A recent article in TIME Ideas continues the national discussion about childhood obesity and eating disorders.
In his article, entitled “Is the Fight Against Childhood Obesity Creating Eating Disorders?", Anthony T. Debenedet, M.D. examines an emerging question about childhood obesity campaigns and the recent rise in eating disorders among children and adolescents.
The U-M Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health addressed this topic in a January 2012 report. The NPCH reported that parents who said their children had experienced a school-based program to reward exercise were significantly more likely to say that they were worried that their children have too much physical activity. For other types of school-based obesity campaigns, there were no differences in parents’ concerns about their children’s diet and exercise.
In his article, Debenedet uses the NPCH data as a springboard for discussion around this challenging issue.
Debenedet concludes, “We shouldn’t stop promoting healthy eating habits in our children. And we shouldn’t necessarily downplay our anti-obesity efforts for fear of increasing the rate of childhood eating disorders. Instead, we should just be mindful — as parents and as organizations — of a potentially evolving, complex situation.”