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Not New News, But Still Unbelievable: Do You Think I’m Fat?

July 13, 2011

This is a Public Service Announcement from 2007 from the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA). Now, let’s fast forward to the current year 2011 (it is 2011, right? Ugh where has my life gone) and a 6 year old girl named Taylor. Apparently Taylor recently told “Good Morning America” that she wanted to lose weight after she was teased at school for her size, despite her “pediatrician, [using] the girl’s height and weight to calculate her body mass index said Taylor’s weight is normal. ‘She is not at risk of being overweight and is not considered overweight at this time.'” But Taylor insists

“I don’t like to be my weight and my teacher always tells me I have to run so I can be really, really not like this size.”

According to the article,

“A 2009 University of Central Florida study found that nearly half of the 3- to 6-year-old participants said they worried about being fat.

Meanwhile, the number of eating disorder hospitilzations for kids under age 12 more than doubled between 2000 and 2006, according to the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA).”

Ugh. That is truly truly sad. And especially interesting when juxtaposed with the childhood obesity epidemic. But how have we not learned that focusing on health–physically (a healthy body) and mentally (a healthy body image)–instead of weight/numbers is the most constructive and beneficial method of dealing with this situation? I apologize that all these “Not New News” series are so depressing, but such is the media. What do you think of this study and the story of Taylor?

(Also, if you’re in NYC, have you checked out the BIG GAY ICE CREAM TRUCK?! If not, do so for me. I beg of you. Order up a “Bea Arthur” and think of me.)

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Sexy Curmudgeon permalink
    July 13, 2011 4:04 pm

    Have YOU checked out the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck? Is someone keeping a Groupon warm for you?

  2. Gage permalink
    July 13, 2011 5:42 pm

    This is, to put it lightly, horrific. On the one hand we have a society that is obsessed with being slender and lithe. On this side of the spectrum we have the little girls featured above and the millions afflicted by poor body image and eating disorders. On the other hand we have unprecedented obesity pandemic with “one in three children in this country overweight or worse, the future health and productivity of an entire generation — and a nation — could be in jeopardy.” (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/05/17/AR2008051701373.html).

    Hm. How do we rationalize this?

  3. TBM permalink
    July 14, 2011 9:57 am

    This is so problematic. On the one hand there is a serious childhood obesity issue in the US, and on the other hand that video and the Taylor story are really disturbing. I think you’re right that the focus needs to shift from the numbers to mental/physical health, but I don’t see the media/entertainment industry moving in that direction anytime soon…

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