Roni Caryn Rabi recently covered an important study in The New York Times. The newly published study confirmed the fact that parental comments about their children’s weight can have negative physical and mental effects. No truer is this then when it comes to young girls that are dealing with weight gain and obesity. According to Rabi, many parents are struggling with speaking to their kids about eating healthier and living cleaner lives.
The problem is that if parents shame their children about weight issues – this can result in eating disorders and severe mental anguish. If parents choose to say nothing, they also risk missing opportunities to help their children address weight issues that can lead to serious long-term health problems. Even with many parents torn on the subject, the new study strongly recommends avoiding negative comments to children about their weight – especially young girls.
The new study also reiterated that parents’ comments about girls’ weight – even if they are well-meaning – can result in unhealthy relationships with their bodies. In this day and age, children are bombarded by negative influences and stimuli on a daily basis. With the digital age upon us, many also struggle to find their identities – both in online and offline settings. With this in mind, parents have to be more accepting of their children, no matter how fat or skinny they are.
By supporting their children and loving them unconditionally – parents can help kids avoid binge eating, negative stereotypes, and other eating disorders. This also goes for children that are too skinny and simply cannot put on weight no matter how much they eat. We all know the stories of kids dealing with bulimia and anorexia – so these issues must be addressed as well.
Parents are encouraged to speak with their children in a proactive and healthy manner. This means they must let their kids know how much they love them – no matter how big or small they are. Parents can then interject to their kids that if they want to lose weight or get into shape – they will support their children in meeting all their weight loss and fitness goals. It truly is as simple as that to build healthy bridges for children that are dealing with low self-esteem, anxiety, and depression due to their weight problems.
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