Preventing the broad spectrum of weight-related problems: Working with parents to help teens achieve a healthy weight and a positive body image

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52 Scopus citations

Abstract

A spectrum of eating-, activity-, and weight-related concerns is presented that includes 5 dimensions (weight control practices, level of physical activity, body image, eating behaviors, and weight status) and different levels of severity within each of these dimensions. Multiple interacting factors contribute to the etiology of problems within each of these dimensions in adolescents at the individual, familial, peer, school, community, and societal levels. Families have an important role to play in reinforcing the positive influences at each of these levels and in filtering out the negative influences. Parents can help their children engage in more healthful eating and physical activity behavior and feel better about themselves through (1) role modeling healthful behaviors, (2) providing an environment that makes it easy for their children to make healthful choices, (3) focusing less on weight and more on behaviors and overall health, and (4) providing a supportive environment for their children to enhance communication. Families need to be proactive within our society, which works against the development of a healthy weight and a positive body image in children and adolescents. However, families cannot do it on their own and need support from the more distal environments within which they function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S133-S139
JournalJournal of Nutrition Education and Behavior
Volume37
Issue numberSUPPL. 2
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2005

Keywords

  • Adolescents
  • Body image
  • Healthy weight behaviors
  • Parents
  • Weight-related problems

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