"it's damn near impossible to know how to handle (or not) the issue of weight with your children, especially daughters. It's impossible to say the right thing or do the right thing when you're struggling with all the same issues as your child."
Deep breath now.
I'll tell ya how to do it.
(1) Encourage physical activity that your child enjoys. Don't make them engage in physical activity that they loathe. So part (a) implies, expose them to stuff like swimming lessons, hiking in the woods, etc. Part (b) implies, if they get tired of gymnastics or horse lessons, let them stop. TREAT YOURSELF THE SAME WAY.
(2) Encourage eating more fruits and vegetables. Don't make them eat stuff they hate. So part (a) implies buying fruits and vegetables for them to try to see if they like them, and buying more of the ones they like. Part (b) implies, if they really loathe broccoli, don't make them eat it. Not even two bites. TREAT YOURSELF THE SAME WAY.
(3) Make sure they get enough to eat. Don't make them eat when they don't want to. So part (a) implies that you don't make them wait hours and hours while hungry. Part (b) implies that you don't make them finish eating something they are done with, in order to get a reward/avoid a punishment. TREAT YOURSELF THE SAME WAY.
That's it. And quit worrying so much about it. Worrying WILL make it worse (cortisol). Nothing _else_ you do is likely to work any better than this plan. Most _other_ things people propose will make things worse AND are cruel. Cruelness is not a positive trait in parenting, and people who argue that cruelness in parenting is necessary are people who you may find great joy in never seeing again.
If your child's health care provider -- or your own -- thinks that the above advice is bad advice, get a new one.
There. I said it. Have fun and stay safe!
ETA: The author _does_ get here!
"We'd do better for ourselves and our children if ... we looked at real-world strategies for eating more fruits and vegetables, getting enough sleep, dancing and playing sports, and other joyful physical activities. And especially if we supported those things for everyone". Yay! Double yay! Happy extra joyful dancing! She remembered sleep, too, which I left out. Go her!
Same chapter unfortunately condemns FLOTUS' program because it promises to end childhood obesity, then offers up "competent eating" while saying it helps lower BMI. What _precisely_ is so much better about the latter promising lower BMI vs FLOTUS working to end childhood obesity? The way FLOTUS' program is implemented, it emphasizes a lot of really good stuff and has nothing obviously awful in it.
Same chapter _also_ has this great quote from someone who quit dieting, learned to pay attention to her body and trust it ("competent eating"). "The last time my mother commented on my weight was about seven years ago. She said, "You know, honey, it wouldn't hurt to lose a few pounds." And I ripped her a new one. I was like, "I couldn't ever do that again, and I wouldn't even know how to do that again.""
I feel like it would help many, many people if there was a lot more of that ripping of new ones back at the assholes saying, you should lose a few pounds. So having that model is nice, altho the quote continued in a less great way, emphasizing, "Trying to fit in to this culture on that level is really very painful". To me, acknowledging that ripping your mum a new one might make you feel a little oogie for a bit, but that it's empowering to talk back to such a foolish frame. Instead, it acknowledges the power of the frame and more or less ignores, hey, your mum was dogging you about this forever and you finally got her to knock it off. Why ignore that? That sounds pretty awesomely powerful and effective. Celebrate!