There's lots of talk this month about children's weights, how dangerously unhealthy they are, and what can be done to improve things. Since this blog started with my concerns about some current approaches to "childhood obesity" and what can be done "to prevent" it, it seems like the right time to focus on more positive and productive ways to approach the issue - for families, schools, and communities.
When it comes to children's physical and mental health, I am firmly in the camp of "above all else, do no harm." To avoid any potential harm of extreme attention to weight or BMI, I believe that any childhood weight discussion should be focused on what we can do to promote healthy weights for children all sizes and shapes. This avoids the potential harm of increased attention leading to increases is under-nutrition, eating disorders, and sized-based bullying. It also includes children and teens who may look "healthy" on the outside, but are not getting the nutrient-rich foods and active play that they need to grow strong bodies and smart brains.
To kick things off for Fit Kids = Happy Kids Month, I am going to take a look at what families can do to help children have healthy weights. I'm starting with the 2006 poster from Montana Action for Healthy Kids pictured here. Fortunately, with one or two small additions, it is just a valuable today as it was four years ago. Stay tuned for the update ... it's all positive!