Talk to Kids About Foods, Not Diets

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By Kristen Fischer
Published June 25, 2013 on SheKnows 

Most eating disorders start during adolescence, when kids are vulnerable to any mention of their body even if it’s supportive. But should you emphasize weight loss or healthy eating? And how do you begin talking to kids about obesity in the first place?

Researchers at the University of Minnesota set out to find what works best. They examined data from two surveys that included participation from 2,793 public school students.

The scientists found that children with moms who discussed weight dieted the most and had a higher percentage of eating disorders such as binge eating and fasting. Among the adolescents in that study, 35.3 percent of kids with mothers who focused on weight were on a diet while 22.6 percent of those whose mothers emphasized healthy eating were on a diet. The scientists also found that extreme unhealthy behaviors occurred in 5.9 percent of children with mothers who talked about weight, while just 1.6 percent of the children whose mothers focused on healthy eating had an extreme practice. Read the full story.