In It For Health

Where health and psychology intersect

Posts Tagged ‘weight loss’

Child-Obesity ads gone wild

Posted by Dr. Susan on May 6, 2011

There is a furor about Georgia’s child-obesity campaign which portrays overweight kids, with seriously depressed facial expressions, talking about how bleak their present life is and how bad their future will be, unless they lose weight.

Now, I’m all for shock-value if it gets the job done, but this ad is a problem. To begin, it give ammunition to other kids who bully, or are considering bullying an overweight child. From a kid’s perspective: “If you’re talking about all the negatives that you experience, then why can’t I?” It’s not a taboo subject anymore.

Next, the parents and educators who are not already working on helping overweight children won’t really be impacted by this–they know that this is what the kids look like already–it’s live in front of them! What they really need to see is overweight adults in the ads talking about what it was like to be an overweight kid and still be overweight–and then remind the viewer of the ads to take responsibility for helping the kids.

Using vulnerable kids–those in the ads and the those who will inadvertently become associated with the ads–creates an unfair playing field. The adults need to take responsibility for the problem and of course, the solution.

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The FDA is finally wising up about serving sizes!

Posted by Dr. Susan on February 9, 2010

It’s taken a long time, but maybe, just maybe, the FDA is realizing what I’ve said for years-many food companies are basically con artists when it comes to reporting serving sizes accurately and in a way that truly represents the product. This article explains it: half a muffin is a serving size; six potato chips…really!? They count on consumers looking at the calories and not paying attention to the serving size, and unfortunately, in many cases that’s exactly what happens.

This is not to say that the consumer is without responsibility–we should be more educated and less willing to be duped. But less face it, if we were more disciplined, we wouldn’t be one of the most overweight nations in the world.

Regardless, accurate, realistic packaging should be mandatory! A whole muffin, an entire bottle of juice, a bowl of chips or ice-cream–THIS is a serving size and should be labeled as such, with the calories reflected right on the package. Perhaps when we see what we’re actually eating, not what we wish we were, or would like to pretend we are, we’d stop being one of the most overweight countries on the planet!

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Beware of weight-loss spam!

Posted by Dr. Susan on January 6, 2010

It’s interesting, but this new study shows that young adults and teens are more likely to be suckers for purchasing the products you receive in weigh-loss spam!! Don’t do it. No matter how bad you feel about your body in that moment (or the email makes you feel it), this stuff at best likely doesn’t work and at worst is bad or DANGEROUS for you. This includes supplements, liquids, and detoxification products. All of these can make your heart beat too fast and throw off your electrolytes–both of which can cause a heart attack, resulting in death–yup, really!

Stick with traditional, healthy weight loss techniquest–the kinds that come from your doctor or a well-balanced diet and exercise. Sorry!! There really are no quick fixes, expecially when it comes to your health. So make sure you hit the delete button, quickly.

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Eating Disorders Awareness Week

Posted by Dr. Susan on February 27, 2008

February 24-March 1 is National Eating Disorders Awareness Week. It is a time for those who struggle with ED’s to take stock of their struggles and renew their efforts towards physical and emotional health, recognizing that every success in such a war, no matter how small is hard won and one of which to be proud.

It is also a time for observers to recognize that ED’s are not a choice–a wishful desire to be thin. I hear girls, women and even men comment “I wish I could catch Anorexia for a little while so I could lose some weight”. ED’s are a disease of body image distortion, of loss of control and of an inability to nurture your body against even the knowledge that you may be killilng yourself.

Awareness is just the beginning. We need more research, more support and more high quality treatment for those with eating disorders. Not just for girls and women. For boys and men too.

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