Helping Teens on the Path to Wellness
Adults’ unhealthy obsession with weight can trickle down to their children. The American Academy of Pediatrics warns against stressing weight loss with children and teens and instead to focus on engaging in healthy behaviors.
While childhood obesity has been on the rise, addressing the issue is especially difficult due to a teen’s developing self-image. Focusing on the number on the scale and comments about a
teen’s weight or body can quickly result in the development of eating disorders and poor self-esteem.
Monitor your teen’s weight (unless a doctor recommends it)
Stress the lifelong benefits of exercise and healthy eating, preferably by engaging in these behaviors yourself
Make comments about your teen’s weight or appearance (even excessive positive comments can cause your teen to put too much importance on one’s appearance)
Make affirming comments about positive behaviors you observe your teen engaging in
Skip family meals and rely on fast food restaurants
Encourage your teen’s interest in cooking and healthy eating