"This powerful program teaches children the skills they need to manage food and weight successfully for the rest of their lives. The smiles and sense of confidence radiating from children who have had these lessons speak for themselves." -- Karin Kratina, PhD, RD, Author.
At a time when they should feel secure in their body's growth, too many children learn to worry about weight and make choices that contribute to the very problems they hope to avoid. The results diminish self esteem and the integrity of their growing bodies and minds, consuming attention and energy that should be directed toward important developmental tasks. The compelling wish to be slim provides the seeds for a host of body image, eating, fitness, and weight concerns that are extremely difficult to reverse once established. Rather than helping, studies confirm that weight stigma and body dissatisfaction lead to poorer eating and fitness choices, less physical activity, weight gain and diminished health. The more children and teens worry about their size and shape or fear gaining weight, the more likely they are to disconnect from and view their bodies from the outside-in. Judging themselves harshly, they are less able to make self-caring, health enhancing choices. Programs to reduce weight stigma and promote health instead of size are needed now, before more harm is done. The Healthy Bodies curriculum was developed in response. Eleven engaging lessons teach children to:
maintain a caring, mindful connection to their bodies from the inside-out
develop an identity based on who they are rather than how they look
reject weight stigma and respect genetic diversity of body size and shape
understand how appearance changes with puberty
defend against unhealthy cultural pressures regarding looks, weight, food, and dieting
chose positive role models that support their deeper values
actively embrace health and vitality through positive eating and physical activity
support each other in having a healthy body image, eating well, and staying fit
Published in association with the National Eating Disorder Association, earlier editions were recommended by the USDH Office of Women's Health in its BodyWise information packet for educators. These newly revised lessons will be familiar to users of the original Healthy Body Image curriculum, but are improved by input of educators and updated empirical data. As before, lessons are carefully planned, engaging, age appropriate, cross-disciplinary, and based on widely recognized, evidence-based prevention principles.
"When I want to know how to talk to kids about their health and nutritional needs, I read what Kathy has to say to them. Her words of wisdom resonate in today's chaotic food environment. Could it be as simple as she says? Yes, it can. Kathy helps erase the fear and confusion around eating, while promoting a positive body image and high self-esteem for all kids. She has seen the results of stigmatizing bodies that are too fat, too short, too skinny, too tall, and she celebrates the fact that human beings come in a wide variety of sizes and shapes. She has a lesson to teach, not just to teachers and kids, but to all of us.”" -- Joanne Ikeda, MA, RD, Nutritionist Emeritus, U of CA Berkeley.
"This curriculum should be in the hands of every elementary school teacher. The revised edition has the potential to transform classrooms, and is the resource for any school that wants students to develop positive body esteem, resist unhealthy messages regarding weight, shape, appearance, fitness, and food, and be equipped with the building blocks to a healthy lifestyle.”" -- Margo Maine, PhD, Author of The Body Myth: The Pressure on Adult Women to Be Perfect and several other books
About the Author:
Kathy Kater, LICSW is a St. Paul, MN psychotherapist and an internationally known and respected author, speaker, and consultant who has specialized in treatment and prevention of body image, eating, fitness and weight concerns for over 30 years. Frustrated that progress in understanding the causes of these problems had not been matched by effective prevention, she authored the first edition of Healthy Bodies under the title of Healthy Body Image; Teaching Kids to Eat and Love Their Bodies Too! when her own daughter was about to enter 4th grade, This comprehensive curriculum, published by the National Eating Disorders Association in 1998 and updated in 2005, is among the first of its kind to demonstrate significant, measurable improvement in weight related attitudes among pubescent children, and was recommended by the U.S. Department of Health, Office of Women's Health in their BodyWise information packet for educators,
Kater's Third Edition has been fully revised and newly titled to reflect the latest research and the current cultural environment out of which most body image, eating, fitness and weight concerns arise in developing children. Promoting health instead of size, it aims to reduce weight stigma and body dissatisfaction while promoting positive self care through positive, mindful eating and fitness habits and choosing healthy role models. Kater's book, Real Kids Come in All Sizes; Ten Essential Lessons to Build Your Child's Body Esteem (Broadway Books/Random House, 2004; Spanish Edition, 2006) was written as a companion guide for parents, healthcare providers and others interested in the well-being of children.
Kathy Kater provides presentations and training workshops for schools, colleges, universities, medical groups, and community organizations across the country. She is frequently interviewed by nationally distributed magazines and newspapers. The research outcomes for her curriculum have been published in professional journals, and her work is widely respected by treatment and prevention authorities both in the United States and internationally