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consistent parenting advice

Children Obesity and Self Esteem

Because children learn through observation,
there is a close connection between children obesity and self esteem.


Children Obesity and Self Esteem

children obesity and self esteem Children observe the messages that are played out through their family's beliefs about size, shape, weight and self esteem.

These messages can be implicit or explicit, silent or discussed, portrayed shamelessly or hidden. Whichever way they are displayed, they are observed and taken into the minds of our children.

Today's media is filled with stories about fat children and the problems inherent in obesity.

Many parents worry about their body shape and pursue endless diets, weight loss routines and exercise programmes while their children look on and observe this continuous activity toward creating a better self.

The messages in this are profound and have long lasting influences children in terms of children, obesity and self esteem.

We often connect weight problems and self image with mothers and daughters in particular, but new research reveals that fathers are important in influencing their daughters toward bulimia, particularly fathers who are overweight and want to be thinner.

These influences may be direct, such as criticizing the daughters' weight or shape, or indirect, by expressing their own concerns about weight and shape.

The following article, reprinted intact, explains this connection between children obesity and self esteem.

Fathers Affecting Daughter's Esteem

children obesity and self esteem FATHERS are important influences on their daughters' perceptions of their weight and shape during childhood, and can increase their risk of developing an eating disorder in adolescence.

Fathers should avoid criticizing their daughters' weight and build up their daughters' confidence by emphasizing other positive attributes, says Dr W Stewart Agras, who led the research on the subject.

In an effort to throw light on what factors during childhood contribute to weight concerns and thin body preoccupation, Agras and colleagues from Stanford University in California followed 68 girls and 66 boys from birth to age 11 and their parents.

Annual questionnaires beginning at age two assessed parents' concerns about their children's weight and eating habits as well as their own weight.

The results show, Agras says, that fathers are important in influencing their daughters toward bulimia, particularly fathers who are overweight and want to be thinner. These influences may be direct, such as criticizing the daughters' weight or shape, or indirect, by expressing their own concerns about weight and shape.

children obesity and self esteem Parents who exhibit concern or criticism about their daughters' weight and shape and who push their daughter toward dieting may increase the risk of their daughter developing bulimia, adds Agras.

The study also found that parental behaviours such as over-control of what their child eats, together with parent and peer pressure to be thin, also raises the risk of eating disorders.

More importantly, the study shows that all these influences occur before adolescence.

Concerns about weight and shape emerge as early as age eight, Agras and his colleagues point out in Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

Therefore, it may be that prevention programmes for eating disorders should begin early in childhood and perhaps should include education for the parents, they add.

Summing up, Agras says: Children learn by observing their parents.

Hence, weight control behaviours, such as dieting and expressed concerns about weight, should not form an important aspect of family life. It is more important to develop positive healthy family lifestyles.

Obesity and Self Esteem - Get Active!

children obesity and self esteem There is a strong connection between child obesity and lack of exercise. Being physically active also greatly increases self esteem as it brings positive feelings and a better sense of overall well being.

If your child burns more calories than he eats through consistent exercise, then his self esteem improves along with his general physical health.

Children learn through example!

Teach your children by doing it with them.

By becoming more active yourself, you are modelling in the greatest way!

Recommended Self Esteem Websites:

children's self esteem Children's Self Esteem







Lego UK



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