Day: November 8, 2019

Body Image Awareness: How to Talk to Your Kids About Body Image and Health

Did you know that your children might already be thinking about dieting and feeling insecure about their bodies?

Cultural influences are strong and in a world where social media creates unrealistic body image standards, children as young as six years old can be sensitive about their weight. Eventually, this can lead to severe problems, like low self-esteem and even eating disorders.

With that said, it’s important for parents to encourage their children to maintain healthy habits. That means teaching them to respect their bodies, have a healthy relationship with food, and encourage regular physical activity. It also means setting a good example by modeling a non-judgmental attitude toward your own body while maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Talking to your kids about body image and health isn’t always easy. Modeling healthy behavior can be even harder. But making an effort to do so is absolutely crucial to their long-term mental and physical health.

Here’s what you need to know when it comes to talking about body image awareness and healthy habits.

The Obesity Problem in America

body image awareness obesity

At this point, most Americans know that the childhood obesity epidemic is reaching crisis levels. The Centers for Disease Control classifies over 20% of the U.S. youth population as obese. Factors like poor nutrition, lack of physical activity, and too much sugar are playing a role.

States like Mississippi, West Virginia, Kentucky and Louisiana have some of the highest rates of childhood obesity. Some of the largest causes of obesity for high schoolers in Louisiana are lack of a healthy diet with vegetables, excessive soda, and lack of sustained physical exercise.

Childhood obesity sets kids up for a huge number of health problems that can affect their growth and future health. Additionally, children who are overweight are often bullied or excluded by their peers, often leading to isolation, low self-esteem, and mental health disorders.

American adults are also struggling with obesity, which can eventually lead to chronic health problems and a shorter lifespan. There are also social stigmas attached to being overweight, leading many people to develop eating disorders or extremely unhealthy behaviors in an attempt to control their weight.

Body Image Awareness: Addressing the Topic With a Sensitive Touch

Talking about weight, health, and body image requires a sensitive touch because kids can easily interpret your words to mean that you think they should focus on losing weight.

It’s important to emphasize health and body positivity over numbers on the scale. Always keep the conversations positive and monitor your language to ensure that you’re not unintentionally creating feelings of shame around weight, food, and exercise.

When addressing health and body image with your child, think about approaching it as a “we”-focused initiative. It shouldn’t involve simply ordering them to get off the couch and get moving. It should include creating family-focused activities you can do together, like hiking, yoga, cooking, and gardening.

Body image, weight, and health hover in a delicate balance, especially when it comes to kids. They will pick up on cues from you and detect any negativity in your words. Take some time to prepare for the conversation to ensure that you approach the topic with sensitivity.

Having the Conversation

Before you can move on to addressing topics such as spending less time online and more time outdoors, you’ll have to make your case. Instead of attempting to convince your child with logic, recognize that you need to have a two-way conversation where you’ll likely listen more than you’ll talk. The idea is to get your kids thinking about their health.

They might not realize that they eat more when they’re upset or how many hours they spend staring at screens. You can start the conversation by asking questions that will help them really start to think about their own habits. Then, talk about ways you can improve your health as a family. Don’t talk about weight loss. Instead, talk about how you can all be healthier together.

If your child is already saying things like “I feel fat”, it’s important to address the issue right away. Ask why they feel that way and try to get to the bottom of the issue.

Have they been bullied or have they seen something that made them feel ashamed?

Once you know why they’re making negative comments about their body, you can start to reverse the damage.

Opening Up Communication and Making Habits Sustainable

awareness body image

Communication is key when it comes to creating healthy habits and body image attitudes as a family. Making habits sustainable when your child is young will help set them up for a positive, healthy future. Serving healthy food and encouraging regular exercise from a place of positivity is crucial for both physical and mental health.

It’s also important to remember that treats are fine occasionally, and can even help make habits more sustainable long-term. A kid who is completely deprived of sweets or never gets the chance to stay inside and watch TV might feel resentful and rebel against their healthy habits when they get a bit of freedom. Moderation is what’s key.

Weight and health are emotionally-charged subjects in our society. As parents, we have the difficult job of helping our children to build a healthy lifestyle while ensuring that we don’t damage their body image and unintentionally teach them to associate food and exercise with negative emotions. It’s a tall order, but caring parents can rise to the occasion and set their children up for a happy, healthy life by promoting proper body image awareness.

See Also: A Parent’s Guide to Healthy Eating During the Holidays

The post Body Image Awareness: How to Talk to Your Kids About Body Image and Health appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Watch this adorable beluga whale play fetch with a football

A group of South African sailors near the South Pole have had an adorable interaction with a beluga whale, playing fetch with the apparently wild animal as though it were an oversized, wet puppy.

