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Tuesday 19th February: 9am – 10am (QLD Time Zone), Monday 18th February: 7pm – 8pm (EST USA)

How to Talk with Caregivers About Childhood Obesity with JoAnn Stevelos

Childhood Obesity

Did you know there are up to twenty different contributors to obesity that are physiologically based and forty-six contributors to obesity in our environments? Most parents do not recognize too much weight gain in their children. And they do not understand the contributors to energy storage and what we know and don’t know about the childhood obesity epidemic. In my work, I hear many people’s stories about their feelings about their own weight and their children’s weight.

Childhood Obesity

Feelings about weight gain and loss are deeply embedded in our personal histories, our exposure to distorted media images of what people look like, and our ability to protect our sense of self from feeling “less than” because of our weight. When we help parents understand the latest obesity research, or offer a kind word, their sudden realization that this epidemic is not just about eating less and moving more can inspire clinicians to continue working to motivate families to choose a healthier lifestyle.

Many parents are watching their children getting bigger and bigger and wonder, when do I say something? How do I help them when I can’t even help myself? Our children struggling with rapid weight gain need us more than ever to be compassionate and kind to them. Caregivers need clinicians to help them learn how to provide safe and compassionate spaces for their children to grow and thrive. Children need to know that we will all protect them from fat-shamers and bullies and not turn a deaf ear to demeaning remarks about different body types and sizes.

About JoAnn Stevelos:
MS, MPH has over twenty years experience in leadership roles such as directing the New York State Center for Best Practices to Prevent Childhood Obesity, evaluating the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s children’s health programs, and for the First Lady of the United States Let’s Move program. She is currently serving as an advisor for several children’s wellness program.

JoAnn is dedicated to eradicating childhood obesity and child sexual abuse—two major global public health problems and violations of human rights that leads to adverse health outcomes. Her blog, Children at the Table, is published by Psychology Today.

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