Work globally, speak locally

Recently, I spoke to our pediatrician. Really spoke to him, in a one-on-one meeting**, about how we talk to kids about weight and eating and health.

I left him with two very important tools:
The Academy for Eating Disorders Guidelines for Childhood Obesity Prevention Programs
and a copy of:
Preventing Obesity and Eating Disorders in Adolescents: What Can Health Care Providers Do?

I've stood before hundreds of people at a time, written a book that thousands have read, and talked to countless people about these issues but in some ways the hardest thing was to sit in a consultation room and disagree with the person who monitors my own child's health.

I'm happy to report it was a good conversation. I don't know that I was able to convey my points effectively, or that the doctor will consider a less weight-oriented approach to health, but the conversation felt necessary and I left hopeful. Maybe what it will take are lots of conversations like this.

I'd love to hear from other parents who have had these kinds of conversations.

**For those of you curious about the fine points of the U.S. insurance business, the visit cost me $225US. If my child had been in the building, even in the waiting room, it would have been covered by insurance and I would have only paid a $20 co-pay. I didn't want to pull my son out of school for two hours and have him sit in a waiting room alone, so I paid it. Ouch.


  1. I think it is wise of all of us to talk to our primary care physicians or pediatricans so that other families will get the facts about good nutrition, and not be so fat phobic.

    "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" I think the focus must be to the doctors of our kids. Parents take the advice of their children's doctors so seriously without question many times.

    Take the First Lady for example, she thought her kids weight were fine, until the doctor suggested they were not. Even smart, educated women like her, are misguided by the people they trust. We've got to somehow intercept the false info, being handed out. If we can work from the top, then we won't be spending so much time to help put out the fires. Fire prevention.

  2. To true Laura - sometimes it seems easier to fire e-mails to the presidents of other countries than to talk to my own doctors and colleagues. Im working on it!

  3. Laura, I applaud you for taking your time and money to educate your pediatrician. I am both sad and angry that you had to do this - very proud of you but also very sad and angry.

    The good thing about anger, I have learned, is that it motivates change. Each time I become tired of trying to get my education program in front of health care providers who see our children, I will think about your visit to the pediatrician.

    We all need to keep on keeping on - the message will be heard. It broke my heart to hear of our educated first family putting their girls on a diet. In my heart I am fearful of what it could lead to and hope that they don't end up on this hellish eating disorder journey as a result.

    Thanks for all you do Laura!


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