We began and end the week with wise words from Ellyn Satter. Today, we focus on her message to Michelle Obama to stop talking about childhood obesity. Ellyn encourages instead a focus on helping parents set up a healthy feeding environment that will support their children’s natural abilities to choose what’s right for their health. Her feeding dynamics model which I posted about Monday and which you can read more about here will help do that.
A few snippets from a message she sent to Mrs. Obama via http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact:
- “Research shows that children who are labeled overweight or obese feel flawed in every way–not smart, not physically capable and not worthy. Parents who fear obesity hesitate to gratify their child’s hunger for fear s/he will get fat. Such labeling is not only counterproductive, it is unnecessary.”
- “Provide, don’t deprive.”
- “Optimize feeding and parenting, and let children be children.”
If you don’t understand the specifics of what Ellyn is recommending, read her newsletter discussing all this.
Ellyn also encourages us all to mount an email blizzard to Mrs. Obama at the same url and gives these tips for making our voices heard:
- Call it a policy/other and put To: Michelle Obama and Re: Child Obesity; Help Without Harming in the message box and post your message.
- Keep it short—somewhere on the order of 250 to 400 words. (Actually, 2500 characters—about 400 words—is the maximum the site will accept.) Your short, heart-felt message will have an impact.
- Start off with a sentence that summarizes your message, then develop it.
- Address one aspect of the topic. Each of us will choose different aspects and together, we will cover what is important.
- Send this newsletter to your fellow travelers (that is, other proponents of the feeding dynamics model), and encourage them to post their message.
Will you join Ellyn in ecouraging Mrs. Obama to help our children without harming them? I did.