While browsing the Times Science section this morning, I came across this article about how doctors, especially overweight doctors, struggle with telling patients they are overweight and what to do about it.
This article focuses in particular on pediatricians and how they deal with preaching the “eat less, exercise more” doctrine when they clearly don’t take their own advice.
As someone with an interest in how and where children receive their information and how they develop attitudes and habits concerning diet and exercise, I found this to be a particularly good read.
It’s such a delicate time in someone’s life, and it’s so easy to say the wrong thing that will set off a series of responses and set up a child for a lifetime of this, that, or the other thing. Still, it’s so important to talk about it rather than ignore an issue out of fear.
Someone needs to write a handbook that doesn’t suck about how to talk to your children (or pediatric patients) about these things.
I’m just thinking back to my pediatrician, who had no neck. I don’t remember him being particularly overweight; he just had no neck, which made it impossible to take him seriously.