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APA: Stop Mocking the Fat Kids

Despite the APA’s resolution to encourage psychologists to challenge the disproportionate emphasis on weight reduction, the APA Monitor’s December, 2012 cover story is entitled “Preventing obesity”.

PRLog - Dec. 9, 2012 - FOSTER CITY, Calif. -- Foster City, CA – NAAFA is very concerned to see the cover image and read the cover story of the December 2012 issue of the APA Monitor, the official magazine of the American Psychological Association, on preventing obesity.   “It is hard to believe that the Monitor represents a, scientific and professional organization whose mission is to advance knowledge and promote human dignity,” wrote Esther Rothblum, Ph.D., Professor of Women's Studies at San Diego State University and NAAFA Advisory Board Member.

The cover article entitled Big kids points out that, “In 2009, APA endorsed a resolution encouraging psychologists to challenge the disproportionate emphasis on weight reduction and instead apply more energy to helping patients adopt healthier diets and engage in more physical activity.”  And yet, contradicting the APA’s resolution, the December, 2012 cover of APA Monitor features the photograph of a very sad fat boy with “Preventing obesity” in big red letters.

The article also features a photograph of four fat boys in swim suits and caps posed in positions that hide their face or belly or entire front side with looks of shame and sadness on their faces:  http://www.apamonitor-digital.org/apamonitor/201212/#pg64

NAAFA challenges the APA Monitor to produce an article or series of articles that focuses on health, not body size, and celebrates the achievements and accomplishments of children and adults of all body sizes.   Stereotypes are constantly being reinforced by the way in which marginalized people are represented in television, movies, print publications and online.  These constant portrayals continue to have a negative impact and create misconceptions resulting in discrimination.    The APA needs to stop contributing to weight bias, stigma and discrimination.

There is a critical need to create environments in which children and adolescents do not feel shame or guilt about their bodies, but are motivated to enjoy healthful eating and active living habits regardless of their body size or shape.  NAAFA supports the evidence-based Health at Every Size (HAES) tenets which state that healthy habits are good for EVERYONE, independent of their size. Eat healthy, nutritious foods and enjoy occasional treats. Pay attention to your natural hunger and satiety cues. Move your body in ways that feel good and love yourself just the way you are!  

NAAFA has created a tool, the NAAFA Child Advocacy Toolkit, for people who are parents of, work with and care for children of large body size.  The toolkit will help kids, parents and caregivers take the focus off weight and direct it to healthy behaviors. It addresses bullying, building positive self-esteem an eliminating the stigmatization of large children. This toolkit is available to view and download from NAAFA's homepage: www.naafa.org

Founded in 1969, NAAFA is a non-profit human rights organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for fat people. NAAFA works to eliminate discrimination based on body size and provide fat people with the tools for self-empowerment through public education, advocacy, and member support.

On the web:  http://www.naafa.org          

For more information contact:
Peggy Howell, Public Relations Director
National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance (NAAFA)
e-mail:  pr@naafa.org    phone:  (916)558-6880

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Location:Foster City - California - United States
Industry:Health, Media
Tags:weight, fat, Childhood Obesity, psychology, apa
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