When talking about diet, parents should leave weight out of it

According to ads on television and the superstars of Hollywood, thin is still the thing to be. We make celebrities of people who have that “perfect” look — long and lean. Let’s face it, though — most of us are not long or lean. Most of us are overweight or obese. But nagging a child about his or her size and weight is not good for our kids. 

A study from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis found that we are better off talking with our kids about eating to be healthy rather than stressing eating to control weight and size. The parents who harped about their kids “controlling their weight” were more likely to have children who diet more often, develop unhealthy weight control measures and binge eat.  

In fact, 60 percent of the overweight study participants said their food conversations dealt with controlling weight and size versus eating to be healthy. Obviously that approach didn’t work.

The study authors concluded that health care professionals should educate parents about focusing on their children’s health instead of their size when discussing food choices. “Weight conversations are associated with disordered eating behaviors in adolescents,” they said. “Conversations about healthful eating may be helpful to their adolescents in regard to dieting and disordered eating behaviors.” For more information on this topic, go to:

http://www.medpagetoday.com/Pediatrics/EatingDisorders/40080