Discussion on Childhood Obesity Leaves Out Key Stakeholders

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Association for Size Diversity and Health submits infographic for the Let’s Move Campaign, requests a place at the table.

The national discussion about childhood obesity includes almost everyone who has a stake in the issue – except fat children, their parents, and those who represent their needs.

An infographic created by the Association for Size Diversity and Health illustrates this omission by showing how the recent Summit on Childhood Obesity held by Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign omitted any individual or organization advocating for fat children and their parents.

The people most in harm’s way if the Let’s Move campaign doesn’t change its focus from weight to health have not been represented in the discussion.

ASDAH, an international association promoting the weight-neutral Health At Every Size℠ approach to wellness, created the infographic in response to a call from the Let’s Move campaign, which is working to eliminate childhood obesity, and Good, an independent media organization. The organizations asked for infographic submissions reflecting the progress of addressing the “childhood obesity epidemic.”

“It seems ridiculous that advocates for fat kids and their civil rights and health needs have not been invited to the discussion table,” says Deb Lemire, president of ASDAH. “It is now clear to us that those who purport to care about the children are only interested in protecting their own financial interests.”

ASDAH and other fat rights and health organizations have repeatedly asked to participate in Let’s Move discussions. ASDAH has sent feedback and empirically based input to the First Lady’s policy office at every opportunity since day one of the campaign launch. ASDAH had hoped to be a part of the Summit on Childhood Obesity held in Washington, D.C. this past May, but an invitation was not extended. Food and diet industry groups were the most prevalent at the meeting, with government and those with political interests coming in second.

“Fat people are not an anomaly, something to be fixed or eliminated,” says Lemire. “Fat people are a segment of our population with the same rights as every other demographic group. We seem to be forgetting that.”

Borrowing from the Disabilities Rights movement, ASDAH and other civil rights and health organizations say “Nothing About Us, Without Us.”

“Mrs. Obama, we ask again for a place at the table,” Lemire says.

ASDAH is an international organization comprised of health professionals, scientists and activists committed to promoting all aspects of health and well-being for all populations. Its guiding principles of Health At Every Size℠ recognize and promote the multi-dimensionality of health, including enjoyable and balanced eating and movement, without a weight-loss focus. Visit ASDAH's website at http://www.sizediversityandhealth.org.

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