ANAD and BEDA Oppose the Children's Healthcare of Atlanta AD -"Stop Sugarcoating" as a Shaming and Fear Based Campaign

The National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders and Binge Eating Disorder Association are opposed to the CHOA ad-campaign, known as "Stop Sugarcoating", utilizing negative attention and shaming to address childhood obesity.

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Laura Discipio, of ANAD, says, “Research has shown that children as young as five years old already have been conditioned to fear being fat. CHOA continues to perpetuate this fear by using shaming and bullying tactics targeted at children

Chicago, Illinois (PRWEB) February 03, 2012

The National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD) and the Binge Eating Disorder Association (BEDA) appeal to the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA) to discontinue their fear and shame-based advertisements objectifying children. Campaigns that focus on overall wellness, not weight shaming, should be the goal.

The CHOA released a new ad-campaign, known as Stop Sugarcoating, utilizing negative attention and shaming to address childhood obesity. Recently, concern has risen in the state of Georgia, which is ranked the second highest prevalence of childhood obesity in the country, prompting the development of the campaign.

Chevese Turner, Executive Director of BEDA, states, “This ad campaign has the potential to inflict harm through the message it sends. The creators of the campaign quite obviously do not understand the psychological impact this has for individuals of size, including children. CHOA clearly believes this approach will work, despite a growing number of professionals and experts in both the obesity and eating disorders field who disagree because of the growing evidence that shaming and stigmatizing actually lead to weight gain over time. We have received close to 1,000 signatures, within a week’s time, on our petition to end this campaign; the public and many professional physical and mental health providers have joined us to let CHOA know that this approach is dangerous and should be discontinued immediately.”

Laura Discipio, Executive Director of ANAD, says, “Research has shown that children as young as five years old already have been conditioned to fear being fat. CHOA continues to perpetuate this fear by using shaming and bullying tactics targeted at children who are of larger size. But unfortunately, children who are of normal or low weight can also be negatively affected. This Ad-campaign has the potential of doing more harm than good. Shaming our children should not be tolerated! Feeling good about yourself increases the likelihood that you will take good care of your body and decreases the likelihood of disordered eating. Instead of shaming our children, let’s help them feel good about themselves and provide all children an opportunity to engage in healthy lifestyles so they can develop healthy attitudes and behaviors and healthy bodies.”

Discipio adds, “Chevese and I, as well as our expert boards and scientific committees, welcome an open conversation with the developers of this ad campaign and future weight-related campaigns to discuss effective and healthy ways to address these important issues. We must be cognizant of the fact that many of the obesity efforts underway in this country are worrisome-at-best and can lead to eating disorders, which have the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric illness and have realized a significant rise in prevalence over recent years.”

To view the Stop Sugarcoating campaign: http://www.strong4life.com

The National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, Inc. (ANAD) is a non-profit (501 c 3) corporation that seeks to prevent and alleviate the problems of eating disorders, especially including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder. ANAD advocates for the development of healthy attitudes, bodies, and behaviors. ANAD promotes eating disorder awareness, prevention and recovery through supporting, educating, and connecting individuals, families and professionals.

The Binge Eating Disorder Association (BEDA) was founded to help those who have binge eating disorder, their friends and family, and those who treat the disorder. BEDA provides individuals who suffer from binge eating disorder with the recognition and resources they deserve to begin a safe journey toward a healthy recovery. BEDA also serves as a resource for treatment providers to prevent, detect, diagnose, and treat the disorder. By establishing strong connections among members and sister organizations, BEDA’s goal is to give everyone access to the tools they need to live with, treat, and, ultimately, prevent the disorder.

For more information regarding ANAD, visit http://www.anad.org
To connect with help, call 630-577-1330 or email anadhelp@anad.org

For more information regarding BEDA, visit http://www.bedaonline.org
To connect with help regarding binge eating, call 855-855-BEDA

Available for Interviews:
Laura Discipio, Executive Director of ANAD
Chevese Turner, Executive Director of BEDA
Treatment specialists for the spectrum of all eating disorders

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