What NOT to say

A new study has found that talking to overweight kids about dieting and their weight made matters worse. That’s right – WORSE. These kids were more likely to binge eat and use unhealthy dietary practices to try to lose weight. Time and time again we have found that kids who use unhealthy dietary practices not only have a messed up relationship with food for their entire life, but are also more likely to be overweight in the future.

The study did find some positives for parents –  kids with parents who were good role models (when it came to a healthy lifestyle) were less likely to engage in these unhealthy dietary habits.

Take home point – put your money where your mouth is and keep your mouth shut 🙂

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Food Restriction is Not the Solution

A recent study showed that parents of overweight/obese kids were more likely to restrict food while parents of normal weight kids were more likely to be in the “clean plate club.” While I personally don’t agree with either, this is a very useful insight – while the parents of heavy children have good intentions, there is a chance that these actions are actually hurting their child more. As this summary article states, the best solution is to make healthy foods available and empower children to make good choices. Kids spend A LOT of time outside of the home. If food is outwardly restricted at home, they are more likely to eat whatever they want outside of the home.

Interested in learning more about good nutrition parenting skills? Read Ellyn Satter’s Child of Mine book; hands down one of the best child nutrition books around.