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 Post subject: How Parents Can Promote Healthy Body Image
PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 5:59 am 
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[Nota bene: as parents, we cannot necessarily "prevent" our children from developing eating disorders, but we can provide them with good information, positive reinforcement for their self-esteem and self-image and be good role modes. As with every aspect of parenting, we do our best and we make sure we are there for our children at all times. This thread contains articles on how to help children develop and maintain positive self-image and enjoy food as a normal part of a healthy lifestyle.

The article below just condenses common sense and thoughtfulness in a clear and concise manner. And remember: both boys and girls get eating disorders, so apply these strategies with all your children to support their healthy development.]

Quote:
Ten Things Parents Can Do to Prevent Eating Disorders
By Michael Levine, Ph.D., and Linda Smolak, Ph.D

Examine closely your dreams and goals for your children and other loved ones. Are you over-emphasizing beauty and body shape?

1. Consider your thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors toward your own body and the way that these beliefs have been shaped by the forces of weightism and sexism. Then educate your children about:

(a) the genetic basis for the natural diversity of human body shapes and sizes, and
(b) the nature and ugliness of prejudice.

Make an effort to maintain positive, healthy attitudes and behaviors. Children learn from the things you say and do!

2. Avoid conveying an attitude which says in effect, “I will like you more if you lose weight, don’t eat so much, look more like the slender models in ads, fit into smaller clothes, etc.”

Decide what you can do and what you can stop doing to reduce the teasing, criticism, blaming, staring, etc. that reinforce the idea that larger or fatter is “bad” and smaller or thinner is “good.”

3. Learn about and discuss with your sons and daughters (i) the dangers of trying to alter one’s body shape through dieting, (ii) the value of moderate exercise for health, and (iii) the importance of eating a variety of foods in well-balanced meals consumed at least three times a day.

Avoid categorizing foods into “good/safe/no-fat or low-fat” vs. “bad/dangerous/ fattening.”

Be a good role model in regard to sensible eating, exercise, and self-acceptance.

4. Make a commitment not to avoid activities (such as swimming, sunbathing, dancing, etc.) simply because they call attention to your weight and shape. Refuse to wear clothes that are uncomfortable or that you don’t like but wear simply because they divert attention from your weight or shape.

5. Make a commitment to exercise for the joy of feeling your body move and grow stronger, not to purge fat from your body or to compensate for calories eaten.

6. Practice taking people seriously for what they say, feel, and do, not for how slender or “well put together” they appear.

7. Help children appreciate and resist the ways in which television, magazines, and other media distort the true diversity of human body types and imply that a slender body means power, excitement, popularity, or perfection.

8. Educate boys and girls about various forms of prejudice, including weightism, and help them understand their responsibilities for preventing them.

9. Encourage your children to be active and to enjoy what their bodies can do and feel like. Do not limit their caloric intake unless a physician requests that you do this because of a medical problem.

10. Do whatever you can to promote the self-esteem and self-respect of all of your children in intellectual, athletic, and social endeavors. Give boys and girls the same opportunities and encouragement. Be careful not to suggest that females are less important than males, e.g., by exempting males from housework or childcare. A well-rounded sense of self and solid self-esteem are perhaps the best antidotes to dieting and disordered eating.

The Epoch Times

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 Post subject: Re: Ten Things Parents Can Do to Prevent Eating Disorders
PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 2:55 pm 
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This is a really good post, thank you!

There were quite a few things on that list that I heard/learned/saw growing up, and I know some of those things have had a role in my eating disorder.

I might post this for some people to see.


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 Post subject: Re: Ten Things Parents Can Do to Prevent Eating Disorders
PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 10:13 am 
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I posted this to my facebook today as with the article I read earlier - I hope my sister reads it and takes itinto account when she is always at the gym and dragging the kids along and diet books litter the house.

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 Post subject: Re: Ten Things Parents Can Do to Prevent Eating Disorders
PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 6:39 pm 
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I saw you posted it Lou, this was a great read. It has some really good points, I want to try to work on with my younger sisters.

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 Post subject: Re: How Parents Can Promote Healthy Body Image
PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 3:22 am 
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Quote:
10 ways to promote healthy body image in your home
By Abbie Kelley, MA, LCPC and Julianne Neely, MSW, LSW

Helping your children establish a healthy body image begins at home. However, it’s impossible to shelter our kids from the unrealistic body 'norm' perpetuated in the media that becomes filtered through their peers. So the question arises, how do you address the issue of body image as a family?

Whether your child is indeed struggling with a healthy weight or is instead struggling with their perception of a healthy weight, try to avoid the word ‘diet’. Instead, listen to your child's concerns and discuss positive measures you can help them with at home to promote a healthy lifestyle. You can remind them that you love them just as they are, but still validate how they feel. View this as another means to connect with your child and to teach them about healthy choices.

