From The Washington Post By Carrie Dennett: As a parent, you care about your child’s health. Given the public-health focus on childhood obesity, it would be hard to not be concerned if your child is overweight. The question many parents in this position are grappling with is “Should I say something to my child about the weight — or not?”
Research suggests you shouldn’t, because making comments to a child about weight — whether those comments come as teasing, criticism or “helpful” advice — can be counterproductive. Rather than leading to healthful behavioral changes, weight-related comments from family members have been shown to contribute to negative body image. This can lead to weight gain, obesity and eating disorders in adolescence and into adulthood, which is exactly what parents don’t want to see happen.
Mentioning a child’s weight or size, or commenting that the child should eat differently to control his or her weight — even if the child is seriously obese — can increase the risk of binge-eating and unhealthy weight-control methods such as meal skipping, fasting, purging or the use of diet pills or laxatives.