Diet-Free Well Visits

Did you know that it is completely OK to ask your pediatrician to NOT discuss weight or BMI with or in front of your child? According to the 2016 clinical report by the American Academy of Pediatrics, talking about weight with your child can cause harm.

Your pediatrician should track your child’s height and weight annually to ensure they are growing appropriately - consistent weight gain is healthy for kids and teenagers and is a biological requirement for their bodies to grow and develop. However, weight, in and of itself, is not an adequate indicator of health. Bodies come in all shapes and sizes and health improving behaviors like joyful movement, adequate sleep, reduced screen time, family meals, more fruits and vegetables and stress management will improve health, fitness and well-being without focusing on weight change.

Here is a letter you can share with your pediatrician if you’d like them to not discuss weight or BMI with or in front of your child.


Diet-Free School & Sports

Good or bad options on the chalkboard

Diet talk and weight stigma frequently make their way into classrooms, locker rooms and cafeterias, but teachers, coaches, nurses and other school staff can be instrumental in keeping schools diet-free for the health and wellbeing of all students. Here’s some things school faculty and staff can do:

  • Avoid talking about weight or bodies – yours, theirs, strangers’, celebrities’. Make school a body talk-free zone.
  • Allow adequate time for lunch and snacks.
  • Encourage kids to make decisions about the order in which they eat their food and how much they eat.
  • Talk about what bodies can do instead of how they look.
  • Keep food talk neutral and avoid labeling food as “junk” or telling kids certain foods or ingredients are bad or unhealthy.
  • Try fun food exposures, learn about where food comes from and explore different cooking methods.
  • Avoid diet talk like categorizing foods as good or bad, equating what you are eating (or not eating) with your morality or needing to burn off calories or earn what you are eating.
  • Respect body diversity, cultural diversity and be sensitive to food insecurity and accessibility to food.

School Letters for Parents

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