An Open Letter to Weight Watchers: How About Encouraging Health for all of our Children’s Body Types Instead?

an open letter to weight watchers about our kids

I’m certain by now you’ve heard the thrill. WW Worldwide (previously Weight Watchers) just lately launched Kurbo by WW, a weight reduction app focused at kids as younger as eight-years-old. As a mom and a well being skilled, I’m alarmed.

An Open Letter To Weight Watchers

Pricey Weight Watchers,

I’ll simply come proper out and say it. I’m completely over weight loss program tradition, fats phobia, and our society’s obsession with thinness. I’m upset in your encouragement of this conduct amongst the subsequent technology.

A fast look at your web site was alarming to me. Though a number of well being targets are inspired, your app has a transparent concentrate on motivating youngsters to drop kilos to really feel accepted, and this isn’t okay.

As a Registered Dietitian, I desire not to counsel people particularly for weight reduction, however for whole wellness and illness prevention as a substitute. Why? It’s attainable to be genuinely wholesome at each physique measurement and obsessing over every meals alternative and each pound is NOT wholesome. After we really feel guilt and disgrace round our meals selections we’re harming our our bodies too. Value and well being aren’t decided by the quantity on the dimensions, and kids shouldn’t be within the pursuit of weight reduction. Nor ought to they be spending a major quantity of time on their telephones doing so.

Kids are rising. Their our bodies are creating. They’re studying lifelong behaviors. Rising kids are in want of optimum vitamin and have the flexibility to study meals that may really nourish their our bodies, whereas working towards behaviors that may nourish their minds on the similar time.

Stoplight coloured meals could also be a great tool for primary vitamin training, however with out acceptable steering, it may create orthorexic tendencies. Even with my background, I’m perplexed as to why some of your meals selections are labeled the way in which they’re (to me, selfmade hummus is a inexperienced gentle for certain!). I can’t deny that some meals are nutritionally superior to others; nevertheless all meals selections fluctuate, as do the distinctive wants of kids. Encouraging kids to log their good and unhealthy meals selections with out this context doesn’t train them to eat intuitively—one thing I strongly suggest. Intuitive consuming is a apply that challenges the “meals police” and encourages leaning into one’s personal knowledge to belief the meals selections that their physique wants.

As well as, studying success tales of kids who’ve misplaced weight leads to unrealistic comparisons. What about together with different successes too? What in regards to the youngster who has extra vitality to play after consuming extra fruit and veggies? Or the kid who can focus extra in class or has had a lower in undesirable well being points? The pictures in your web site could promote disgrace amongst kids who haven’t misplaced weight, but are nonetheless wholesome. What’s improper with feeling higher and more healthy at each physique measurement?

Associated: Pricey Moms: Let’s Educate our Kids to Love Their Our bodies 

Analysis has certainly linked greater BMIs to well being points; nevertheless, correlation doesn’t at all times equal causation. There are various components at play, together with the intestine microbiome, irritation, nutrient standing, and social components too. Even when a nutrient-dense weight loss program doesn’t end in weight reduction, it’ll end in a more healthy you.

Health at Every Size® teaches us to respect the gorgeous variety of all physique styles and sizes and to nourish our our bodies for total wellness versus weight management. I’d love to see this message promoted in your choices.

Whereas I’m certain you meant to be useful, and your app could certainly really assist many, I’m most involved about kids setting targets to reduce weight and assigning labels to meals with out context. As somebody who has personally struggled with disordered consuming patterns up to now, I encourage you to rethink.


A Registered Dietitian and Involved Mom of Two


Photograph: Tero Vesalainen/Shutterstock

Sheri Vettel

Sheri Vettel

Sheri Vettel is a Registered Dietitian residing in Greensboro, North Carolina. She is a robust advocate of getting kiddos to eat their veggies and is the proprietor of Meals and Circulation Integrative Vitamin. She found her ardour for writing instantly after beginning a weblog for her son. Sheri enjoys hula hoop dancing, educating yoga, touring, and consuming nutritiously scrumptious meals. Discover her on Instagram at @meals.and.movement.mama.

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