Denver, Colorado (PRWEB) August 28, 2013
Whether it’s a parent or a bureaucrat, ‘food police’ can produce a ‘fatlash’ says Karen Kataline, a professional social worker and former Little Miss Denver County.
Before Karen Kataline knew what a calorie was, she was restricted to 500 of them a day. At dinner, she was not served the same foods as her parents and brother. She remembers being hungry all the time.
Kataline was a toddler beauty queen and performer.
“I’d started performing in dances and beauty pageants at the age of 3 in the 1960s,” says the author of a new, award-winning memoir, Fatlash: Food Police & the Fear of Thin. “My mother wanted me to be a star and was obsessed with my weight and appearance. She wanted me to be thin.’’
Years of being forcibly held to a restrictive diet had a profound effect. As a child, Kataline learned that she could “win” by eating as much food as she could sneak without getting caught. She especially sought the foods that were denied her, from gravy to chocolate bars.
“When parents – or for that matter, a government agency or official – make food choices for individuals, it sets people up for developing eating disorders,” says Kataline, an experienced mental health therapist with a master’s degree in social work from Columbia University. “Many times, a child wouldn't have a weight problem at all if his or her parent weren't superimposing their own fear and anxiety about it onto the child.”
Likewise, Kataline is troubled by increasing efforts to legislate food choices for adults, from New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s attempt to ban super-sized sugary drinks to Los Angeles City Council’s prohibition against fast-food restaurants in certain minority neighborhoods. “Government attempts to force people to eat in a particular way will have the backlash of actually making people fatter," she says.
Kataline offers these suggestions for families who want their children to have a healthy relationship with food – and with themselves. She makes clear that the suggestions should progress according to the child's age and ability to understand.
About Karen Kataline, MSW
Karen Kataline is a social worker, public speaker and performer whose professional and personal perspective on the effects of beauty pageants on young children has won the 2013 Sponsor’s Choice Award for the National Indie Excellence Awards; the 2013 NIEA Award Winner for Women’s Issues and Addiction & Recovery; 1st place Evvy Award, Colorado Independent Publishers Association; and was a finalist in Foreword Reviews Book of the Year Awards. She has taught communications at the New School for Social Research, Parsons School of Design in New York, New Jersey’s Montclair State College, among others, and continues to perform as a talk radio host, broadcaster and in musical comedies, television and film.