Wednesday, May 31, 2006

And This Is the Healthy Twin

Meet Ashley Olsen, one of your children's new health ambassadors.

It seems that Ashley and Mary Kate may soon be delivering messages about healthy eating and exercise to the 4-5-year-old set.

Despite the obvious concerns about the smoking, drinking, eating disordered (though, she did get help) twins preaching health, I wonder how the media and culture's current fixation on health and diet will affect these kids, say 10 years down the road. I mean, most of us struggle with ideas about food and weight--and we were raised in an era where the most rigid guideline against unhealthy eating was the food pyramid!

Now, children are encouraged to work out (I recently saw a Curves outpost that advertised, "Bring your daughter for free this summer!"), schools are including children's B.M.I.'s on their report cards, and a cookie is "a sometimes food."

I understand that childhood obesity is of epidemic proportions. And, I certainly understand the benefits of teaching good nutrition and encouraging active lifestyles. But, I shudder to think about the projected incidence of eating disorders given the frequency and urgency of these early messages.


PalmTreeChick said...

These "stars" just shock me. I can't even think about Lindsay Lohan's effect on girls. Ugh!! Talk about a terrible person for kids to idolize.

And the B.M.I. in schools...That's nuts too. I understand the need to teach children to eat healthy and stuff, but the fact that kids aren't even allowed to bring cupcakes in to school for their birthdays anymore seems nuts to me. We did it when I was in school and there wasn't a problem with obesity. To me, it falls a little into the deprivation category.

Everything in moderation people!!

ps22 said...

This crap is also going global! I recently visited family in India and I was talking to a family friend who just moved there from London. Her daughter (age 4) is attending a shi-shi private school known for good education. Her mom was telling me how she got a call on the first day about the lunch she made for her daughter, which they found unacceptable. They said her cheese sandwich was inappropriate because of the processed cheese, and they also didn't like her snack (which i can't recall at the moment). At least they were promoting fruits and non-processed foods (as opposed to fat free and low-carb), but I couldn't help but wonder about all this. All this BMI, watching school lunches, etc. seems to be taking place in private schools (like my friend's) and good public schools (which are supported by property taxes, so ultimately reflect socio-economic class of the neighborhood). The places where there is an epidemic of childhood obesity don't have teachers or school personnel who have the time or resources to attend to this. And they are the ones who need it! I have a friend who works in urban planning and he recently attended a conference on the relationship between urban development and childhood obesity (e.g. things like a McDonald's on every corner or right next to a school in an inner city neighborhood ) and trying to figure out what to do about it!

Joyce said...

Judging from the Olsens' state of underweight, (cigarette in hand), I hate to think of them being role models for my girls. Bad enough them touting fashion in their scrawny bodies, now our girls should EAT like them?!

allisonsky said...

Hi Dr. Stacey,
We must mention Nicole Richie..... I am surprised no one has put her into a clinic. The problem is her old buddy Paris is like 5'10 or something and actually doesn't look twigish, at times she almost has a bulging belly. I think Nicole was so jealous of her that she thought by doing a full makeover and becoming stick thin she would be beautiful. I am trying to think of any celebrity that is NOT stick thin and I can't think of any.... They are setting a horrible example for the next generation. Not only that after they have babies they are stick thin which puts a tremendous amount of pressure on the average mom. Gain a little weight Holly Wood, so we don't eat ourselves into obesity, feeling sorry for ourselves, and then have to puke it up!!!!

allisonsky said...

Oh, and I meant to say the taller you are the skinnier you appear to be. So where Paris looks healthy at her height, Nicole looks sickly being 5'1.

PalmTreeChick said...

Yeah, I have a friend who is 5'10 and has, what I consider to be "the perfect body." So toned, and thin, 6-pack abs. I need some of her height. Sucks to be me at 5 feet tall. I look like a tree stump next to her.

As far as Hollywood, Queen Latifa is the only one I can think of who's not emaciated.

stephanie said...

i think you already know how i feel on the subject.

thanks for you comment earlier :)

drstaceyny said...

