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Published on May 13, 2014

Let's Talk Weight

May 13, 2014

Broccoli: "Hey, Bro"Weight is a sensitive topic for people of all ages. When discussing weight with your child, focus on health rather than the numbers on the scale or body image.  

According to a study published in the British Journal of Developmental Psychology, girls as young as age 3 are concerned about their weight. While it is unhealthy for children to be overweight, striving to achieve a think, model-like appearance can also negatively affect a child’s health and mental well-being. When discussing weight, emphasize eating healthy foods and exercising rather than size.

At the dinner table

While having an open dialogue about weight is important, children learn by example. At mealtimes, prepare healthy foods and offer several varieties of fruits and vegetables. Instead of making comments about how you need to monitor your food intake to prevent weight gain, mention how satisfied you feel after eating a balanced meal. Also avoid commenting on how you need to lose a few pounds. If your child hears you talking about dieting, he or she may feel a need to diet, too.

Managing weight issues

If your child is overweight, don’t criticize or refer to his or her weight as a problem. According to the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, children are more likely to overeat or develop an eating disorder if they feel badly about their weight. Instead, discuss with your child ways you can make healthy habits a priority for the entire family.

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