Your Role in Your Child's Weight Loss

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Can my child lose weight if I don't?

David Ludwig, MD
Well we usually have a saying in the OWL clinic that if you do it they will do it. But the opposite is also true. If you don't do it, they won't do it. Modeling is one of the two key parenting practices. Modeling is the natural way that children learn how to behave from their parents. It's an automatic process, kind of like a little duckling who imprints upon the first adult duck that they see and follows it along. If young children see their parents eating fruits and vegetables, they're going to eat it too. In fact, research studies clearly show that it might take a few times, but after the third or fourth time that a child sees a parent eating a new vegetable, she will start eating it. But if a child sees um her parents eating fast food and lying around and watching TV, what message does that give, that the child will ingrain that behavior as appropriate, and it will become increasingly more difficult to change it over time.