Many experts feel that far too much attention is placed on the body shape. This can translate into eating disorders for young teenage women.
It is also true that being seriously overweight can cause long-term health problems that should be avoided.
Parents can help children maintain a healthy balance. If they aren’t hungry at mealtime, don’t insist they clean their plates.
Parents should also observe how their children signal true hunger.
Sometimes young people will ask for food or say they are hungry when they are merely bored, lonely, or frustrated.
Try to determine whether the child is truly hungry. If not, help him find other ways to address boredom or frustration.
It’s also important to encourage physical activity. Discourage long hours spent in front of the TV or computer. Enjoy activities with your children. They are more likely to take part if you play along with them.
Also, be a good role model. Eat healthy foods and avoid inactivity. Children with overweight parents are twice as likely to become overweight as well.
Remember, though, to strike a balance in paying attention to weight. Too much focus can backfire and cause an eating disorder.
As always, moderation is the key.