Parents Have Hardest Time Talking Kids About Weight

Are You Afraid to Talk to Your Children About Weight?

Mom Jeanine
October 5, 2011


Good Question, Health, hot topic, Jeanine Edwards

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It’s not bullying. Or sex. Or even drugs. Believe it or not, the one thing most parents have the hardest time talking to their kids about is… weight.

According to a new study, more than 20% of parents say they are uncomfortable talking about the risks of being overweight with their kids. In comparison, just 12% say they’re uncomfortable with the birds and the bees talk and only 5% say they are uncomfortable discussing the dangers of drinking.

Why the hesitation? Well for one, I think because so many of us are overweight. In 2010, over 60% of American adults were considered overweight. Pretty hard to talk to your little one about staying in shape when you’re packing on the pounds yourself.

But I also think parents are uncomfortable talking to their kids about being overweight because deep down, they know it’s mostly their own fault if their kid becomes overweight. Until your child is a teenager, the parent is the one who provides 90% of the food consumed by the child. The parent is also the one who pays all the bills and controls how his/her child spends just about every waking hour of the day. So in essence, if your child becomes overweight, it’s pretty much your own fault. You didn’t provide healthy enough food options and/or you didn’t encourage enough physical activity.

Now I know that genetics are a part of the equation. I come from a family of big-boned people. But that just means you have to work a little harder. Skip the soda, snack on fruit and veggies, but most importantly, exercise!

Because at the end of the day, the numbers are the numbers. There are countless health risks that come when a child is overweight, not to mention the long lasting emotional and psychological scars. If you ask me, it is our job as parents to ensure our children are best equipped to live healthy, prosperous lives. A child doesn’t become overweight overnight. There are adults around who allow it to happen. And that has to stop because it’s just plain irresponsible parenting.

More importantly, if your child becomes overweight, be proactive. You are the parent. I’m not saying you should call your kid fatty, but there are positive ways to help your kid start making better decisions. Especially if your child is young, the responsibility is on you to get your child back on the right track. You buy all the groceries and all the video games… it might be time for everyone to make some changes.

What do you think? Are you afraid to talk to you child about being overweight? Do you agree that parents play a major part in allowing their kids to become overweight? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Source: Web MD

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  • Helen Williams Chaffins
    October 5, 2011

  • I seriously believe this has to do with people no longer being able to say “no” to their children. I cannot tell you how often I see parents around me just give in to any crazy thing their kid wants (and I mean all the time not just a special treat now and then). I don’t know when or why this started happening but it drives me crazy.

  • Ashley
    October 6, 2011

  • I agree. I was overweight as a child from about second grade until seventh, when I weighed 197 lbs and decided to use my mom’s Weight Watchers at Home kit to do something about it. I am now 23 years old, and although it is still a daily struggle, I’ve maintained a healthy weight since losing it 10 years ago. Even so, it is with a good deal of pain that I think back on my childhood years, because everyone knows how cruel kids can be–especially to those who are different in some way. Looking back, it’s obvious how things got so out of hand, and as you said, it doesn’t happen overnight. Growing up, there was a turning point at which we stopped having healthier homecooked meals and started eating convenience foods–Hot Pockets and other microwaveable, fat-saturated foods stand out in my mind as the worst offenders. My parents were loving, caring, and attentive, but as Helen said, they never said “no” when it came to these foods. It seems so obvious now to say that they should have stopped buying them, but I know that the reason they continued the cycle is because they had just started a business–and everyone knows the healthiest foods are never the fastest or most convenient, especially for busy working parents. I can only hope that when our first child is born in February, we’ll be able to raise her to be health-conscious, even if that means sacrificing convenience. I believe that being healthy is all about the little choices that we make every day, and though it’s not necessary to be strict 100% of the time, you do have to make sure that the majority of the decisions you’re making are healthy ones–especially when it comes to your children’s health.