Childhood Obesity Does Not Equal Child Neglect!

A proposed bill in Puerto Rico would discriminate against children with a higher BMI and their families. Similar efforts in several US states have failed and done immeasurable damage. Focus on health, not weight/BMI!
FOSTER CITY, Calif. - Feb. 16, 2015 - PRLog -- - NAAFA, a civil rights organization working for Equality at Every Size urges Puerto Rico to stop a bill in its tracks that would monitor children’s weight and possibly "fine" and/or refer their parents to case workers if the children do not lose weight. Any such law is discriminatory, damaging to family and doomed for failure.

A child’s weight is not an indicator of health nor is it a sign of neglect. NAAFA would like to point out that New Mexico (Anamarie M.), Indiana (Dakota M.) and New York (Kayla), removed fat children from their homes, but the courts REVERSED their decisions and restored custody to the parents because the states' controlled environments made no significant changes in the size of the children. In all of these cases, terrible mental harm was done to the children and the parents.

Arkansas was one of the first states to focus on trying to eliminate childhood obesity through a variety of interventions. In 2003, Arkansas Act 1220 was enacted, instituting programs that range from reducing junk food in schools and creating advisory committees to issuing BMI Report Cards. Despite their best efforts, there has NOT been a reduction in BMI levels.

“The weight-focused approach does not, in the long run, produce thinner, healthier bodies,” stated Dr. Linda Bacon, author of the 2010 book, Health at Every Size: The Surprising Truth About Your Weight, based on research she published in top scientific journals.

Focusing on weight loss rather than health is a failing strategy. The NAAFA Child Advocacy Toolkit is a resource for people involved in the lives of children of size. It is intended to help educate and inform all segments of society with regard to the effects of weight discrimination on children and provides references and tools to combat these effects using a HAES (Health At Every Size) approach. An electronic version of this premier toolkit is available at:

NAAFA challenges Puerto Rico to take a HAES (Health at Every Size) approach instead of suggesting such preposterous action that has no track record of success. Focus on the positive not on the destructive! Children are the future; build them up, do not tear them down!

Founded in 1969, NAAFA is a non-profit civil 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.

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Peggy Howell
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Tags:Childhood Obesity, Size Diversity, Size Discrimination, Health, Haes
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Location:Foster City - California - United States
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