February 28, 2018

Weight Watchers for Teens?

Just think. If we stopped spend all this time
logging points and counting calories, we
could change the world!
So last night I was driving home listening to the CBC.  It was late, I was tired, but I always appreciate listening to the hot topics presented by Anna-Maria Tremonti's "The Current" (OMG...I'm turning into my father). At any rate, I was woken up by a steady stream of cortisol mixed with the enhanced blood circulation anger can only promote.

Weight Watchers now offers a program for teens! 

I couldn't believe what I was hearing. Where have I been? I guess I was so far down the path of body acceptance, I failed to see we have gone back in time.  Since when is it okay to offer a weight / diet program to teens? What's worse, a child and family counsellor was weighing in on the debate in full support of this program.  Citing she, too, was in need of such a program as a teen.  Sick. I couldn't believe a counsellor said this...I was yelling for her license to practice as I sped down the highway (probably looking completely insane).

Thank God a pediatrician chimed in and sounded the alarm.  I was feeling kinda sick as I pulled up the driveway and couldn't sleep all night.  This really has me rattled.  With everything we know about diets (they don't work) and fat (it's isn't bad for you) and teens (they are impressionable) and eating disorders (they begin with food restriction, calorie counting, and record keeping).  What the hell is everyone smoking?

Then I remember...isn't Oprah involved in Weight Watchers somehow? I thought I read that she bought shares into the country. Certainly Oprah can't be in support of this? I have yet to find my answer, but I'm holding out for a hero.

Here's the thing...

If you want to establish unhealthy relationships with food, body, and exercise in your teenager at an early age go ahead and get them on Weight Watchers.  The weigh ins, constant chatter about calories and points coupled with success stories around pound lost will most certainly influence disordered eating and negative body image as they move into fat-fearing adulthood.

But if you want to see your teen grow up healthy, secure about themselves while enjoying the benefits of a intrinsically driven positive self worth and enjoying a wide variety of foods without logging points or stressing about "bad foods", a focus on healthy behaviours is the ONLY path to go down.  Health at every size, exercise for enjoyment, eating for pleasure / nourishment / and energy, and loving their body no matter what size it is.  THAT's a healthy program.

I am still very angry at the idea of WW opening their doors to young people.

To Weight Watchers and everyone that supports this program or normalizes diet behaviour as "healthy", if you spent more time reading the latest research and less time worrying about your body fat, the world would be a more happy and body diverse place!

That's all I got.
K

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