The video, posted to Facebook by Alon Kowen, shows the jovial group throwing a rugby ball into the ocean, watching the playful whale retrieve it and return it to their boat. It may be an aquatic animal, but this beluga radiates big dog energy.

Kowen wrote in the video’s caption that the whale was “celebrating the Springboks victory.” South Africa’s national rugby union team won the Rugby World Cup for the third time this weekend, defeating England 32-12. Read more…

More about Animal Videos, Beluga Whales, Culture, and Animals

Watch this adorable beluga whale play fetch with a football

A group of South African sailors near the South Pole have had an adorable interaction with a beluga whale, playing fetch with the apparently wild animal as though it were an oversized, wet puppy.

The video, posted to Facebook by Alon Kowen, shows the jovial group throwing a rugby ball into the ocean, watching the playful whale retrieve it and return it to their boat. It may be an aquatic animal, but this beluga radiates big dog energy.

Kowen wrote in the video’s caption that the whale was “celebrating the Springboks victory.” South Africa’s national rugby union team won the Rugby World Cup for the third time this weekend, defeating England 32-12. Read more…

More about Animal Videos, Beluga Whales, Culture, and Animals

Watch this adorable beluga whale play fetch with a football

A group of South African sailors near the South Pole have had an adorable interaction with a beluga whale, playing fetch with the apparently wild animal as though it were an oversized, wet puppy.

The video, posted to Facebook by Alon Kowen, shows the jovial group throwing a rugby ball into the ocean, watching the playful whale retrieve it and return it to their boat. It may be an aquatic animal, but this beluga radiates big dog energy.

Kowen wrote in the video’s caption that the whale was “celebrating the Springboks victory.” South Africa’s national rugby union team won the Rugby World Cup for the third time this weekend, defeating England 32-12. Read more…

More about Animal Videos, Beluga Whales, Culture, and Animals

Watch this adorable beluga whale play fetch with a football

A group of South African sailors near the South Pole have had an adorable interaction with a beluga whale, playing fetch with the apparently wild animal as though it were an oversized, wet puppy.

The video, posted to Facebook by Alon Kowen, shows the jovial group throwing a rugby ball into the ocean, watching the playful whale retrieve it and return it to their boat. It may be an aquatic animal, but this beluga radiates big dog energy.

Kowen wrote in the video’s caption that the whale was “celebrating the Springboks victory.” South Africa’s national rugby union team won the Rugby World Cup for the third time this weekend, defeating England 32-12. Read more…

More about Animal Videos, Beluga Whales, Culture, and Animals

Sir Martin Sorrell’s Silicon Valley charm offensive

Sir Martin Sorrell is the kind of founder who people in Silicon Valley most prize. He has enjoyed huge success, having built the world’s biggest advertising conglomerate over 32 years, WPP. He’s also out for revenge. Soon after WPP’s board began investing an “allegation of misconduct” in the spring of last year — it later asked him to pay back $200,000 in personal expenses — Sorrell left the company in a huff.

Six weeks later, he’d formed a new company, S4 Capital, using a playbook that he knows works. He and a partner launched London-based WPP by buying a controlling stake in publicly traded company that made wire baskets and teapots, then using it to launch a global shopping spree. Similarly, S4 emerged from a reverse-merger with Derriston Capital, a small shell company that went public on the London Stock Exchange in 2016 and rebranded as S4. Then it started bulking up.

Already S4 — which Sorrell funded himself with £40 million and that has raised tens of millions more from other institutions for acquisitions — has successfully pursued nine companies, though Sorrell stresses these are mergers. “All half cash and half stock.” No long lock-ups, either, says Sorrell, who was bouncing around the U.S. this week before heading to the Web Summit event in Lisbon.

“If you want to sell your company, if you want to make a quick kill and get out, we’re not interested. If you want to sign up to our vision” and help turn S4 is a powerhouse in its own right, that’s a different story, he suggests.

Silicon Valley is seemingly a big piece of the picture. Last month, S4 Capital finalized a $150 million deal to merge with the largest digital agency in the region, nine-year-old Firewood, with S4 paying $112 million up front in shares and cash and the balance coming if Firewood hits its targets for the year.

It also late last year merged with the San Francisco-based digital media and programmatic consultancy MightyHive in a deal valued at $150 million.

If it sticks it to WPP on occasion, that’s probably okay, too. S4 Capital’s first acquisition, for example, of the Dutch digital production agency MediaMonks, came at the expense of WPP, which had also been trying to buy the company. The WSJ reported at the time that S4 agreed to pay roughly $350 million for the agency.

