opposed to this campaign?
It is not well enough known that 95 per cent of obesity research is funded by private industry including Big Pharma. Corporations not only fund research, but entire university departments, charities, and educational programs as well. Seeing corporations jumping into bed with public health initiatives should raise suspicion. It is essentially putting the wolf in charge of the sheep.
Just last year the Centre for Obesity Research and Education (CORE) – a department of Monash University – published a study that found lap-banding procedures were appropriate interventions for obese teenagers as young as 14. What they didn’t reveal, however, was that the study was funded by Allergan, Australia’s largest manufacturer of lap-banding products. In mid-2010, Allergan sought approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to market lap bands to US teens after sponsoring clinical trials, essentially opening up the global teenage market for profit. Read more>>
What to do if you think your child is ‘overweight’
Julie Parker over at Beautiful You, has some good advice for parents who may be concerned about their child’s weight. You can read it here.
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Ruby Who? is the sweet and innocent story of a little girl’s adventure in re-discovering her identity. Ruby wishes for so many things and dreams of being like others. Will she end up forgetting how to just be herself?
Ruby Who? is the sweet and innocent story of a little girl’s adventure in re-discovering her identity. Ruby wishes for so many things and dreams of being like others. Will she end up forgetting how to just be herself?
Defiant Birth challenges widespread medical, and often social aversion to less than perfect pregnancies or genetically different babies. It also features women with disabilities who were discouraged from becoming pregnant at all.