But people choose to go on a diet – including children. Well children don’t always choose to go on diets, but their parents sure do. Many parents have their children eat what they eat. Case in point, as an eating disorder expert, I have had countless patients whose parents put the family on a Gluten Free diet, Vegan diets, all organic diet, and on and on. No child should ever be on a diet. They are growing and need a variety of foods for their best health (not including allergic or medical conditions). Teaching kids that there are good and bad foods influence children and hence there is a sense of shame in what you eat. There should be no guilt for anything we eat. Food is not a morality issue.
I have found that around the ages of 10-12 when a girls body is going through puberty, the messages they receive about their body is paramount. The average person should gain about 30 pounds during the course of puberty and everyone’s bodies grows differently. This is the time that many girls then think that they need to lose weight. Body dissatisfaction often starts around this time and is so prevalent amongst our children.
Parent Tip: Do not make negative comments about anyone’s body – especially your own.
Fact: 95% of diets fail. If diets didn’t fail, we wouldn’t have so many people in our world on diets and the diet industry wouldn’t be making an enormous amount of money.
Stay tuned for Kate Grefenstette, RD to write a post on the negatives of the different diets out there.
My hope is that we can start seeing food and our bodies not as the enemy but just a part of our humanity.