WAKE UP Weight Watchers!

There is a special place in hell for those who profit off of, and market weight loss programs to children.

Too strong?

People, I am fired up.

And yes, I am referring to the recent news that Weight Watchers — or now, WW (so chic *eyeroll*) — has launched a weight loss app FOR CHILDREN AND TEENS.

Yes, you read that correctly. A WEIGHT LOSS APP FOR CHILDREN.

I am literally shaking in anger as I’m typing this, because it is so grossly negligent.

Body confidence aside — the app itself is SO PROBLEMATIC. It literally has a stoplight feature — putting foods into categories. Veggies and fruits are green; foods to “limit” — like dairy, lean protein, and whole grains — are yellow; and the “red foods” are things like sugary drinks and candy.

Which — that in itself — even if that was geared towards adults — just infuriates me. Because the number one thing that can lead people down the slippery slope of eating disorders is categorizing foods into “safe” and “off limits.”

Heck, that’s how it started with me! During Lent my sophomore year! First it was desserts. Then it was white flour. Then it was X, then Y, then Z — and then the next thing you know the only thing I’m eating is diet probiotic yogurt and canned nonfat tuna.

I mean – this is SEVERELY dangerous.

But the fact that it is FOR CHILDREN AND TEENS AS YOUNG AS 7!?!?

They even added “Snapchat-like” qualities to the app to make it like a game with “streaks.” Read between the lines, people — they’re trying to make it addictive. Hook ’em early so they can be enslaved to the multibillion dollar diet industry for the rest of their lives.

It’s just disgusting.

Children. CHILDREN!

They proudly paraded this “Before and After” image on their Instagram account of a seven year old girl, congratulating her for dropping 8 BMI points with the help of their app.

7 YEARS OLD!

I just wanted to hug that little girl and tell her that she is beautiful inside and out, just the way she is! That her worth is not from the number on the scale, or where she falls on the BMI chart!

I mean, THIS RIGHT HERE is the biggest factor that can lead to eating disorders.

I know it might not seem like a big deal — but ESPECIALLY in the mind of an impressionable young child — comments about weight and body image and “good or bad” foods are SO INFLUENTIAL. Both positively and negatively.

And sure, you may think — she’s just a kid, she’ll shake it off!

No. These little, throw away remarks leave HUGE impressions on kids.

Allow me to share a little bit about my own story. Because as the survivor of severe anorexia — that strangled my mind and body for years, and left me barely hanging on at 78 pounds — I feel I have a bit of authority.

The first time I thought about weight or my body was — when I was 7 years old.

Up until that time, I just believed that I was the most adorable thing to grace the earth. Which — *ahem* — I was. 😉 JUUUUUST KIDDING

But I did. I never once thought about my weight. I played all the sports, did all the shows. I was in great shape. Never thought twice about it.

Well, that summer, we went to our lake home in Wisconsin and, every summer — popsicles — were such a treat. My family never kept “junk food” in the house, so on vacation, when the freezer was packed with a Sam’s Club-quantity of popsicles for a family reunion — your girl went to town!

Which is great! I was running around. It was vacation. Whatever.

Well…one night, I was, of course, expressing my love for the popsicles, and a family member said, “Take it easy on those popsicles, Care. Don’t want to get chubby.”

And there it was.

That one small remark, that was probably just a throwaway comment from someone who had had one too many Bud Light’s on the boat — planted in me a thought that — Wow, I could get chubby?….And if I get chubby, I won’t be lovable.”

Now, I’m not saying that I *BAM* developed an eating disorder at age 7. But that seed of WEIGHT/BODY IMAGE = WORTH was planted at a young age, and it was something that the perfectionist and people pleaser in me never ever forgot.

What we say to children matters. How they see their elders speaking about themselves, or to others about weight or food or diet — it matters.

Children are listening.

They are impressionable. And they only start caring what other people think when we teach them to.

I mean, the message that this app is sending is just so destructive.

LOOK AT THIS INSTAGRAM POST they put out.

Bating CHILDREN that “Hey, if your body has rolls on it, don’t even think about putting on a bathing suit!” Sure, it’s just an “Internet Meme” — but if you think KIDS don’t take that stuff as Gospel, then you are severely mistaken, my friend. Just look at ALL THE VIRAL TRENDS — “Dabbing,” “Gangnam Style,” “Planking,” all the Ice Bucket Challenges, Hot Cheetoes and Takis, Area 51, Marie Condo-ing, “and I OOP,” KiKi Do You Love Me” — KIDS LIVE AND DIE FOR INTERNET CULTURE. So if you think that this “little meme” isn’t going to make an impact — you are wrong, wrong, wrong.

