It may seem like normal sibling rivalry to hear brothers and sisters tease each other about their weight. Parents may even tease a little. How many people have been at a friend’s home and heard them make a comment to their child such as ‘should you really eat that?’ or ‘you look like you may be gaining a bit of weight’ to a teen who looks healthy to you? Commenting about weight seems like the norm in our society. Why shouldn’t it be? We are constantly bombarded with images of unrealistically proportioned models and ads for dieting products. Magazines are all retouched and Hollywood celebrities wouldn’t dream of being photographed without makeup.
The thing is, all of this negative commentary can impact our health. A recent study of teen girls found that parents’ negative talk about weight was associated with their children having unhealthy and extreme weight control behaviors. This study looked at 356 teen girls from 12 different high schools. Some of the unhealthy weight control behaviors that teens engaged in included skipping meals, smoking cigarettes, taking diet pills or laxatives, vomiting and binge eating, as well as going on a diet. Read full post »