Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Ugly, Ignorant, Fat-Shaming, American Academy of Pediatrics, Childhood Obesity Ads

Thanks to Eating Rules' Andrew Wilder for sending me this photo of the fat-shaming, American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) endorsed ad that he snapped last week in Oakland International Airport.

Not only does this AAP campaign embrace the gluttonous sloth causes obesity narrative, an erroneous narrative that no doubt fuels bullying, it also demonstrated incredible ignorance in its clear suggestion that the primary reason children have obesity today is because they no longer play.

Never you mind that objective studies on the impact of physical activity on childrens' weights reported that even a ten fold difference in physical activity didn't protect children from weight, or that a meta-analysis of school PE programs involving over 18,000 students showed that no amount of PE had a significant weight impact - no - if that boy on the bottom of the see-saw just picked up a damn basketball instead of a bag of chips, no doubt he too would be slim.

So incredibly disappointing to see the AAP having gone down such an ugly road. Kids who struggle with overweight and obesity aren't likely to have any shortage of weight related guilt, shame and embarrassment in their lives and it's beyond awful to see an organization such as the AAP adding to their piles.

I reached out to the AAP who reported that they had thought the campaign, which begun in 2012, had run its course, but that confusion aside, it still begs the question of how it was approved in the first place, for if guilt, shame or simple play helped with childhood obesity, it wouldn't exist. And so I have to ask, how is it possible that the AAP didn't/doesn't already know that?