We should be building our children up. We should be telling our young girls and young boys that they should focus on chasing their dreams. Focus on doing their best in school and on the sports field. Focus on discovering passions or topics that set their spirit on fire. Focus on having fun with their friends. Exploring the world outside of their cell phones. Reading books. Dancing. Building relationships. Giving back to the community.

You know what we SHOULDN’T be encouraging them to focus on? THEIR WEIGHT.

How they look in a bathing suit.

What their BMI is.

How to build their day around “safe food choices.”

I mean — GET A GRIP, WEIGHT WATCHERS.

A child should be celebrated and taught to believe in his or herself. NOT taught to scrutinize their body shape and the number on the scale. That is a one way ticket to a lifetime of disordered thoughts and behaviors. Take it from someone who’s been there.

“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5

A big thank you to my foundational sponsor, BetterHelp Online Therapy. I cannot begin to express how beneficial therapy was for my recovery from anorexia.  Speak with an online therapist. Or check out content about eating disorders from BetterHelp.

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182 thoughts on “WAKE UP Weight Watchers!

    1. You’re so right about that! Not on the weight loss aspect! Thanks for stopping by! Hugs and love xox

  1. I completely agree, especially in regard to children. When I think about my own kids, this makes me so sad. I have been looking into intuitive eating, and it looks like such an amazing alternative. But I am struggling to change my mindset in regard to there being no “good” and “bad” foods. It’s very individual, and we can’t decide what that looks like for another person, but is it bad to believe there are “good” and “bad” foods with respect to health, without conflating health and weight? I have been looking for a good intuitive eating dietitian in my area, so maybe I will learn more and be able to accept a healthier mentality.

    1. Thanks so much Jenny. It really is so sad! And I love that – intuitive eating is the way to go!! Hugs and love xox

  2. You are spot on. As a runner I have become acutely aware of the eating disorder/exercise addiction epidemic among adults I know, and it started when they were children. Thanks for the great post.

    1. Thanks so much for sharing your heart. Yeah we all – no matter what age – have to work on that relationship. Hugs and love xox

  3. Yes, I love this post so much!🙌🏻 it’s also one of the reasons why I’m attending college to become a Kindergarten teacher – I want children to know that they are loved no matter what they look like and some children do not have that person who tells them that, I want to be that person for them. It’s so wrong what Weight Watchers is doing and I wish adults would keep those comments to theirselves because one little comment can have a huge impact on us.✨💗

    1. Thanks so much Kylie! You’re so right – words have power! That’s so awesome! You’re going to be such a gift to those kids!!! Hugs and love xox

  4. Thank you for sharing. I couldn’t agree more with what you’re saying. I saw the add (but not the before/after photo) and I thought it was gross. I have been following WW for the last couple of months to get myself on track but my kids certainly don’t know, nor do they need to. I want them to have a healthy relationship with food; mine could definitely improve and I am super vigilant to not pass that on. I appreciate your thoughts on the matter and hope they decide against targeting CHILD weight loss…

    1. Thanks so much friend. Yeah – that’s SO important to foster that healthy relationship!! Big hugs to you xox

  5. Caralyn, you are spot on! WW is owned by an international corporation making $1.307 billion a year. They are not interested in people but in making a profit. What they are doing is exploiting people, in a type of slavery. It is based on feeling rejected unless you are the right weight, have the popular personality or whatever. So many untruths that ruin lives. Thank you for passionately informing us! Love and hugs. XOXO

    1. Thank you so much! Ugh when you see the numbers it really makes you sick, doesn’t it?! Thanks for stopping by. Hugs and love xox

  6. The marketing targeting children is horrible and I have to thank you for voicing your opinion on it (I agree 100% byw). It’s bothered me for a long time – food, clothing, toys, you name it. The aim is to addict them young and keep them on the circular ride that is consumerism. This really is going over and beyond the pale. Ugh!!!

    1. I agree – targeting children is just awful. Thank you so much Carol for your support. Hugs and love xox

  7. I realize you’re “fired up,” but: what’s not okay is parents killing their children. Stand in a grocery store line (a normal grocery store, not Whole Foods) and 1) watch what parents load the conveyor belt with and 2) look at the children. Most have tiny arms and legs but big bellies. What’s the most dangerous type of fat? Any doctor will tell you it’s belly fat.

    This week, I interviewed three mothers for a magazine. All three started meal-prep businesses to teach people, including their children, that healthy food doesn’t have to be bland. I know you don’t like the idea of lumping food into categories, but God put things in the ground for a reason. Google “anti-inflammatory food list,” and THOSE are the foods people should be feeding their children.

    One of the mothers I interviewed pointed out that today’s kids are predicted to die at a younger age than any children before them. Why? Because they’re eating terrible things, and they’re glued to phone and computer screens, not getting exercise.

