University of Minnesota study: Weighty words affect overweight kids

Lynn Russo Whylly's picture

Whether children try extreme diets or binge eating might hinge on how their parents talk to them about their weight.

University of Minnesota researchers reported Monday that adolescents were less likely to try extreme weight-loss techniques — which are known paths to eating disorders and even weight gain — if their parents focused on healthful eating and avoided discussing their children’s bodies and weight.

Talking about healthful eating gives children solutions, while talking about weight embarrasses them, said Jerica Berge, a lead author of the study and an assistant professor in the university’s department of family medicine and community health.

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