Even if your teen needs to lose weight, talking to them constantly about their weight isn’t the best strategy to help them to be healthy, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Focusing on weight or appearance can push kids toward eating disorders. Instead, it’s better to forget about the scale and just help your kid to develop healthy habits.
Photo by Connie Ma.
Family meals are one of the healthy habits the AAP encourages, since kids who eat with their family regularly are less likely to develop obesity or eating disorders. The link might be because of healthier food, or maybe just because it’s good for parents and kids to have more time together.
Another strategy they recommend is keeping healthy foods, but not sugary beverages, easily available at home. Parents should also encourage exercise, and discourage screen time. What’s not recommended? Talking about your teen’s weight, teasing her about weight gain (yes, even playfully) and encouraging dieting.
You can read more at the links below. The advice is written for doctors, but parents are the ones who end up having the most influence over their teens’ habits. If you’d like to make a plan for your own kid, ask your paediatrician for specifics.
Preventing Obesity and Eating Disorders in Adolescents [Pediatrics via CBS News]