Did Michelle Obama Make A Mistake?

It depends on who you ask. It appeared that, for the first year, the first lady could do no wrong. She was stylish, smart, attractive (those arms!) – what else could you ask for? In a recent interview on the Today Show, however, she unleashed a firestorm (ok, at least in the ED community) about putting her eight year daughter on a diet.
Some praised her for her efforts, others chastised her and the president for being so careless to use such disparaging terms publicly about their own child. Right platform, wrong words. Barack Obama has also in the past publicly voiced concerns about the habits of their children, saying that Malia had become ‘a little chubby’.

Nearly 42 percent of girls polled in the first through third grades wanted to be thinner. Girls who diet are 12 times more likely to binge on food. Nearly half of 10- and 11-year-old boys and girls polled said they were on a diet, as were most of their families. And 81 percent of the 10-year-olds were afraid of being fat.

“We’ve confused health and weight in a way that’s very confusing for children and very confusing for parents,” Laura Collins Lyster-Mensh, an eating disorder activist and executive director of Families Empowered and Supporting Treatment of Disorder
“When we speak publicly about putting our children on a diet, we start to get into weight stigma and confusing the message to families.”


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