10 ways to promote healthy body image in your home:

1) Become more aware of how you talk about your own body and health. If you are criticizing your body or others expect that your children will mirror this thinking. You are the first window through which they view the world; evaluate what that looks like.

2) Make sure you build your child's sense of self by celebrating their unique selves (including body types) at home!

3) Make meal times a positive experience centered on nourishing your bodies and souls. One of our favorite mealtime discussion starters is ‘highs and lows’… have each person go around the table and talk about their high and low of the day!

4) Avoid using food as a reward or punishment. Don't create forbidden foods. Instead utilize moderation.

5) Teach your children to be mindful about what they put in their bodies by setting aside time to eat rather than eating on the run.

6) Educate your children about healthy foods and the positive effects they have on the body.

7) Have discussions about healthy body weight, different body types, and media influence on body insecurity. By initiating these topics you give your child a safe forum to share their thoughts and feelings about body image. Help your children learn to celebrate ALL body types. Further, help your children recognize beauty in a variety of forms, such as eye color, personality, and style.

8) Discuss your child's struggles as they arise. Fight your knee-jerk reaction to immediately ‘comfort’ your child and dismiss their concerns with comments such as, “No honey you're perfect”. Instead, respond with open-ended questions such as, “help me understand that comment” or “that surprises me, can you tell me more” in order to begin a dialogue about their concerns.

9) Engage in physical activity as a family. Come up with activities together and even allow the kids to be in charge of planning occasionally. Make it fun and physical at the same time.

10) Keep negative norms or images out of the house and off the tv. Your kids soak those messages up and can internalize them.

As always, TRUST YOUR GUT!

If you are concerned about your child’s weight or their perception of their body, consult a professional. This is especially important if you see changes in your child’s eating patterns such as restricting food consumption or overeating, a change in wardrobe such as wearing baggy clothing, or if they express repeated critical statements of their body. Don’t wait for this to become a long-term pattern; it is always better to provide early intervention than respond to a crisis. When parents are able to address a problem early on, the treatment can be short term and empowering.

Tween Us

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 Post subject: Re: How Parents Can Promote Healthy Body Image
PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2013 6:26 pm 
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It is really important to distinguish between eating a range of foods, including fruits and vegetables as well as options such as sweets and otherwise "demonised" foods, and being fat. I think the western world has so bought into the whole obesity "epidemic" that we forget that bodies come in all shapes and sizes, and as a result end up with children who try to meet and (since people with eating disorders often struggle with perfectionism) "healthy eating" expectations. Sometimes, perhaps more often now due to the "surround sound" messaging and imagery of healthy foods and unrealistic body images, these children develop eating disorders, now seen at younger and younger ages.

Focus on healthy lifestyles and self-love and body acceptance.

Quote:
Children prone to eating disorders were overachievers, psychiatrist says
May 2, 2013

A child psychiatrist says children who are constantly told to "eat healthy" may end up developing eating disorders.

In elementary schools across Canada, students are told to eat lots of fruits and vegetables and avoid junk food, says Leora Pinhas, a child psychiatrist at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.

But that constant message, Pinhas says, could lead to other health problems.

Pinhas started studying the link after seeing young patients who otherwise didn't seem to be at risk for eating disorders.

She said often her patients were overachievers, students who wanted to excel at everything — including healthy eating.

"The kinds of things that put you at risk for developing an eating disorder is the same personality that gets you to med school or law school," Pinhas told CBC News.

Pinhas says the message from schools is often too simplistic.

"They're not really about healthy eating, they're about how not to be fat," she said.

Pinhas says schools should leave conversations about healthy eating to parents.

With files from CBC's Jesara Sinclair

CBC News

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 Post subject: Re: How Parents Can Promote Healthy Body Image
PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 9:20 pm 
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Although the AMA has declared obesity to be a disease (against the advice of their own panel convened to examine the issue), overall it makes more sense to work on promoting positive health image, self-esteem and lifestyle, including eating a range of foods (including food for pleasure), activity and social involvement, unless your child has a diagnosed medical condition which can be improved through weight loss. Don't let the hysteria about weight encourage you to pressure your child to lose weight, only eat healthy foods, work out to work off calories or chip away their self-esteem.

Quote:
Parents, skip weight talk and focus on eating advice, study suggests
By Melissa Healy
June 24, 2013

There's a growing list of things that clearly do NOT work in helping someone who's carrying too much weight trim down. Shaming, teasing and hectoring stand a good chance of backfiring, and it remains to be seen whether treating obesity as a disease -- as the American Medical Assn. voted to do last week -- will induce obese patients to lose weight. But a new study finds that when it comes to adolescents, especially those who are overweight or obese, even talking about diets and weight loss is a counterproductive strategy.

