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This Research TEDTalk focused on the stigma surrounding weight conversations with children, especially those with disabilities.

Summary

In her TEDTalk, Dr. Amy McPherson used a fictional family, centred around daughter Zoe, to illustrate a real-world problem. Zoe is a child with spina bifida who is experiencing increasing weight issues that are beginning to restrict her movement.

But despite the obvious problem, Zoe's family and healthcare team are having trouble tackling the issue because of sensitivities and stigma around weight. Amy’s TEDTalk demonstrated the need to provide health workers with better weight assessment tools and guidelines for tough weight conversations. Her survey of healthcare clinics treating children with spina bifida revealed that weight conversations should be happening regularly, to avoid making a child feel suddenly singled out, and that rapport between healthcare providers and clients is key to a productive conversation.