    WW may be a little misguided targeting children, but this isn’t solely an appearance issue. It’s a health issue.

    1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this. You bring up a really great point, because childhood obesity is definitely a problem! But I don’t think the solution is telling a child that they need to lose weight and get them into the cycle of dieting. I think PARENTS need to be educated on creating healthy habits that become a lifestyle, not a crash diet that leads to low self esteem and disordered eating habits and thoughts, if that makes sense. Thanks so much for stopping by and joining the conversation! big hugs xox

  8. My nickname in grade school was Fats. K-8 was a part of my life I “divorced” from myself. That was someone else. I’m currently watching Strong on Netflix; women out of shaped being paired with professional trainers. One woman related how a fat comment pretty well changed the course of her life.

    Sooooo…I had to listen to and read tonight’s article twice. I’m with you that Weight Watchers is creating addicts to their product. The pictures you showed are aimed at parents as well; “Don’t let your kid’s chubbies follow them as they age.” But there has to be some solution to teaching kids how to be healthy.

    First is to get parents to do the parenting and not WW. Maybe they need to learn nutrition themselves so they can have good stuff to eat in the house from day 1.

    I almost missed your very obvious solution to focus on activities, not weight management. Active kids may manage their weight unconsciously if they’re directed to good lifestyle habits. But then Fats was very active as a child – lots of running around the neighborhood with friends and bicycling. We had no cable or video games. He was still fat. Genetics? Food choices/quantities? Who knows.

    I definitely agree with you on this whole WW thing, but, given Fats’ childhood I have to wonder that maybe sometimes it’s just the way things are. Some people – like me – have a lot of trouble with weight. And there’s always going to be someone with a mouth on them telling me about it.

    Well, I will stop there. I hope I haven’t gotten sideways with you on this. I agree with you on leaving kids alone and being positive, but I don’t know if there’s really ANY way to help kids like Fats. Sorry, but my mind’s just all over the place on this one. *sigh*

    1. Hi Jeff, thank you for sharing that. I’m sorry that you were called that growing up – I wish I could give grade school you a hug!! And you bring up a lot of really great points – and I actually meant to talk about the parenting, but it was getting long. But you’re so right – childhood obesity is a problem in 2019, and parents should be “schooled” on how to instill healthy lifestyle choices in their kids – like activity, healthy choices, limited screen time, etc. Because are definitely to blame for some of this – for buying the junk food, for enabling inactive lifestyles in front of a video game console, etc. The solution is not getting a kid fixated on their weight and body image, but in developing a healthy lifestyle — championed by the parents. So many great points and excellent food for though t- thank you!!! hope you and julie are having a great week! big hugs xo

      1. Thank you for your kind response! Our week is going well. Saturday I fly to LA to visit my musician/actor friend for 4 days. First time for me to go out there since he moved 15+ years ago. Definitely overdue! I trust all is well with you! Have a great weekend!

      2. oh that’s so exciting!!! i hope you have a great trip! who knows – maybe you’ll book something while you’re out there! heheh hugs xo

  9. Thank you for these needed words! I will pray that children might be released from this cycle. I’m so glad that you are healed and speaking out, because the world needs your voice now. Please stay blessed, beautiful soul!

    1. THank you so much Susan! I will definitely join you in that important prayer. 🙂 you stay blessed too my friend! hugs xo

  10. Right on again. When I was about 9 or 10, I was in the kitchen when my aunt came in and out of the blue said, “You’re a wreck.” I wasn’t doing anything, literally just standing there. I was just there and she said that to me. I was disoriented, to say the least and then began to wonder about myself. “Was it that obvious?” thought I. Kids should be allowed to be kids. They are a bit chubby for a reason, and then they grow. It is the body’s way for preparing for a growth spurt. WW should leave them alone. If kids need to lose weight, that should be a parent-doctor decision. Worst thing about the internet is that it removes the parent from a lot of decision making. Kids can wander into all sorts of trouble. God bless you for being a sentinel.

    1. Hi Sandman thank you so much for sharing your heart. Kids should be allowed to be kids – amen to that. That growing process looks different for everyone! and amen — parents should be parents!! thanks so much for stopping by! big hugs xox

  11. do you think that parents of overweight children should do something about their child’s weight and have their child start eating healthier? Overweight children usually stems from unhealthy eating habits in the home. I understand there can be other medical issues causing children to gain weight, but if it’s not medical reasons and purely a poor diet, I think parents have the responsibility to teach their children how to eat healthy to promote good habits as they grow older.

