Fierce Women Dish

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Healthy Weight Week January 14, 2009

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Healthy Weight Week, Jan. 18-24, is a time to focus on healthy diet-free living habits that last a lifetime and help prevent eating and weight problems. Two sets of awards highlight the event as given in the following News Release. More details on our website http://www.healthyweightnetwork.com (click Healthy Weight Week).

PSA News Release 1/18/08 WOMEN’S HEALTHY WEIGHT AWARDS ANNOUNCED BODY IMAGE CONCERNS ADDRESSED BY 2009 WINNERS This is the year people are getting serious about healthy body image, about preventing eating disorders and normalizing their lives. They can find help by celebrating Healthy Weight Week, Jan. 18 to 24, and by tuning in to the messages of this year’s winners of the Women’s Healthy Weight awards. “We really feel good about the winners this year. They are passionate about body acceptance; no mixed messages here,” said Francie M. Berg, a licensed nutritionist and adjunct professor at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine, in announcing the awards today. Her organization Healthy Weight Network started Healthy Weight Week 16 years ago. The Women’s Healthy Weight awards honor organizations that support size diversity and positive body image. Both 2009 winners have initiated comprehensive programs to prevent eating disorders and combat the destructive effects of thin female ideals. “The hysteria over weight is beginning to die down,” Berg said. “More people are seeing the value of acceptance and respect. They have experienced the harmful effects of idealizing thin models and harassing large children and adults.” The 2009 award winners are: – BEST PROGRAM: Reflections Body Image Program. Endorsed by the Academy of Eating Disorders, Reflections was co-developed by the Delta Delta Delta Fraternity, Carolyn Becker, PhD, FAED, and the local sororities of Trinity University in San Antonio, It is a research-based program that combats the ultra thin media model of female beauty prevalent in today’s society. As part of its national launching, Tri Delta shared a key message with women across the nation by creating Fat Talk Free Week and a viral video email aimed at raising consciousness about Fat Talk and body dissatisfaction among women. Reflections consists of peer-led small group sessions run on campuses, trains student leaders and professionals, and fosters research. It has significantly improved body image perceptions and decreased eating disorder risk factors on campuses (e.g., 48% of women at one college who said they “felt fat almost every day” reported 8 months later they felt that way never or less than half the time). (www.reflectionsprogram.org and http://www.bodyimageprogram.org )

– BEST WEBSITE: Love your Body (www.loveyourbody.nowfoundation.org ). The National Organization for Women Foundation gives girls and women tools and encouragement on this site to “just say no” to destructive media images, and helps raise awareness about women’s health, body image and self-esteem. The important thing is “to be healthy and love yourself regardless of what the scale says.” The site features suggestions for campus activities on how to treat your body with respect, mentoring, articles, a poster contest, positive and negative ads, and activism options on dealing with advertising, clothing stores and the media.

This year NOW will collaborate with the Reflections program to sponsor Fat Talk Free Week in October, during which NOW promotes its own Love your Body day. “Sex, Stereotypes and Beauty,” a PowerPoint showing the destructive effect of offensive ads, is available at (http://loveyourbody.nowfoundation.org/presentations ) So what is fat talk? “Fat Talk includes both negative (‘I’m too fat to wear this outfit’) and seemingly positive statements (‘You look great – have you lost weight?’),” explains Dr. Becker. “Fat talk harms women and girls on a daily basis. It insidiously reinforces the unattainable thin-ideal standard of female beauty that contributes to eating disorders and body dissatisfaction,” she said. “A key Reflections message is: Friends don’t let friends fat talk.”

 

The second set of Healthy Weight Week awards – the Slim Chance Awards for the worst weight loss products of the year – is presented on Rid the World of Fad Diets and Gimmicks Day, Jan. 20. They are: Kevin Trudeau infomercials, Most Outrageous; Skineez jeans, Worst Gimmick; AbGONE, Worst Claim; and Kimkins diet, Worst Product. (For more information see http://www.healthyweight.net/fraud.htm ) Healthy Weight Week promotes healthy diet-free living habits that last a lifetime and help prevent eating and weight problems, said Berg. “Our bodies cannot be shaped at will. But we can all be accepting, healthy and happy at our natural weights.” Handouts on healthy living at any size are available at http://www.healthyweightnetwork.com (click handouts).

 

For more information see http://www.healthyweightnetwork.com (click HEALTHY WEIGHT WEEK) CONTACT: Francie M. Berg fmberg@healthyweight.net 701-567-2646 Healthy Weight Network 402 South 14th Street Hettinger, ND 58639 http://www.healthyweightnetwork.com MEDIA: To arrange an interview with Francie Berg call 701-567-2646 or email fmberg@healthyweight.net (please begin subject line with: Berg interview.