don't talk about my child's weight free cards

“Don’t Talk About My Child’s Weight” Cards

Did you know that you can ask your child’s doctor not to discuss weight in front of your child? And there’s good reason to do this: in 2016, the American Academy of Pediatrics made the recommendations that healthcare providers not discuss weight with children and teens.

Professionals & Providers: you can order a full box of cards (wholesale)
Order 100 Don’t Talk About My Child’s Weight Cards

*NOTE: Due to the unexpected demand for these cards, we’ve had to make the decision to charge a fee to cover both printing and mailing costs. While our intention was to make these cards available for free to support everyone (and we did so for 2 years), the current demand means that as an organization we need to make sure that we cover the cost of making these cards so that we can keep sending them out!

The American Academy of Pediatrics released a report on preventing “obesity” and eating disorders. And it turns out that 3 common practices are associated with both:

  1. Dieting, defined as “caloric restriction with the goal of weight loss”
  2. Weight talk, defined as “comments made by family members about their own weight or comments made to the child by parents to encourage weight loss”
  3. Being teased about one’s weight

In other words, many of the things that we do as a society to prevent or control high body weight actually increases it, while also promoting eating disorders. And healthcare providers are part of the problem.

Getting healthcare to release its weight stigma

The AAP’s report is an attempt to get physicians, who have high rates of weight stigma, to change their behavior. But it’s applicable to parents, teachers, coaches, and everyone! Because eating disorders and high body weight look like separate issues, but they are closely linked. And it’s no coincidence that society’s increased focus on “obesity” has correlated with increasing rates of eating disorders.

All attempts to “manage” or “control” weight are actually disordered eating, and it’s a slippery slope into an eating disorder. The more a person believes they must avoid weight gain and seek to lose weight, the more likely they are to engage in eating disorder behaviors.

“Adolescent obesity and eating disorders are two sides of the same coin: a culture that tells young women (and, to a lesser extent, men) that the size of their bodies is the most important thing about them and offers them an endless selection of diet and exercise plans.” Slate, 2016

It’s not easy to change standards of care

Unfortunately, many doctors still discuss our kids’ weight in front of them and make comments that suggest our child should “watch” their weight. Even when these comments are veiled, our kids know exactly what the doctor is concerned about when they talk about weight.

And unfortunately we live in a society that tells our kids exactly what to do when they are “too big” – diet. And, as stated, dieting is associated with both higher weight and eating disorders.

So parents must step between doctors and our kids to protect children from dangerous weight stigma. We created these “Don’t Talk About My Child’s Weight” cards to help you advocate for your child’s health at the doctors’ office and any healthcare setting.

We are passionate about protecting kids from the dangers of weight stigma, and we want to make this easy for you.

Professionals & Providers: you can order a full box of cards (wholesale)
Order 100 Don’t Talk About My Child’s Weight Cards

*NOTE: Due to the unexpected demand for these cards, we’ve had to make the decision to charge a fee to cover both printing and mailing costs. While our intention was to make these cards available for free to support everyone (and we did so for 2 years), the current demand means that as an organization we need to make sure that we cover the cost of making these cards so that we can keep sending them out!

These “Don’t Talk About My Child’s Weight” cards are the same size as a business card. We want you to be supported in requesting healthcare that is free of weight bias.

Front side of the card

The front side of the card says “Please don’t talk about my child’s weight. If you have any questions, ask me when my child is not present.

Back side of the card

The back side of the card says “American Academy of Pediatrics: Providers should not talk about weight with children and adolescents. 2016”

Additional resources

Letter to the doctor who told me to “watch” my daughter’s weight

A letter to your child’s doctor from Sunny Side Up Nutrition

Scientific research library

Stop supporting intentional weight loss! Here’s the science to support a non-diet, weight-neutral approach