    1. Hi Shelby, thank you for your question — you’ve brought up a great point, becuase childhood obesity is a problem. but you’re right – it comes down to the parents becoming educated how how to instill healthy eating habits and lifestyle choices! so that kids don’t have to be fixated on weight and body image – parents need to take responsibility — afterall, they’re they ones buying the foods and allowing for sedative activites!! big hugs xox

  12. I agree with you, but I feel the problem is bigger than WW. Once kids are school age, they are bombarded with weight references – school, tv, peers, family, etc. Doctors get more credit from the health insurance companies if they tell you to lose weight, even in school checkups. So it’s no surprise to me that WW has jumped on the fad wagon again. So sad! WW original diet was centered on teaching people to eat balanced meals and that’s how it should be. Not points or cards or red lights. The original WW diet changed the way I plan my meals for 40 years and I’m happy for that. The woman who founded WW cared about people, now it’s just a for-profit company.

    1. I think you’ve brought up a lot of really great points here. And i’m really glad to hear that you’ve had great long lasting success with WW! you’re right – healthy lifestyle changes are the way to go – not crash diets and making foods “off limits.” thanks for stopping by! big hugs xox

    1. Hi Jim, I think that if weight is an issue with a child, the parents need to take the reins to create healthy lifestyle habits. Fixating on weight and body image is not. hope that answers your question! thanks for stopping by!

  13. Caralyn,

    There was something about your post tonight that just really resonated with me.

    When I was 7, which from the sound of things was when this Weight Watchers program started, that was when I was probably struggling with weight the most and struggling with body image the most. While I’m thankful that my parents and doctors were anti-child dieting (instead our family just generally decided to cook at home more instead of order as much as we did), I look back and realize that if I ended up with one of these WW programs at that age, maybe I, too, would’ve had an eating disorder too. It just really resonates because I realize that there are people like how I was at age 7 who are vulnerable to what WW (and others) are trying to do.

    1. Thank you so much Brendan, for sharing your story. It sounds like you had a really great support system at home! You’re right – they’re targeting the most vulnerable – which to me, feels really icky. big hugs to you xox

      1. You’re welcome. I had a great support system, but I also realize that if my support system weren’t as good (or if I didn’t listen to it), it wouldn’t have been so lucky, maybe. I could’ve been one of those vulnerable children.

  14. Shaming and nagging never work. If the parents are concerned about a child’s weight/eating, then they should create healthy family meals and exercise activities for everyone to participate in. The focus shouldn’t be how anyone looks in a swimsuit either. That’s so superficial and media driven. Most people aren’t going to look like models in swimsuits, no matter what they weigh.

    1. You’re so right about that – healthy habits starts at home!! and it should be about total wellness, not superficial body image. Thanks Paula for stopping by! big hugs xo

  15. Wow. I watched your video and agree with you 100%. Even if WW’s intent is to help obese children, that’s not how it comes across to me. Take that before and after picture of the girl enjoying a summertime ice cream cone (before), then she loses weight, and look, voila! She’s a happy cheerleader! (after). Giving kids (and parents) the impression that if you’re thin, look what you can do… be a cheerleader, a model, be popular, attract boys, be happy. As kids grow up, they believe that… then they’re teenagers, adults, and still think that way — That they’re only good enough if they’re thin and beautiful. BIG problem!!! To me, this type of advertising is destructive. Talk about social media negatively impacting kids. This doesn’t help. Thanks for bringing this up, I wasn’t aware of WW’s new “audience.” Your message is perfect, Caralyn!

    1. Thanks Jenny for watching the video! yeah, it feels like they’re preying on the most vulnerable — kids!! You’re so right about that — they message that they’re promoting and putting out there is so superficial and just straight up false! it’s a big problem. So glad you stopped by. big hugs xox

    1. Thank you so much Alice for sharing that. Yes! the growing process is different for everyone! big hugs xox

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. I so agree! not a good message at all! hugs xo

  16. … the scariest thing is they get away with it. People endorse their products, parents believing their child to be “overweight” pay these companies to put a child on a programme… not just the danger of anorexia but also other eating disorders and starting the “yoyo” effect of constant dieting at a scary young age…

    1. You’re so right – they’re getting away with preying on kids. It’s awful. thanks for stopping by. hugs xo

  17. Read, and some of the comments.

    Watching your video again, I notice the spiritual dimension to the struggle; kind of strong.

