Home => Newsletters => April 2010 • Family Meals Focus #44 • Size Acceptance
In Session 3 of the
Satter Eating Competence Model online course,
"Working with poor food acceptance and poor food regulation," Clio Bushland is back from for another roleplay from Session 2. If you recall from
FMF #43 , I took
approach: I blessed the food, was firm about structure, and encouraged her to find her own successes. She says meals are going great. However, "I have talked with you a number of times, and you have never said anything about my weight." I told her I hadn't said anything because I didn't think it was an issue. But is it? "Well, not for me. I come from a long line of larger women, and I am okay with myself. But you see it everywhere, and when I go to the doctor they make comments. And they talk abut my kids. I am worried that because I am heavy my kids are going to be, too."
"There is no doubt that if fatness runs in your family it is likely to be easier for your children to get fat. It doesn't make them fat. The thing to concern herself with is not doing anything that is going to promote their getting fatter." Food security is the bottom line for Clio's children with respect to helping them regulate their food intake and grow in a way that is appropriate for them. Giving them regular meals and snacks, and not trying to restrict their food intake, reassures them that they will be fed.
Clio says her weight as adult has been stable. She gained some weight with her pregnancies, but since then her weight has stayed about the same. It went down a bit when she started having meals, but then it leveled off. I told her that trying to get her weight down could end up making it go up. She would become food-preoccupied and prone to overeat. She would be likely to have stair-step weight gain each time she dieted and fell off a diet. She is a good regulator, and it isn't wise to interfere with that: Her weight was stable when her eating pattern was grab-and-go, and it is stable with structure. Interfering with her body's regulatory system could permanently disrupt the balance.
Despite fears that such giddy self-indulgence will lead to health and nutritional disaster, people with high Eating Competence
do better.1 Low-income women who strive for weight loss have lower eating competence.2 Weight reduction dieting puts food selection and regulation in the head rather than in the body where it belongs. Rather than trusting internal cues of hunger, appetite and satiety, dieting demands systematically ignoring and overruling those cues. Cycling on and off diets undermines family meals. Food acceptance suffers as well. Being in a constant state of deprivation gives every food such heightened importance that it is difficult to take chances with eating something unfamiliar.
1. Lohse, B., et al., Measuring Eating Competence: psychometric properties and validity of the ecSatter Inventory. J Nutr Educ Behav, 2007. 39 (suppl): p. S154-S166.
2. Krall, J.S. and B. Lohse, Interviews with low-income Pennsylvanians verify a need to enhance eating competence. J Am Diet Assoc, 2009. 109: p. 468-473.
Copyright © 2010 by Ellyn Satter. Published at
Copyright © 2012 by Ellyn Satter. Published at www.EllynSatter.com.
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