WORLD-FIRST EARLY CHILDHOOD PROGRAM OFFERS NEW HOPE FOR PREVENTION OF BODY IMAGE ISSUES AND EATING DISORDERS
MELBOURNE, 3 NOVEMBER 2023 – A groundbreaking new program for early childhood educators aims to prevent body image issues later in life by getting in early with messages of body appreciation for young people.
The program, Body Blocks by Embrace Kids, is the latest initiative from The Embrace Collective, the health promotion charity run by 2023 Australian of the Year Taryn Brumfitt and international body image expert Dr Zali Yager.
It is the world’s first freely available body image program specifically designed to support early childhood educators to empower young children to develop positive relationships with their bodies, food and movement, right from the very beginning of their lives.
“Body image is so often assumed to be an issue that only affects adolescents, but it’s impacting our children at a younger and younger age,” said Ms Brumfitt. “We know that childhood is a critical period for shaping attitudes and behaviours, so we need to get in early and help them build the foundations for a lifelong positive relationship with their bodies.”
Research has shown that children aged 3-5 already have negative attitudes towards larger bodies, and there is evidence kids start to show dissatisfaction with their bodies. This is concerning given that children who have internalised these ideas at this early age may be more likely to engage in disordered eating or have mental health concerns later in life.
“For this age group, it’s not about sitting them down for a lesson about body image,” says Dr Yager. “It’s about how we as the adults around them talk about food and movement and bodies - kids are little sponges who absorb everything around them!”
Body Blocks by Embrace Kids draws on evidence-based practices and expert input to address the unique needs of children aged 0 to 8. Early childhood educators will be provided with seven professional development modules and a range of activities and resources to use in their centres, including the Embrace Your Body picture book and song by Ms Brumfitt.
The program was developed by paediatric dietitian Dr Lyza Norton and a team of body image experts based on the latest research, including the research that informed the Confident Body, Confident Child program led by Dr Laura Hart from The University of Melbourne.
Body Blocks by Embrace Kids is one of nine initiatives funded by the Albanese Government as part of the Embrace Kids Australia package, which aims to prevent body image issues and eating disorders by improving protective factors and reducing risk factors in all the environments where young people live, learn and play.
Early childhood educators can sign up at bodyimageresources.com to have Body Blocks by Embrace Kids delivered straight to their inbox.
The Body Blocks by Embrace Kids will launch at an event today in the Djerring Flemington Hub, Flemington, Victoria starting at 9.30am. Taryn Brumfitt, Zali Yager and Dr Lyza Norton, early childhood stakeholders, educators, education/parenting influencers will be in attendance. A Video News Release from the launch will be uploaded HERE by 2.30pm AEDT today. ENDS.
Spiel, E. (2013). Sociocultural and Individual Predictors of Children’s Body Size Stereotypes, Body Size Ideals, and Dieting Awareness from 3 to 4-Years-Old: A Longitudinal Investigation. Clinical Psychology Doctorate.
Spiel, E. C., Paxton, S. J., & Yager, Z. (2012). Weight attitudes in 3-to 5-year-old children: Age differences and cross-sectional predictors. Body image, 9(4), 524-527.
Tatangelo, G., McCabe, M., Mellor, D., & Mealey, A. (2016). A systematic review of body dissatisfaction and sociocultural messages related to the body among preschool children. Body image, 18, 86-95.
SUPPORTING MATERIALS https://www.dropbox.com/sh/beafrm1tpm9wj78/AAB_5h-eo-WKF41ZycOmtdZCa?dl=0
○ Spokespeople: Taryn Brumfitt, Zali Yager & Lyza Norton
○ Body Blocks Host Amelia Moseley & Body Blocks Kids and images from the media launch in Victoria (from afternoon 3/11/23)
○ Body Blocks Teaser Video
○ Embrace Song and Embrace Kids Book Video
● Body Blocks Tool Kit
● Body Blocks Logo
VIDEO NEWS RELEASE (Folder will be populated by 2.30pm AEST)
CONNECT WITH US
● Body Blocks program - www.bodyimageresources.com
● The Embrace Collective - www.theembracecollective.org
● Instagram - @the_embrace_collective & @theembracehub #bodyblocksbyembracekids
● LinkedIn - linkedin.com/company/the-embrace-collective
Download media release https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ajr5hssk38sldeq/AABjjpYBXpVmoKaQLkIuGBi6a?dl=0
ABOUT THE EMBRACE COLLECTIVE
The Embrace Collective has a vision for a world where young people are empowered to grow and thrive, free from feelings of judgement and shame about their bodies. Through our suite of age-appropriate programs and resources, we can get in early to teach the message of body appreciation to young people; and educate their parents, educators and coaches to embed these positive messages in the environments where young people live, learn and play to minimise their lifetime risk of issues like eating disorders, depression and anxiety. Find out more: theembracecollective.org
ABOUT TARYN BRUMFITT
Taryn Brumfitt is an award-winning filmmaker, bestselling author, internationally sought-after keynote speaker and the 2023 Australian of the Year. She is the co-Executive Director of The Embrace Collective and director of the inspiring documentaries EMBRACE and EMBRACE KIDS. Taryn is a fiercely passionate advocate for social change and her message has reached more than 200 million people around the world.
ABOUT DR ZALI YAGER
Dr Zali Yager is an internationally-recognised body image expert who has worked in research and academia for nearly 20 years. She is the co-Executive Director of The Embrace Collective and an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Institute for Health and Sport at Victoria University. Zali co-authored the Embrace Kids book with Taryn Brumfitt and was the body image expert advisor on the EMBRACE KIDS film.
MORE INFORMATION, IMAGES & MEDIA REQUESTS
Gabrielle Leonello | Littlelion PR | 0425 554 454 | firstname.lastname@example.org