    So from my perspective then, you are in a battle

  18. This is horrible!!! Another huge and sad part of this, are the parents purchasing this app for their children! Holy Hannah! Do they not know what kind of damage they are doing to their children?! The sad part is…they are probably projecting their own issues onto their children and have no idea just how this can negatively impact them. I am a middle school teacher and I see the affects of this stuff on these girls. Peer pressure and social media do enough to damage their self worth and self love. They should feel supported and lifted up, encouraged and taught the importance of embracing their individuality. I am wondering if I will be seeing and hearing about this app from my students? I hope not, but I have a feeling that I will, unless WW changes and retracts this. It’s scary…

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your heart. You’re so right – kids need to feel supported and lifted up. Scary indeed. APprecitae you stopping by! hugs x

  19. God allows us to experience certain things in our lives, to put us in a position to help others in similar situations. Your experience with eating disorder, has put you in a good place to spot these subtle issues which may not easily be identifiable by others. Pls I encourage you to continue to write and create awareness about these issues. Parents and guardians need to know that a child’s worth and relevance is not defined by their body size. We are all fearfully and wonderfully made!

    1. Thank you so much Judith – i think you’re right about that. We go through things so we can help others. bighugs xox

  20. I read this post twice. I agree with you about how awful and predatory this is – They only care about making a profit. Like others have said, parents need to be in control (as much as possible) of the food they feed their families and the amount of activity for everyone.

    That said, I believe our world has been steadily going sedentary – Longer school days, reduced recess time, desk jobs, longer work hours, fast food, more electronics and screen time. However, it doesn’t have to stay this way. I love my standing desk at my job, and I want one for my home office (once it’s finally cleaned out and organized, haha!). I have my eye on one from IKEA.

    As someone who is attempting to be a supportive wife to a husband who is overweight/obese, it’s been very challenging. I certainly don’t have all the answers. I’m trying to help him with better food choices, more filling foods, and more physical activity. Along with getting him to see a doctor every year. Your prayers are appreciated!

    1. Thank you so much Laura Beth for sharing your heart on this. Those are some great *great* points. Because with those factors you mentioned, childhood obesity is definitely an issue. I think the solution is that the parents should be the ones to be educated on how to create and encourage healthy lifestyle choices — NOT making kids feel shame about their bodies and forced on a d-i-e-t. Healthy lifestyle choices start at home! That’s awesome about your standing desK! and i will definitely keep your husband in my prayers! You’re right – it’s a tough road … especially when life is demanding with work etc. It sounds like you’re a great teammate for him! 🙂 big hugs xox

      1. I completely agree with you! Children are so impressionable, and they don’t need any comments about their appearance! I appreciate your prayers, so much. Hugs to you! XOXO

      2. Amen to that!! let them be kids!! absolutely 🙂 have a great weekend my friend! oxox

    1. I think you are absolutely spot on. morally disgusting. thanks for stopping by. big hugs ox

  21. I disagree and I agree. As young as 7 years old, children are experiencing obesity and diabetes. If weight watchers was gearing towards that, then I can understand. Most parents now and days don’t have the resources or information on how to provide proper nutrition. And well school lunches in US isn’t great for children at all. Plus, I do believe proper nutrition can help children with ADHD, etc.
    However, social media is very dangerous for anyone, of any age. If we don’t limit interaction with social media is can be detrimental to mental health. It gives off the wrong impression. I disagree with their marketing strategy. But Caralyn you have to remember your experience isn’t always the same as everyone else’s. I can understand why you’re upset, but we have to look at it from all sides. I’d like to know what the CEO of weight watchers believes and what made them decide to do this.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on this. You bring up some really great thoughts — you’re right – because childhood obesity is absolutely a problem. i think the solution lies in educating the *parents* in how to create and instill healthy lifestyle choices, NOT in making the kids feel shame about their bodies, and putting them on a *diet. It’s all about how one goes about it. But you’re right – all sides should be looked at ! thanks for stoppin gby! big hugs xo

      1. You’re welcome. Honestly I don’t like the word “diet”, it’s short term has no permanent effect. Healthy Lifestyle is the best option, because you’re choosing healthy options but unapologetic about having a sweet treat sometimes

  22. Thanks for speaking out about this!
    So awful that it seems unbelievable.
    I have seen little girls that were pushed by their mothers to watch what they eat to avoid becoming overweight. It grieved my heart to see the damage done to them as a result of the stupid vanity of their mothers.

    1. thank you so much for sharing your heart. Yeah, it is such a touchy area that can lead down very destructive paths. Thanks for stopping by. big hugs xo

  23. You hit the nail right on the head. Yeah I’m trying to lose a few kilos because I’m not at a weight that’s healthy for me right now, but dieting has never agreed with me and I’m doing it with balanced diet and exercise. Only now I’m making the thought process stick that no matter if I lose the kilos I want, what other people think of my weight doesn’t matter, and I’m 25. I’ve had disordered eating in the past with binging which was no fun, so it irks me when people say ‘just go on a diet’ because they don’t get the destructive thought patterns behind disordered eating in the first place. It would send me the other way of the spectrum plain and simple and no way am I risking that. Balanced diet and exercise has been the way for me because I know I’m taking care of myself. The fact they are targeting an app for kids is so dangerous. X

    1. THank you so much for sharing your story. You’re so right – everyone’s relationship with food is so personal. and targeting kids — deplorable, if you ask me! big hugs xox

  24. Wow… thanks for speaking up. I grew up with body image issues. Recently came across old photos and thought, “Dang, all those years thinking I was fat and I was actually a healthy, nice looking guy.” Didn’t get into eating disorders but it messed with my life in other ways. You’re so right about how kis are susceptible to bad messages.

