I just received by mail a copy of “The Vision Times” — the newsletter written by Ellyn Satter which is published four times per year.

The subtitle of this newsletter is “Applying the Trust Model for feeding and parenting.”

In my opinion, Ellyn Satter understands the principles of child weight management better than any other person on the planet.

Her work is primarily focused on educating medical professionals (dieticians, nutritionists, physicians) on her “trusting model for feeding and parenting.”

In her most recent newsletter she discusses how people who go into nutrition and dietetics end up devoting much of their time and energy to telling others what to eat. Instead, she says these professionals need to go beyond food selection and emphasize feeding dynamics.

In other words, Ellyn Satter believes dieticians and nuritionists should teach parents HOW TO FEED their children rather than overemphasizing WHAT kids should eat.

If you are considering working with a dietician or nutritionist, you should strongly consider finding somone who is familiar with Ellyn Satter’s work.

Allen Oelschlaeger
Author of The Straight Scoop About Childhood Obesity

Almost every country in the world is trying to get their arms around the increased incidence of overweight and obesity.

The United Kingdom hoped to do this via the development of a “National Childhood Obesity Database.”

The idea was to weigh all 5 to 11 year-olds to create the largest database of its kind in the world — with the hope that having this good-quality data would translate into effective programs for increasing physical activity and improving diet.

Well, I’m not sure how having this data would help with these goals but it looks like they aren’t going to get it anyway.

Only 48 percent of the country’s children were given permission by the their parents to participate in the study. Conservatives in the UK are calling this shambles over data collection “just one more public health failure by this government.”

What a waste:

1. There is no evidence that the goals of collecting this data (increasing physical activity and improving diet) will have any impact on childhood obesity.

2. Even if there was, it’s not at all clear how having this data would help in making these goals occur.

4. Even if having this data would help, it probably not possible to collect it.

When are public health officials going to stop wasting their time on projects that will have no impact on the problem of childhood obesity and start focusing and dealing with the real issues?

Allen Oelschlaeger
Author of The Straight Scoop About Childhood Obesity

A common assumption is that kids don’t like healthy food.

Well, the Guildford County schools in North Carolina are proving that assumption wrong.

Last year these schools switched to healthier foods in their cafeterias — and guessed what happened.

The school officials assumed the kids would end up eating less cafeteria food.

It turns out the opposite happened. Cafeteria meal sales are up 10% from the year prior.

Yep, take the pressure to lose weight off of kids and serve them good food and they’ll eat it up.

Allen Oelschlaeger
Author of The Straight Scoop About Childhood Obesity

The chairman of the International Obesity Taskforce says that the world needs a “Traffic Light” food-labeling system in order to address the increased incidence of overweight and obesity in children.

In his comments he said that Singapore’s “Trim and Fit” programme doesn’t go far enough, despite it’s success.

What’s the Trim and Fit programme?

It was introduced in Singapore in 1992 and, since then, the proportion of obese school children in Singapore has dropped from 14 percent to 9.3 percent.

Wow! With the increased incidence of overweight and obesity in children throughout the rest of the world I’d think folks would be pretty excited about these results.

The program focuses on getting kids to be more physically active and knowledgeable about nutrition. But, here is the key — the promoted benefits of the program are the following:
* Feel more confident
* Increase self-esteem
* Experience fewer medical problems
* Improve blood pressure and cholesterol levels
* Reduce anxiety and stress
* Build healthy bones and muscles
* Be more alert and study better
* Look better
* Control weight

If you’ve been reading this blog, you know my point. Eating healthier and getting more physical activity have wonderful benefits but weight loss isn’t one of them. The Singapore programme promoters understand this. Therefore, kids are encouraged to exercise and eat well for reasons other than losing weight.

That’s the way it should be. By taking this approach, kids can relax about their weight and, instead, just enjoy physical activity and good food.

But, for some crazy reason, this Obesity Taskforce guy thinks more needs to be done. His recommendation? — a worldwide food-labeling system where foods with high fat and sugars would be required to have a “red” label and foods with low fat and sugars would get a “green” label (those in the middle would be required to have a “yellow” label).

So, where is the research that foods high in fat and sugars cause overweight and obesity? And, who is going to decide which foods get which label? For example, does chocolate get a red label even though it has been shown to have positive health effects?

Here’s the reality — there is absolutely no evidence that foods high in fat and sugars cause overweight and obesity. And, until there is (which will never happen because such foods are NOT the cause), we certainly shouldn’t put a labeling system in place which suggests a cause and effect relationship exists.

Allen Oelschlaeger
Author of The Straight Scoop About Childhood Obesity