The broad idea, Sorrell says, is to focus S4 entirely on digital advertising and on media and marketing services specifically, where in 2019 for the first time, the world’s advertisers will spend  more than half of their ad budgets. “The digital media industry is up 6 percent [for the year] and it’s down for traditional media, so we’re going where the growth is and pushing on an open door, unencumbered by legacy or analog businesses.”

Asked whether he doesn’t also have an axe to grind when it comes to WWP — which is steeped in both the digital and traditional ad worlds — Sorrell doesn’t hesitate. “I want to see this approach succeed. And if that’s an axe, that’s correct.”

Much of that approach centers on partnering with, rather than trying to compete, with the giants of ad tech, including Facebook and Google, precarious as that arrangement can be.

Other current tech clients include Apple, Salesforce, Microsoft, LinkedIn, Uber, and ServiceNow, which, according to Sorrell, treat S4’s creative and strategic marketing professionals as extensions of their internal marketing teams.

Firewood, for example, will embed teams within companies like Google to “understand the client as well as possible,” Sorrell says. As he explains it, “We don’t compete with [these companies]. We service them; we work with them. If we’re being crude about it, we’re resellers for each one of them. They don’t want to get into the service business.”

They also want to maintain control over what they know of our tastes and interests and other data on which they have an increasing lock, but asked whether he thinks some of these tech clients should be broken up, he insists that he does not, “as long as they’re transparent and they really exercise the power they have responsibly.”

Asked how S4 overcomes the growing number of people who don’t think companies are acting responsibly with their private information and might increasingly opt out of sharing it, Sorrell shrugs off the idea that people are deeply concerned about targeted advertising. “My view is that as long as the consumer knows what they’re letting themselves in for, it’s fine. If I know how my data will be used, in simple language, [I’m not going to opt out.] I do think we’ll have differentiated models, [such as] ‘I want to control my data so [you’re going to pay me for it in some fractional way].’ The problem is caused by people not knowing what’s being done with their data.”

And even that problem is dwarfed by what Sorrell sees as the real reason for so much hand-wringing, which is the size of these companies. “When Apple was the first to become a trillion-dollar company, [former Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein] was asked which would be the first $2 trillion company, and he said there won’t be one because no nation-state would allow a company to get to $2 trillion. You see this in China, too,” he says. “I’ve heard concerns expressed about the size of Alibaba. It’s not just a Western phenomenon.”

And what of political ads leading up to the U.S. presidential election, we ask Sorrell. Twitter has taken a stand; Google is weighing changes to its own ad policy. Should these platforms be running them, no matter their content?

That one, he says is “very difficult. My view has always been that these are media companies that are responsible for the content flowing through their pipes. I think they are acknowledging it; Facebook has thousands of people monitoring content.

“But should we take political advertising or not? Well, in the U.K. You have to be truthful. If the ads aren’t truthful, we’ve got trouble. I think Zuckerberg made the argument that his people know what’s a fact or not, but arbitrating what’s the truth or not is quite difficult,” he concedes.

Before long, our time is up, but before he goes, we discuss with Sorrell traditional ad giants, like the one he himself built across three decades before leaving it abruptly last year. Perhaps it’s unsurprising, given his new endeavor, but he says those companies, with their tangle of properties, most of which are run like independent fiefdoms, should most definitely be dismantled. “I don’t think they have a chance of making it with the legacy assets they have.”

Sorrell recalls one “snotty comment” made by one of the established players, regarding his new venture: “Someone called us a spec in the mirror.” Continues Sorrell, “When you’re in a car crash, that spec in the mirror catches up with you very quickly.”

Sir Martin Sorrell’s Silicon Valley charm offensive

Sir Martin Sorrell is the kind of founder who people in Silicon Valley most prize. He has enjoyed huge success, having built the world’s biggest advertising conglomerate over 32 years, WPP. He’s also out for revenge. Soon after WPP’s board began investing an “allegation of misconduct” in the spring of last year — it later asked him to pay back $200,000 in personal expenses — Sorrell left the company in a huff.

Six weeks later, he’d formed a new company, S4 Capital, using a playbook that he knows works. He and a partner launched London-based WPP by buying a controlling stake in publicly traded company that made wire baskets and teapots, then using it to launch a global shopping spree. Similarly, S4 emerged from a reverse-merger with Derriston Capital, a small shell company that went public on the London Stock Exchange in 2016 and rebranded as S4. Then it started bulking up.

