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Obesity Week: How to talk to your children about their weight

10:21 AM, Mar 4, 2010   |    comments
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And if a child is overweight or obese you need to talk to them about losing weight. But do it in a positive way.

Health officials say never tell a child they are fat or need to go on a diet. That could affect their self esteem.

"Children that are overweight usually grow into overweight teenagers and that puts them into a higher risk for starting to smoke and use drugs or alcohol because they have low self esteem issues," says Cleveland Clinic Pediatric Dietitian Tara Harwood. 


She adds, "Children that are overweight can do poorly in school because they feel more alienated. And they feel they can't participate in the rest of the class discussion. So that is another big concern."


So, parents need to approach the subject about their child's weight gently. You don't want to give them a bad body image.


Harwood says, "I want parents to say I love you I love you no matter what but I don't want you to feel like you are discriminated against or you are being held back in life because of your weight and I want you to be healthy most of all."


Some tips to make this a positive experience:

  • Make eating right and exercising a family affair
  • Eat as a family at the dinner table
  • Don't reward your children with food.


Some helpful websites: Healthy Meals for Kids and Exercise Tips for Kids. 


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