Covid19, Obesity & weighing children

I’ve been watching the Twitterstorms and the media circus about the virus, lockdown weight gain, weight loss plans and weighing children in schools

I don’t approve of weighing children in schools after the age of 11. Secondary school children are too weight sensitive and have enough on their plate anyway without the additional shame and worry that is caused by weighing them.

Weight gain is part of adolescence anyway. Bones and organs are growing, boys are adding muscle, girls might be weighed before menstruation, when their weight might be a little higher than usual due to hormones.

Kids think that dieting is the best response to weight gain. What do they know! Dieting is a high risk factor for getting an eating disorder. It can provoke anorexia in some, compulsive eating in others, bulimia in a few. One an eating disorder has its claws in you, it doesn’t go away soon. So please please THINK AGAIN, this proposal is INSANE!

Weighing kids before 11 is OK if it goes along with the usual stuff, height, nits, foot health, weight. OK so we are worried about obesity? Well I accept that. We cant put our heads in the sand and pretend it doesn’t matter. If the virus likes a well-covered person too much, it is what it is.

Fat CAN make some people sick. Sedentary lifestyle can make some people sick as well. Even some healthy diets can make some people sick. Shame and body hatred makes people sick.

Weighing children could be useful if there was proper joined up thinking. The parents of an overweight child mustn’t get the dreaded fat-letter. What use is that going to be other than make them mad. Don’t call my child fat! Who cares anyway! Its only puppy fat!

Parents worried about their child’s weight need access to a coach, someone who is properly trained to help without conferring judgement, shame and guidance. They don’t need diet sheets or good advice given by someone who probably lives on salad and mung beans.

I did something on live TV last night. I forgot to point out that weight gain during lockdown isn’t a cause for shame, alarm, weighing or panic. I forgot to point out that some kids are growing normally. Here it is