Editor’s Note: In response to the controversial Vogue article where Dara-Lynn Weiss describes how she put her seven-year-old daughter on a strict diet, Dr. Joanna Dolgoff, a pediatrician, child obesity specialist and author of Red Light, Green Light, Eat Right! discusses the child obesity epidemic and describes how her eating program aims to empower children to make their own choices and take responsibility for their health by developing good eating habits from a young age.
Childhood obesity is a national epidemic, and while the vast majority of people in this country agree that steps should be taken to curb this growing problem, there are differing opinions about how to do that. Potential solutions have garnered criticism from opposing sides and many parents have become unwitting targets of vitriol despite earnest efforts to help their children strive for healthier lifestyles.
One clear example of this backlash stems from a recent article written by Dara-Lynn Weiss for Vogue magazine’s April 2012 “Shape” issue. In the piece, Ms. Weiss candidly outlines her own lifelong struggles with weight management and how she struggles to find balance in her efforts to help her daughter overcome weight-related issues. Part of those efforts involved starting her daughter in my nutritional program, “Red Light, Green Light, Eat Right”. While her daughter ultimately loses a significant amount of weight from her initial 6-year-old, 4’4″ 93-pound frame (after one year, she has grown 2 inches and lost 16 pounds), Ms. Weiss’s methods have received much backlash from readers, bloggers, and pundits alike who have derided her efforts as draconian and severe and point out that her child, despite her fondness for her healthier appearance, was miserable throughout the yearlong exercise.
And on MeaningfulWomen.com: Food Nazi Mom Can’t Win For Losing