    1. thank you for sharing your story. Yeah I definitely feel you there. We’ve got to protect the most vulnerable from their destructive messages! big hugs xox

  25. I heavily agree with you! Kids are plagued with so many issues today, and to add their body image into the cesspool is so cruel to children! I really hope WW cancels this!!

    1. Thank you so much – you’re right ! it is just cruel to children. Cancel indeed! big hugs to you xox

  26. This is sad. I did not know that children were being targeted. No one should be targeted. Thank you for imparting this information and something needs to be done.

    1. Thanks Ada. Yeah – they’re preying in the most vulnerable. Not cool. Hugs and love xox

  27. Kar, your passion is there for all to see. Many people seem to think that the they are helping by advising. Yes the positive comments will change any person’s life. I seem to understand that if the parents of that 7yo girl many have changed her life by working to become a cheerleader may have gotten to here goal with out WW and eating healthier. You stand your ground to allow others to see how it can be done. Your past as made you who you are and we love that about you.

    1. Aw thank you so much. That truly means a lot. I think that’s the reason why we go through things. To help others. Hugs and love xox

  28. A middle school cheerleading adviser made a comment about putting the squad on a weight monitoring program. Fortunately, enough parents were up in arms to forestall the adviser’s attempt last year. Heaven only knows what the adviser has up her sleeve for this year. (My connection with the middle school cheerleading squad has moved and is now playing volleyball in another state.)

  29. I love what you have to say here and agree that the approach weight watchers is taking in targeting children is absolutely unacceptable. However, with a rise in childhood obesity directly connected to the overconsumption of sugar on a regular basis, I’m curious if there might be a healthy way to educate on how that is a food truly to be consumed in limited quantities? I have a 7 year old sister and try to be very conscious of how I use my words to effectively communicate health and a positive body image to her. It’s such a balancing act with the way I was raised in the diet culture world!

    1. Thank you Jordan. Unacceptable indeed. You’re right – it’s a balancing act – because you’re absolutely right – childhood obesity is a real problem today. I think the solution lies in educating the parents to help instill heathy lifestyle choices. NOT putting kids on wits and making them feel shame about their bodies and obsess about weight and BMI. So glad you stopped by. Hugs and love xox

      1. Thank you for your insight! This can be such a challenging topic and it’s so nice to have someone who’s comfortable looking it in the face and calling it what it is. Hoping I can support my little sis through positive choices over body shame always! 🖤

      2. Yes!sounds like your sister is lucky to have such a positive influence in her life!

  30. This is absolutely horrible. I was made fun of for being a chubby kid, and spiraled into an eating disorder. Those were dome dark times. The thought of my daughter, or any sweet child ever, feeling like they aren’t perfectly made breaks my heart.

    1. Horrible indeed. Thank you so much Carly for sharing your story – it breaks my heart too. Children should be supported and loved and taught to believe in and love themselves. Hugs and love xox

  31. I agree with you on the “good” and “Bad” food because my therapist suggested that I go on a “No White Food” diet. She used to get upset if I ate something that was made of white floor or if I had a piece of candy. She kept saying to me that my anxiety and depression would be less if I followed this diet. Well, I never really followed the diet. It made me feel sick. I think a healthy diet is better for me than the diet she told me to try.
    What are your thoughts on teaching children to have a balanced diet? Like its okay to have cake and other treats as long as you eat other foods that are good for you.

    1. thanks Amanda for sharing your story. gosh, i’m sorry your therapist told you that. I think that it is important to instill healthy lifestyle choices in children – not just in diet, but also in activity, social health, mental and emotional health. i think it starts in the home, and the focus should be on total body wellness/good for your body and soul – not weight or body image. hugs xo

  32. While I understand that you are concerned about the self-image of these kids and teens, I do see a benefit to an app like this. At 8 years old I weighed 200 pounds. That’s unhealthy. I had no idea what to do about it because I just ate as the rest of my family did. If there had been a straight forward app back when I was a kid, because apps are cool to kids, that showed me what to eat to lose weight I would have been thrilled and made a game of it. Instead, I just dealt with it. The idea is the learn what’s healthy and what’s not. I don’t agree with weight watchers, but I’m not opposed to the idea of a nutritional app for kids and teens.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your story. that is really powerful insight and perspective. You’re right, i think there can be upsides to this type of nutritional app, where the focus is on health, and nutrition — not on weight/BMI/body image etc. I really appreciate you stopping by and sharing your heart. big big hugs x

