Letter From The Editor

Talk to any new parent, and they’ll tell you that every ounce of their baby is perfect. They’ll boast about their baby’s status in the 90th percentile for height and weight, each new ounce that’s gained a badge of honor. And then, somewhere along the way, the bragging stops. By the time a child exits their toddler years, parents start to get the memo that being at the top of the growth curve is no longer a cause for celebration. The messages for adults and children alike are relentless: Bigger bodies are a cause for concern.

We frame these concerns as worries about a child’s health: Are they eating the right things — or too much of the wrong ones? Moving enough? Are they on track for the myriad different diseases that we are told come from being in a body that’s classified as overweight or obese? (Obesity, as you’ve surely heard, is on the rise, a health crisis bearing down on us as a nation.) But it’s not hard to imagine that even raising these concerns can begin to make a child — and their parents — feel as if something is wrong with them. No parent wants their kid to feel this way; it’s hard to imagine any pediatrician does either. And yet, here we are, caught between two fundamental principles that are too often, somehow, at odds: Our hope that our children love every inch of themselves, no matter what, and our desire to help them be their healthiest, most vital selves as they grow.

Families, pediatricians, and patients alike are grappling with how to navigate this minefield. What should doctors do and say? How can parents champion and protect their children? Will the new class of semaglutide weight-loss drugs be a vital tool or just another complicating factor? How do we leave behind the body shame and stigma that help no one and focus instead on the broad social forces that are shaping how populations — not individuals — find health? We won't pretend to have answers, but with so much at stake, we want to start with asking the right questions.

—Elizabeth Angell, Editor-in-Chief


Getty, Shutterstock, CDC Growth Chart
Why Does Recent Pediatric Guidance Feel So Judgmental?

“We were trying to remove blame and guilt:” Here’s what the American Academy of Pediatrics hopes you take away from controversial statements on obesity and breastfeeding.


Stephanie Strasburg/Romper
We Need To Talk About Teens & Weight-Loss Drugs

Wegovy is now approved for use in kids as young as 12. But will it do more harm than good?

by Danielle Friedman
Photographs by Stephanie Strasburg


Weight Has Long Been A Barrier To IVF. Ozempic Could Change That.

These new drugs offer hope for those who’ve been turned away from fertility treatment — but the risks aren’t yet clear.

by Anna Louie Sussman

In Practice

How Pediatricians Think About Kids & Weight Now

“People need to feel empowered. They need to feel understood. They need to feel not judged.”

The Dreaded Weight Conversation

For parents of kids in bigger bodies, the pediatrician’s office can feel like a minefield. Seven families across the country shared their ongoing experiences navigating these conversations with kids at the top the growth curve.

Read more here.


Edited by Melissa Dahl, Kat Stoeffel, Meaghan O’Connell, April Daniels Hussar, and Elizabeth Angell

Margaret Flatley, Senior Designer

Greta Rainbow, Fact Checking and Research

Alexa Thompson, Associate Director, Social Media

Chelsea Szmania, Manager of Editorial Operations