GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - Just when they should feel secure in their body's growth, too many children today learn from prevalent cultural norms to objectify their bodies and worry about weight.
In her new book, Healthy Bodies; Teaching Kids What They Need to Know, psychotherapistKathy Kater,says that rather than helping, studies increasingly show weight stigma, anxiety about size and shape, and body dissatisfaction lead to poorer eating and fitness choices, less physical activity, weight gain and diminished health. The worse children and teens feel about their bodies, the less likely they are to make self-caring, health enhancing choices.
Kater says, Teaching Kids What They Need to Know curriculum was developed in response to calls for programs to promote positive eating and fitness habits while also reducing weight stigma and body dissatisfaction. These lessons teach kids to care for their bodies from the inside out. Many authorities have said this curriculum should be in the hands of every elementary school teacher in the U.S.