According to recent guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the most counterproductive strategy of a parent who wants to help an overweight teen is to tell him or her to lose weight.
The AAP advises parents to focus less on the extra weight and dieting and promote more a healthy lifestyle instead. For instance, parents can recommend their kids taking up exercise for fitness reasons, not weight control.
APP researchers noted that added pressure coming from family will just make things worse. If you keep telling your child that he or she should lose weight or start dieting, a fact the teen already knows, there will be an exact opposite effect.
This attitude usually leads to binge eating, unhealthy dieting, and a lower self-esteem because of the distorted view of one’s body, researchers explained. The AAP compiled the latest report mainly out of concern that the nation’s teens routinely engage in unhealthy dieting.
According to the report, there are things you can do to lend a hand to an adolescent struggling with the extra weight.
Frist, the AAP urges parents to NEVER encourage dieting. Unhealthy dieting has been often linked to eating disorders among teens and tweens.
For instance, girls who hadn’t been diagnosed with obesity, but followed a weight-loss diet in the ninth grade, were three times more likely to stay overweight by grade 12th than girls who haven’t dieted at all. Additionally, tweens who skipped meals or followed a low-calorie diet were 18 times more likely to be diagnosed with an eating disorder.
Researchers explained that while extra weight may not affect the psyche of a three-year-old, in the case of an adolescent being told he is overweight has a major impact. As a result, teens will try extreme ways to lose weight which can lead to more weight gain in the long run.
Second, the APP writes in the report, you should never make a remark about your kid’s weight, and not even comment on your own weight problems either. Experts explained that teens take very seriously what you say.
Research has shown that teens who discuss their weight problems with parents are more likely to diet, eat uncontrollably, and adopt unhealthy weight control approaches. But this doesn’t happen when discussion is focused on healthy eating behaviors, experts noted.
Image Source: Pixabay