The psychologist argues that weighing young children in an attempt to reduce obesity can lead to them becoming fatter.
Dr Angela Meadows, a professor of psychology at the University of Essex, spoke today on Good Morning Britain with Theme Fry, chair of the National Obesity Forum, to discuss the issue.
Tam Fry, who believes that weighing very young people can help fight obesity, said that “the purpose of exercise is to detect the first signs” that a child is going to be obese, “preventive, not curative.”
However, Dr. Meadows argued that when young people are told they are too heavy, they often control their weight.
“And all the evidence shows that the most common result of dieting is weight gain,” she said. “So when it doesn’t work, they start trying more serious things.”
Dr. Angela Meadows, a psychologist at the University of Essex, argued that weighing children can lead to weight gain and harmful attempts to lose weight.
However, the chairman of the National Obesity Forum, Tam Fry, said preventive – rather than curative – weighing could help keep young people under control.
Tam Fry said the ideal time to start measuring children is “about two or three,” saying, “At this point, they grew out of puppy fat.” Their first two years are over and they are starting to think about how to grow properly.
“And so, if you took measurements, three, four and five, you could very easily see by drawing them on graphs whether they are going normally, up or down. And at this point you can intervene. “
He added that children as young as two are hospitalized because of health problems related to being overweight.
Little Britain? Fat chance! Experts warn that in the UK in five years there will be more people who are obese than people with a healthy weight
By the end of the decade, Britons were more likely to be obese than healthy, according to a staggering analysis.
Experts warn that if current trends continue, by 2040 there will be an additional six million people who are obese, and the “turning point” will reach in just a few years.
By 2026, people with a healthy weight and obesity are projected to make up about 30 per cent of the UK population.
But by 2030, the number of obese people will exceed the number of people with a healthy weight, and experts warn that these figures should serve as an “alarm bell” for the government.
The Cancer Research UK report also estimates that by 2040 about seven out of ten Britons will be classified as overweight or obese.
That’s the equivalent of 42 million, with half expected to be obese. Currently, more than six out of ten are overweight or obese.
Individuals are considered healthy weight if their body mass index is 18.5 to 24.9, while overweight is a BMI of 25 to 29.9, and obesity is classified as a BMI of 30 and above.
But Dr. Meadows denied that the introduction of weighing is helpful, saying that while “radical” interventions are needed, it is first important to ask why children as young as two end up in the hospital because of obesity.
“We measured children all over the world. There were different programs, we monitored the weight of children of different ages in the UK, we do five and 11.
“And there is no evidence that this leads to an improvement in the BMI trajectory. This is usually due to weight gain in the future.
“And more importantly, there is no evidence that everything we do, whether it be monitoring or intervening, improves children’s health, and most of the evidence we have shows that it actually makes them less healthy.” .
She suggested it could be the result of “weight labeling,” citing a study in the U.S. that looked at women between the ages of 10 and 19.
“Those who were labeled as overweight or overweight at age 10, under 19, they were more likely to be described in the BMI category of obesity than those who were not labeled that way, no matter what they were supposed to be. start, ”she said.
“And at the age of 14, these same girls, no matter where they were supposed to start, were more likely to be involved in a number of very unhealthy behaviors such as weight control, diet, laxatives, hungry amphetamines, and at 19 they are” more probably smoking. “
The GMB segment today (pictured) with the question of whether weighing children is a good way to combat childhood obesity has sparked a polarizing debate
While Dr. Meadows (pictured left) and Tam Fry (pictured right) expressed concerns about young people’s health issues related to weight, they suggested different approaches to addressing it.
Tem Fry of the National Obesity Forum agreed that diet is not the answer, saying he is “strongly against” it.
He added: “I am in favor of identifying the problem, to identify the beginning of the problem and solve it before it becomes a bigger problem. The Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health, which is the body that most cares about children, actually thinks that from the age of two we have to do it so that it can be picked up.
“What is missing is the state policy, which actually regulates that we do not have enough visitors. We don’t have enough people in the community to do such things. “