Weight is a touchy subject. Parents with children classified as overweight or obese likely wonder… should I or shouldn’t I discuss weight and eating habits with my child?
In a recent study, Wansink and colleagues retrospectively assessed the relationship between participant’s weight satisfaction, eating habits and BMI, and their recall of parents’ weight-related comments during their youth.
Findings demonstrated a positive association between participant recall of parents’ comments regarding eating too much and BMI; in other words, the more parents negatively commented on eating behaviors during their youth, participants tended to have a higher BMI in adulthood.
Although this study relied on participant recall, this represents important progress on if and how parents should discuss weight with their children. According to a cover of the study in the New York Times, experts suggest that parents should promote a positive discussion about lifestyle behaviors and keep the home environment as healthy as possible through actions (e.g., not buying soda) rather than words (e.g., you eat too much).