Patients  
  & Visitors  
  Services &  
  Procedures  
Careers & Employment Volunteers Online Bill Pay Contact Us Concierge 1700 S. Tamiami Trail, 34239 • Phone: (941) 917-9000

Kids' Body Image Shaped by Parents, Expert Says

Printer Friendly Version Printer Friendly Version
Share

Apr/22/2014

HealthDay News -- Parents play a crucial role in helping children develop a positive body image and healthy eating habits, an expert says.

"Sometimes we parents forgot how important our words, thoughts, and feelings are in the lives of our kids," Dr. Aaron Krasner, director of the adolescent transitional living program at Silver Hill Hospital in New Canaan, Conn., said in a news release.

"'We make the weather in our homes,' a wiser-than-me parent once told me," Krasner added. "I think it's true -- especially when it comes to eating behaviors and body image. As parents, we must be mindful of our own relationship with our bodies, how we eat, and the potential impact on our kids."

He noted that 80 percent of 10-year-old children are afraid of being fat, according to the National Eating Disorders Association.

To mark National Eating Disorders Week (Feb. 23 to March 1), Krasner outlined the following ways that parents can help their children:

  • Don't criticize yourself or others about weight or shape in front of youngsters.
  • Don't make negative comments about food, such as "I can't eat potatoes because they're carbs." Instead, teach children the importance of good nutrition and exercise without mentioning weight.
  • Praise children on their talents and achievements.
  • Explain to youngsters that weight gain and changes in body shape are a natural part of the growing process.
  • Talk to children about what they see in the media and remind them of things such as that only 5 percent of American women have the so-called "ideal" body type portrayed in ads.

"At the end of the day, parents are the most influential role models in a child's life, so be mindful of your words and actions. They may be listening when you least expect it," Krasner said.

More information
The U.S. Office on Women's Health has more about body image.

 

Copyright © 2014 HealthDay. All rights reserved.
The information in this article, including reference materials, are provided to you solely for educational or research purposes. Information in reference materials, are not and should not be considered professional health care advice upon which you should rely. Health care information changes rapidly and consequently, information in this article may be out of date. Questions about personal health should always be referred to a physician or other health care professional. 

Reporting Concerns | PRIVACY POLICY | Terms of Service | Online Bill Pay | Mobile Site | Smartphone App
Site optimized for Chrome or Firefox | Copyright © 2014. Sarasota Memorial Health Care System. All rights reserved.