I suppose to a certain degree we have become desensitised to the body shaming that takes place in the media. When I agreed to speak with a journalist from the Sun during the summer holiday about my position on health promotion for children I did not expect that six months later a completely fabricated article would show up online. What is really disgusting is the fact they chose to body shame my child in their pursuit of a controversial headline. When I saw my face along with my little girl staring back at me under the headline “The NHS needs so sort out my obese child” I felt sick. I have been asked by several media outlets for a response on the article. But, as I know it is not possible to trust anyone to accurately express the absolute disgust I felt when I saw the Sun this morning I decided it was best to do it my way.
I will address the various points attributed to me starting with the obvious glaring horror that is gastric balloons for children. I would never, ever recommend any gastric procedure for a child. What I had actually said and this is a direct quote; never would I ever recommend a gastric balloon for any child, but particularly mine. When asked specifically about gastric surgery I said that in older teenagers with extreme obesity, in a case by case basis and when all other treatments had been exhausted perhaps a balloon could be considered.
The purpose of my voicing an opinion was to discuss the need for more activity based programs for children similar to what is done for adults with the “Steps to Health” programme. Adults can be referred by their gp for 12 weeks of gym membership. My thought on this was a programme where children could build peer to peer relationships with other children with similar issues with weight where they would feel free of judgement and bullying.
There is also the issue of personal responsibility. My blog has been live for over a year and is public record. My feelings on this have always been clear. I in no way blame the government or anyone else other than the individual for poor eating habits. Any issues with my children’s eating habits lay squarely at my doorstep. The point I had made in my interview had been that I have a boy and a girl that eat the exact same diet. (the diet by the way is very mixed and balanced, which again was turned into a sugar fest for the purpose of sensationalistic nonsense) Yet they clearly have completely different metabolisms as my son is much smaller than my daughter.
In addition to the blatant fabrication of the truth pictures were taken from my blog which were related to reviews I had done of vitamin infusions and fat freezing and attributed to my weight loss surgery. I was quoted as saying weight loss surgery was a magic wand. Again anyone who has read anything I have written knows this is not my opinion. Weight loss surgery is an extreme solution and not an easy journey.
But, the saddest thing for me about this is that the whole reason for raising awareness was to prevent children from being bullied in the way I was as a child. Yet this disgusting rag chose to use this in order to incite bullying and fat shaming against me and my child. I am a big girl now and over the many years of being shamed and bullied I have developed thick skin. But, what is absolutely deplorable is to deliberately set up a child to be ridiculed and bullied. This is reprehensible for a journalist to feel it acceptable to body shame a six year old. Anyone who has read my blog knows what I went through as a child at the hands of other children. For an adult to set up a child like this is nothing short of evil.
I am choosing not to use a link or screen shot of the original article as I do not wish to give it any further power.