An article in the Daily Mail today features the views of Tory MP Dr Sarah Wollaston who has warned that action is needed to tackle the current health crisis, and as a preventative measure is suggesting that children are weighed annually as part of a school medical. This has raised some interesting questions and strong objections, not least that it may cause an increase in childhood eating disorders. Over half the clients I work with are for weight loss and many have struggled with their relationship with food since childhood. On one chat show this morning a caller phoned in to say that her daughter was weighed at school and they then sent them (the parents) a letter saying she was in danger of becoming overweight. As a result she started making herself sick and almost starving herself.
Personally I have no problem with children being weighed as part of an annual school medical; the problem I do have is what they do if the child is perceived to be overweight. Just sending a standard letter home to parents saying “your child is on the borderline of becoming overweight/obese” is totally inappropriate. Whilst some parents might make an effort to educate their child and provide “healthy” food, others might react differently and actually punish the child in some way, which could have all manner of consequences.
A client I worked with just last week told me in no uncertain terms “my dad gave me my eating disorder” and here she is 40 years later still trying to resolve her issues. No “diet” in the world is going to fix the reasons she overeats or makes bad choices, she needs specialist help. Education is about so much more than Maths and English, we must find a way to teach our children the value of health and what is needed in order to achieve it. Of course if they see their teachers or educators (personal or professional) are overweight and smokers the message might not quite get through…. but that’s for another blog!!
We are not afraid to teach children about the dangers of smoking and to do so will show them images of badly damaged lungs and no one complains about that. By the same token then we should not stop warning our children about the very real consequences of obesity. The difference is that we can just tell them not to smoke; but we cannot tell them not to eat. We have to teach them how to eat the right foods in the right amounts and appreciate that at this impressionable age, if we do it in the wrong way, we may do more harm than good.
If you would like to learn some practical techniques about how to change the way you think and feel about yourself, including how you eat, and how to use your mind to change your body, then come along to CHAMPNEYS where I am starting my brand new 2 night and 4 night Mind Body Weight Loss retreats, and I will personally guide you through the process of using your mind to change your body. Alternatively you can read Think More Eat Less and follow the process using the techniques in the book and the FREE audio hypnotic downloads