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Children of all ages are exposed to ideas about thinness by parents, peers, and other sources. Starting in grade school, children may become more aware of body image as they compare themselves to others. Adolescents often become extremely concerned about their bodies and their weight. This is understandable since dramatic physical changes are occurring. Unrealistic media images of the ideal body also add to their concerns.
There are many ways adults can help children and teens develop a healthy view of themselves and reduce their risk for an eating disorder. Here are a few tips.
When commenting on how children look, focus on their eyes, hair, or smile, not on their height, weight, body size, or body shape. Talk in terms of your child's health, personality, achievements in school, activity level, and other healthy lifestyle choices.
Are you always on a diet? Do you get upset or anxious if you miss a workout? Remember that you are a powerful role model for your child.
Find out what is happening at school and with their friends every day. Listen to their concerns.
Help them solve their own problems in ways that they think will work. Avoid giving too much advice or trying to solve their problems for them. Be prepared to help them if their solutions do not work.
Current as of:
September 20, 2021
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: Kathleen Romito MD - Family MedicineAdam Husney MD - Family MedicineW. Stewart Agras MD, FRCPC - Psychiatry
Current as of: September 20, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & W. Stewart Agras MD, FRCPC - Psychiatry
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