WEIGHING CHILDHOOD: The Responsibilization of Mothers for Children's Eating and Weight
Chaisson, Kristen G.E.
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The World Health Organization, Surgeon General of the United States, and Public Health Agency of Canada have all stated that childhood obesity is one of the most serious health challenges of the 21st century. Thus a purported obesity epidemic among children has generated intense interest in its associated health risks. Increasingly, the medical literature and media blame mothers for failing to provide proper care for their children's health by ignoring the growing weight of their children. While previous literature explores how parenting magazines can be considered public educators about children's health, there is limited literature addressing what parenting magazines specifically say about mothers and childhood obesity. Through a qualitative content analysis of the Canadian parenting magazine Today’s Parent, this paper argues that Today’s Parent stigmatizes mothers by blaming them for the weight issues of children, and suggests future research is needed to investigate to what extent this influences parenting practices.