  33. You’re so right about those “casual” comments thrown a person’s way. I distinctly remember going in to get a physical for high school, and it was an older male physician on duty that day. He opens my chart, looks at my stats, height 5 foot 9 inches, weight 118 pounds, and says, “You’re doing okay, but you don’t want to gain any more weight”. I have NEVER forgotten that, or the way it made me feel–and that was more than thirty years ago. He was supposed to be a medical professional–who the heck tells a teenager with that height and weight not to gain any more??? SMH

    1. Hi Lisa, thank you for sharing your story. Gosh, I am so sorry that doctor said that to you. that is just awful. wow. who the heck tells a teenager that!!!!!???just awful. i appreciate you stopping by. big hugs xox

  34. You are fired up! Great post Caralyn. I think children have been marketing targets for a wide variety of products far too long. Product marketers know that if they can get in our heads at an early age then we’re likely hooked for life.

    1. I am definitely fired up! Thank you so much, you’re right – there should be something in place to protect children from those marketers! hugs xox

  35. Hear! Hear. I was grossly overweight. But I knew that if I denied myself whole food classes, I would utterly fail. Therefore, I ate whatever I wanted, but less of it. I lost 101 lbs.
    Good piece.

    1. Hi Jay, thank you so much for sharing your story! Wow, what an awesome accomplishment. And in a healthy way! Rock on my friend 🙂 big hugs xox

  36. Fresh air, sunshine, a planned healthy diet and proper rest and exercise, If we help manage our children’s time so that all is in balance there will be no need to focus the kids on weight loss. A balanced life will take care of that. Selfish business interests can cause dysfunction in our thinking.

    1. You are so so right about that Ian. that’s the secret forumla! all about balance! thanks for stopping by! big hugs xox

  37. You made me think. We have to be so careful what we say. I was concerned I got it wrong myself this morning. I had to spend ten minutes this morning explaining that the word womanly did not mean fat.

    1. You’re right – words have power! Yeah, there’s a lot more to be “womanly” than just looks! Womanly means strength, wisdom, compassion, kindness, beauty! all of the above! big hugs xox

      1. I have been investigating Lena Zavaroni,who was also badly affected by anorexia.It made me so sad.she had also seemed to be impacted by a few careless words and died at a tragically young age. I am glad you speak up. Somewhere out there your courage to speak out on this topic, is probably saving lives.

      2. I am unfamiliar with her, but oh my gosh that is just so sad to hear. Gosh, heartbreaking. thanks for saying that. big hugs xo

  38. I had no idea that was happening! What an awful thing to do to young children, they should only ever have to think about having fun, making friends and just enjoying being children. Thank you for posting this, such an eye opener.
    (I don’t have children but I do have a three year old niece)

    1. Thanks Bambi, yeah it really is quite awful that they’re sending such harmful messages to kids. Healthy lifestyle is one thing – body image and scrutinization of weight/BMI is quite another. So glad you stopped by! big hugs xo

  39. I’m current working through the discover that diabetes and obesity are the evil twins of post-second war American policy in health care and diets. If you read about the history of high carb, low fat diets you soon discover that the United States, and the rest of the world, were conned years ago, about the benefits of high carbs and the dangers of fat, any fat, but especially fat from animal sources. These policies were initiated by the National Health authorities to try to reduce heart disease but instead have led to several generations of increasingly unhealthy populations.

    Children don’t eat too much. But their choices are influenced by what they are taught by their parents as well as what they see in the media, and on social media. All of the sources of information are tainted by misinformation pumped out by a combination of well meaning but uninformed dieticians, medical doctors, school authorities, health boards and urged on by corporate interests who make money selling foods based on this advice. Eating foods that inevitably bring on obesity, as surely as clouds bring on the rain, is dangerous. Childhood habits encourage the eating of carbs and sugar, rather than healthier alternatives.

    Our generation is perhaps the last generation poisoned by the demonization of fats and the promotion of carbs and sugars. The recent book by Dr. Jason Fung, the Diabetes Code, should be must reading for everyone responsible for feeding themselves, but especially for anyone responsible for giving advice on healthy eating and living.

