Weigh This Instead!

Life After Emotional & Binge Eating

“Send that to me and heads would roll!”

Recently, my colleagues and I have been all abuzz about a new feature on the website of a well known residential weight loss program (I won’t name the program here because I refuse to give them any publicity!).  This website feature allows a person to have a postcard emailed to someone they know (or even to someone they don’t know), telling that person that “someone” is concerned about their health because of their “weight”.

The residential treatment program will send this postcard to the person anonymously or with the sender’s name included. It’s the sender’s choice.

OMG…if this is not the rudest, most misguided, misinformed, money-over-good-sense marketing attempt to get people into their treatment center, I don’t know what is! They must be desperate for clients! I hope that’s true!

When I first learned about this marketing tactic (See The Chicago Tribune article “Broaching A Weighty Matter”) , I was incredulous, outraged, and saddened that treatment providers who should truly understand the pain, shame, and or anger an uninvited postcard like this is likely to cause, sanctioned this anyway.

I mentioned my outrage to one of my coaching clients and she said, “I’m telling you, if someone sent that to me, heads would roll!

Above and beyond the rudeness, insensitivity, even cruelty of this marketing effort, when will people, especially health professionals, get this? Weight is not an indicator of a person’s health. You CAN NOT tell anything about a person’s health or fitness level by just looking at them, just like you can’t tell if a book is going to be a good read by looking at its cover. 

What would you like to tell this Residential Treatment Center about their postcards and marketing campaign? I’ll be happy to forward your comments to them!


Ellen Shuman is a Life Coach who specializes in emotional and binge eating recovery. She is the founder of A Weigh Out & Acoria Eating Disorder Treatment, Vice President of the Binge Eating Disorder Association (BEDA), and Co-Chair of the Academy for Eating Disorders Special Interest Group on “Health at Every Size”, ellen@aweighout.com

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