The way some parents talk to their children about their weight is a shame. Especially for those young girls still adjusting, growing up to become young ladies. Maybe you have a son or daughter, barely out of grade school who is beginning to show a weight-gain. You're probably concerned and alarmed but...should you tell your child it's time for him or her to go on a diet? Well, probably not. And the big problem is, what you say may end up hurting your child more than helping.
Girls who were "fat-shamed" had a 40-60% greater chance of ending up obese.
A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association came up with some interesting news. They tracked the development of about 1200 girls living in various parts of the country. Some 58% of the girls had been told they were too fat by the time they reached age 10, regardless of whether they had a weight problem. (That's important to note.) The girls who were' "fat-shamed" at such a young age had a 40-60% greater chance of ending up clinically obese...by age 19, depending on the source of their fat-shaming. It could have come from friends or even their school teachers. But you may be surprised to know, those girls criticized for being too fat by their siblings or parents ran an even greater risk of becoming obese young ladies.
There appears to be a relationship between shaming a child for what they weigh and the likelihood of them actually ending up obese as they grow into young adults. In other words, the more shaming they received, the more likely they were to end up being obese. That's why you should be careful how you approach your children about their weight. Remember, not only are they growing physically but psychologically, too. Children who constantly hear negative comments about their weight take those comments very seriously and you should know, those fat-shaming tactics some parents use stick with them. Don't you be guilty of that.
Adults should be sensitive when addressing their children's weight.
Adults should be very sensitive and careful when addressing their children about what they weigh. Don't talk to them about "dieting." Instead, have a heart-to-heart talk with your children about eating right. But do it in a natural, child-friendly way. Don't try to "scare them" into losing weight. Talk to them about the importance of eating a wide variety of healthy foods and exercising everyday. In fact, as far as the exercise goes, not only should they see YOU exercising but it would be a great idea to have your child join you for a workout every now and then. Turn it into fun bonding time for both of you. Do you see the point? It's not about putting a layer of guilt on your kid about what he or she weighs. You should be encouraging good health through a healthier approach to their lifestyles. And remember, don't just be a talker, be a leader, too...by example.
If your child is overweight or obese, trust me, he or she is probably already being told so by their peers...and not in such a nice way, either. Don't you throw fuel on the fire. Talk with your children out of love. Encourage them to practice healthier lifestyles and, whatever else you do, don't criticize or make your child feel bad because of what they weigh. Because, especially if you were an overweight child yourself, you already know, it would be a shame for them to get that hurtful criticism from Mom or Dad!