Already S4 — which Sorrell funded himself with £40 million and that has raised tens of millions more from other institutions for acquisitions — has successfully pursued nine companies, though Sorrell stresses these are mergers. “All half cash and half stock.” No long lock-ups, either, says Sorrell, who was bouncing around the U.S. this week before heading to the Web Summit event in Lisbon.

“If you want to sell your company, if you want to make a quick kill and get out, we’re not interested. If you want to sign up to our vision” and help turn S4 is a powerhouse in its own right, that’s a different story, he suggests.

Silicon Valley is seemingly a big piece of the picture. Last month, S4 Capital finalized a $150 million deal to merge with the largest digital agency in the region, nine-year-old Firewood, with S4 paying $112 million up front in shares and cash and the balance coming if Firewood hits its targets for the year.

It also late last year merged with the San Francisco-based digital media and programmatic consultancy MightyHive in a deal valued at $150 million.

If it sticks it to WPP on occasion, that’s probably okay, too. S4 Capital’s first acquisition, for example, of the Dutch digital production agency MediaMonks, came at the expense of WPP, which had also been trying to buy the company. The WSJ reported at the time that S4 agreed to pay roughly $350 million for the agency.

The broad idea, Sorrell says, is to focus S4 entirely on digital advertising and on media and marketing services specifically, where in 2019 for the first time, the world’s advertisers will spend  more than half of their ad budgets. “The digital media industry is up 6 percent [for the year] and it’s down for traditional media, so we’re going where the growth is and pushing on an open door, unencumbered by legacy or analog businesses.”

Asked whether he doesn’t also have an axe to grind when it comes to WWP — which is steeped in both the digital and traditional ad worlds — Sorrell doesn’t hesitate. “I want to see this approach succeed. And if that’s an axe, that’s correct.”

Much of that approach centers on partnering with, rather than trying to compete, with the giants of ad tech, including Facebook and Google, precarious as that arrangement can be.

Other current tech clients include Apple, Salesforce, Microsoft, LinkedIn, Uber, and ServiceNow, which, according to Sorrell, treat S4’s creative and strategic marketing professionals as extensions of their internal marketing teams.

Firewood, for example, will embed teams within companies like Google to “understand the client as well as possible,” Sorrell says. As he explains it, “We don’t compete with [these companies]. We service them; we work with them. If we’re being crude about it, we’re resellers for each one of them. They don’t want to get into the service business.”

They also want to maintain control over what they know of our tastes and interests and other data on which they have an increasing lock, but asked whether he thinks some of these tech clients should be broken up, he insists that he does not, “as long as they’re transparent and they really exercise the power they have responsibly.”

Asked how S4 overcomes the growing number of people who don’t think companies are acting responsibly with their private information and might increasingly opt out of sharing it, Sorrell shrugs off the idea that people are deeply concerned about targeted advertising. “My view is that as long as the consumer knows what they’re letting themselves in for, it’s fine. If I know how my data will be used, in simple language, [I’m not going to opt out.] I do think we’ll have differentiated models, [such as] ‘I want to control my data so [you’re going to pay me for it in some fractional way].’ The problem is caused by people not knowing what’s being done with their data.”

And even that problem is dwarfed by what Sorrell sees as the real reason for so much hand-wringing, which is the size of these companies. “When Apple was the first to become a trillion-dollar company, [former Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein] was asked which would be the first $2 trillion company, and he said there won’t be one because no nation-state would allow a company to get to $2 trillion. You see this in China, too,” he says. “I’ve heard concerns expressed about the size of Alibaba. It’s not just a Western phenomenon.”

And what of political ads leading up to the U.S. presidential election, we ask Sorrell. Twitter has taken a stand; Google is weighing changes to its own ad policy. Should these platforms be running them, no matter their content?

That one, he says is “very difficult. My view has always been that these are media companies that are responsible for the content flowing through their pipes. I think they are acknowledging it; Facebook has thousands of people monitoring content.

“But should we take political advertising or not? Well, in the U.K. You have to be truthful. If the ads aren’t truthful, we’ve got trouble. I think Zuckerberg made the argument that his people know what’s a fact or not, but arbitrating what’s the truth or not is quite difficult,” he concedes.

Before long, our time is up, but before he goes, we discuss with Sorrell traditional ad giants, like the one he himself built across three decades before leaving it abruptly last year. Perhaps it’s unsurprising, given his new endeavor, but he says those companies, with their tangle of properties, most of which are run like independent fiefdoms, should most definitely be dismantled. “I don’t think they have a chance of making it with the legacy assets they have.”

Sorrell recalls one “snotty comment” made by one of the established players, regarding his new venture: “Someone called us a spec in the mirror.” Continues Sorrell, “When you’re in a car crash, that spec in the mirror catches up with you very quickly.”