Helping Your 'Not-Thin' Kids
What parents should (and shouldn't) do
What Parents Shouldn't Do:
- Don't resort to "diets" -- they don't even work for adults.
"Only 5%-10% of dieting adults maintain their significant weight loss over
time," says obesity researcher John Foreyt, PhD, from the Baylor College of
- Avoid labeling the child as "too fat," says Satter. If a child is
overweight, don't focus on the child, but work on moving the whole family
toward a healthier lifestyle.
- Don't comment on people's weight and/or bodies -- strangers', friends',
your own, and especially your child's, urges Mickley. Stress to your children
that a person's worth comes from his or her character, personality, and good
works -- not appearance.
- Don't use food as a bribe, reward, or punishment. This encourages children
to think of food as something other than nourishment.
- Don't serve large portions to the whole family. The bigger the serving, the
more children and adults will tend to eat, according to a Cornell University
study by researcher David Levitsky, PhD.
- Avoid the two eating rules that make children fail. According to Satter,
these are "don't eat junk food" and "don't eat so much." She
points out that children tend to eat junk foods in moderation when these foods
are available regularly at home; and that restricting food intake may make
children preoccupied with food and prone to overeat when they get the