The study, published online first on Monday by the journal JAMA Pediatrics, asked parents of 2,348 adolescents, roughly half of whom were overweight, how they talked to their kids about the issue and food, intake and weight. The kids were drawn from high schools and middle schools around St. Paul, Minn., and were roughly equally divided among different races and ethnicities.

Not being overweight was no assurance that a kid would not get "diet and weight" talk from mom or dad: About 1 in 3 such kids heard suggestions to lose weight and how to do it. Among the parents of overweight adolescents, 60% of mothers and 59% of fathers reported having conversations about dieting and weight loss and the child's need to do it. Only 15% of mothers and 16% of fathers with overweight kids, by contrast, kept the focus on healthful eating. About 20% of the parents kept their mouths closed on the subject.

The overweight kids who got a good dose of healthful eating advice from parents were significantly less likely than those who heard diet-and-weight talk to engage in dieting and unhealthful weight-control behaviors such as fasting or laxative use. Among the 15% of those overweight kids whose parents focused on healthful eating, about 4 in 10 reported dieting or unhealthful weight-control behaviors. But that figure rose to 64% among overweight kids whose parents urged them to diet and lose weight.

Binge-eating, at least, did not appear to be more common among adolescents whose parents urged diet and weight loss than among those with parents that focused on healthful eating.

Fathers' voices on the diets versus healthful eating issue carried particular weight. While most of the parents and caregivers who reported conversations with their child were women, researchers were able to survey fathers of roughly half of the kids to see how they spoke to their kids on the subject. Compared with kids whose fathers were silent on the subject or who championed healthful eating, adolescents whose dads talked about weight loss and diets showed an even greater likelihood of engaging in unhealthful weight-loss behaviors.

These findings suggest that parents should avoid conversations that focus on weight or losing weight and instead engage in conversations that focus on healthful eating, without reference to weight issues, the authors write. This approach may be particularly important to parents of overweight or obese adolescents.

And dads? Whether or not their kids are overweight, the researchers suggested, they should probably just shut up.

"It may be important to educate fathers to avoid any form of weight-related conversation with their adolescents," the authors added.

LA Times

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 Post subject: Re: How Parents Can Promote Healthy Body Image
PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2013 1:38 pm 
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How to talk to your daughters (and sons, for that matter) about their bodies:

Quote:
How to Talk to Your Daughter About Her Body
Sarah Koppelkam
July 30, 2013

How to talk to your daughter about her body, step one: Don't talk to your daughter about her body, except to teach her how it works.

Don't say anything if she's lost weight. Don't say anything if she's gained weight.

If you think your daughter's body looks amazing, don't say that. Here are some things you can say instead:

"You look so healthy!" is a great one.

Or how about, "You're looking so strong."

"I can see how happy you are -- you're glowing."

Better yet, compliment her on something that has nothing to do with her body.

Don't comment on other women's bodies either. Nope. Not a single comment, not a nice one or a mean one.

Teach her about kindness towards others, but also kindness towards yourself.

Don't you dare talk about how much you hate your body in front of your daughter, or talk about your new diet. In fact, don't go on a diet in front of your daughter. Buy healthy food. Cook healthy meals. But don't say, "I'm not eating carbs right now." Your daughter should never think that carbs are evil, because shame over what you eat only leads to shame about yourself.

Encourage your daughter to run because it makes her feel less stressed. Encourage your daughter to climb mountains because there is nowhere better to explore your spirituality than the peak of the universe. Encourage your daughter to surf, or rock climb, or mountain bike because it scares her and that's a good thing sometimes.

Help your daughter love soccer or rowing or hockey because sports make her a better leader and a more confident woman. Explain that no matter how old you get, you'll never stop needing good teamwork. Never make her play a sport she isn't absolutely in love with.

Prove to your daughter that women don't need men to move their furniture.

Teach your daughter how to cook kale.

Teach your daughter how to bake chocolate cake made with six sticks of butter.

Pass on your own mom's recipe for Christmas morning coffee cake. Pass on your love of being outside.

Maybe you and your daughter both have thick thighs or wide ribcages. It's easy to hate these non-size zero body parts. Don't. Tell your daughter that with her legs she can run a marathon if she wants to, and her ribcage is nothing but a carrying case for strong lungs. She can scream and she can sing and she can lift up the world, if she wants.

Remind your daughter that the best thing she can do with her body is to use it to mobilize her beautiful soul.

Huffington Post

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