So how exactly did Dara-Lynn Weiss get her 7-year-old daughter Bea to lose sixteen pounds for that controversial Vogue article, besides not “letting her enjoy Pizza Fridays when she admitted to adding a corn salad as a side dish one week”? She supposedly employed a diet called Red Light, Green Light, Eat Right, which was specially designed for overweight kids by pediatrician and child obesity specialist Dr. Joanna Dolgoff. However, Dr. Dolgoff doesn’t approve of the way Weiss went about policing her daughter’s eating habits, either. She tells ABC News:
We find using colors instead of calories helps kids understand the nutritional value of foods without getting them bogged down with calorie-counting … It’s very important to us that we don’t deprive these children of the normal experiences of childhood … The child has to lead the way. The parent is not the food police. We’re not here to make the child feel bad about themselves.
Dr. Dolgoff also condemns Weiss for depriving Bea of “bad” foods like cupcakes, and for criticizing her food choices in front of her peers. Instead, Dolgoff says Weiss should have emphasized moderation and nutritional value rather than focusing on calorie content. (Weiss writes: “I dressed down a Starbucks barista when he professed ignorance of the nutrition content of the kids’ hot chocolate whose calories are listed as ‘120-210’ on the menu board: Well, which is it? When he couldn’t provide an answer, I dramatically grabbed the drink out of my daughter’s hands, poured it into the garbage, and stormed out.”) This brings up yet another disturbing part of Weiss’s piece: the alarming way that she equates “thinness” with “health.” Yes, child obesity is a terrible problem, but it should be addressed by making proper, sustainable eating habits — not weight loss — the ultimate goal.