Drew Barrymore comes to mind. Others?

PalmTreeChick said...

Renee Zellwegger (aka, Kenny Chesney's x-wife. HA HA. You knew that wouldn't last) USED to be "normal" but now she is skinny skinny.

Ahh, I got one...Kate Winslet!!

annie said...

What about the role models for the over-fifty age group? Goldie had breast implants, so did Jane, Cher is easier to discuss in terms of what hasn't been done, and Meg (she might not have hit the big 50 yet)is on the cover of one of the popular magazines without a line, blemish, or pore on her face.

allisonsky said...

I looked through my magazine's and I found a few..... Kirsti Allie, Halle Berry, and Jessica Simpson when she is not being Daisy Duke...And surprisingly ( I mentioned it in another post) the new and improved Britney Spears, who does not care what she looks like. However these stars still look maaaarvelous....

PalmTreeChick said...

J. Lo!

drstaceyny said...

Good ones, though don't get me started on Kirstie Alley nor Jenny Craig). I've alreay written something about her (though, it's on my other computer).

Salma Hayek. Scarlett Johansson. Mariah Carey. (all pretty thin, though not skinny)

Over 50? Susan Sarandon. Actually can't come up with any others off the top of my head. Truth is, we don't see many pictures of older women, and many are weeded out from the media and the careers as they age.

Teacher lady said...

Although her husband scares the crap out of me, I think Catherine Zeta Jones looks great. (Also Lauren Graham from the Gilmore Girls is thin, but not emaciated.) Although, remember the line Renee "Roxy Hart" Zelleweger said to Zeta Jones in Chicago? "Here's a piece of advice - direct from you to me. Lay off the caramels."

Yeah, poverty and obesity are indeed bedfellows. What to do . . .? I once heard an interview on my local NRP morning show with a woman who worked with parents of babies and toddlers in urban areas. She had a nutrition background and she said (I swear!) "A lot of these parents don't know that it's not a good idea to put soda pop or Kool-Aid in a toddler's bottle or sippy cup. The concept of juice or milk is completely new to them, so those are the kids of things I teach them." You can't employ the basic principles of good nutrition if you don't know them. And (sorry for the long, rambling comment) Americans seem to be at one extreme (morbidly obese, lining up for gastric bypass surgery, fighting Diabetes complications) or the other (e.g., The Olsen Twins.)

drstaceyny said...

Hi, Teacher Lady--you just reminded me that when I first saw Chicago, I thought that Catherine (whom I think is one of the most beautiful women in the world!) looked heavy. . . compared to Renee. It goes to show how powerful the perspective is.

No soda in a sippy cup? How about Chardonnay? (see the blog entitled, "Baby on Bored").

Welcome, and thanks for all your comments.

Amazon Alanna said...

I know I'm past due on this comment, but that BMI on report card thing is totally ridiculous, mostly because it's fairly inaccurate.

My husband has a BMI of 36, which is Obese with a capital O, but he has less than 10% body fat? It does not take into consideration the atheletic population's muscle mass.

littlem said...

"schools are including children's B.M.I.'s on their report cards"

Sucks. Anyone else remember being relentlessly ridiculed in gym class, before you found things like yoga and martial arts in college?

US Food Pyramid? Sucks. Last I heard, Wonder Bread was still on it in the "4-6 servings of carbohydrates daily" category. And we all know how good for you refined carbohyhdrates are. Yeah.

Here's my thing about the stars: all the H-wood execs shriek about the stars losing weight because the camera adds 10 pounds (or whatever). How about this idea -- FIX THE BLEEDING CAMERA????

They have airbrushing in publishing; how about just shoot the person with the camera and do whatever "distortion" in editing would be necessary to get the person back to the size they are in REAL LIFE?

Then our body images, and those of our kids and friends' kids, and the minds of men who whine "I'm entitled to a woman who's a dead ringer for a Desperate Housewives cast member", aren't warped to distortion beyond redemption.