    1. Hi Donald, thank you for sharing your thoughts on this. You bring up a great point – parents are the number one influence on what the child eats. They are, after all the ones buying it. I think parents should be educated on how to instill healthy lifestyle choices – not just put the child on a diet and shame them on their body image or BMI. Very informative comment. Thanks. Hugs and love xox

  40. I agree ! What we as adults should strive to do is take the focus off of “safe food” and weight loss and encourage our little ones to take care of the temple God has given them by fueling their bodies with food that will help them grow and live a long healthy life . Also don’t take the very essence of childhood away from them by giving them very adult issues to worry about . They’re kids! The job is on us as parents ( and adults ) to tell our children that they are beautiful and loved and special just his God made them regardless of “ size”. Unfortunately this is way of the world today . It’s so sad. 😢 sorry I’m a little fired up as a I have a 7 year old niece who is already beginning to feel self hate because she’s “bigger” . Thank you for this post .

    1. Yes! I SO agree Sophie. taking care of the temple God gave us! And AMEN – let kids be kids! Everyone’s bodies grow at different paces and in their own way! Praying for your niece! She’s lucky to have such a great aunt 🙂 Hugs and love xox

  41. “But that seed of WEIGHT/BODY IMAGE = WORTH was planted at a young age, and it was something that the perfectionist and people pleaser in me never ever forgot.” Such a true statement! It is like the bullying comments from our childhood that play like a song on repeat … for our WHOLE lives! Thanks for speaking out on this topic, for you have experiences that give you a voice in this … perhaps, for such a time as this!
    Carole

    1. Thanks Carole! Yes! I am all about helping children love their bodies and have confidence in who they are! Hugs and love xox

  42. I just heard about the new WW program for kids this morning. So disappointing. Is there no agency regulating this? How many new ways can we find to make our children feel insecure?

  43. I remember attending WW meetings with my mom as a kid. She always struggled with weight and body image issues, and this transferred to me. Seeing this for kids is heartbreaking because it creates so many issues for children who are otherwise perfectly healthy. I wasn’t able to break this cycle until I was 27, nearly 100 lbs overweight, and underwent weight loss surgery. Thanks for your writing!

    1. Thank you Sarah for sharing your heart and your journey. I agree – it is heartbreaking for kids. So glad you’ve found that freedom 🙂 love you friend. Hugs and love xox

  44. Wow! Thank you for speaking out about this. I feel so naive. Honestly when I saw your post and went in to it, I was thinking ‘Awesome, I was (and still am) overweight as a child, and perhaps this could have helped me.’ Never looked at it from another view. Never even thought to. But my daughter battles eating disorders and my son is very ‘physique conscious’ – both stemming I’m sure from me trying to keep them from being overweight like I am & was. What I am finding now as I grow older is that preparing healthy food because it tastes good and making it fun and making even snacks and treats that are healthy yet yummy is helping me. Anyway, thank you so much for this post – it was a real eye-opener.

    1. Thank you so much Amy. I appreciate you sharing your heart and your story. I’m so glad you’ve found that shift – it definitely helps with our relationship with food in all aspects. Big hugs xox

  45. Wow! I knew you were thin from past readings, but I had no idea. Last year my wife got sick. She went down to 99 pounds. I feared she would die. But the Lord is helping her.

    1. I’m so sorry to hear that your wife was sick – gosh, i will be praying for her. Hang in there – God will see you through this! big hugs x

  46. Having been a “fat kid” as an 8-year-old — and I was! — the only weight loss advice for children should come from a pediatrician and/or the family doctor, on the basis of health concerns. And parents need to be advised on how to support the child. 55 years ago (yes, I’m that old!), the doctor basically said, “you need to lose weight” and my dad’s best effort was a form of “fat-shaming”. Not that I blame either of them: they meant well and didn’t have any other resources to draw on. I digress: one way parents can support a child in a weight-loss-for-health program is to not place expectations on them that rely on physical image — like sports or beauty contests. Let them have fun and enjoy being who they are.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your story, Drew. You’re so right – medical professionals should be the only guiding voice on this — not the marketing department of a for-profit diet company. I fully fully agree. Enjoy being who they are!! Thanks for stopping by and joining the dialogue! Hugs and love xox

  47. Smh that Instagram post is truly SICKENING. This is not okay. Thank you for making an effort to do something about this, I cannot even imagine the amount of children and teens who will be saved from a life consuming illness and permanently altered perspective and mindset if (*WHEN) this gets stopped. #NotOK

    1. I agree – not okay at all. Thank you so much for your support. We should be building our children up to believe in themselves and feel confident!!!! and love themselves!! 🙂 hugs xo

      1. Absolutely!!!!! I wish so badly we could focus on non appearance related goals, dreams, and topics to believe in, encourage and speak to our children about. I personally feel anything regarding an individuals weight or appearance should NOT be brought up to a person (especially children) unless it is something they brought up first. Sending love and positivity xoxo💖✨

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