When talking to kids about weight, choose your words carefully
Tuesday 27 September 2011
What's the best way to talk to an overweight child about his or her weight problem without triggering low self-esteem? New research advises steering clear of words such as "chubby," "heavy" and "obese" while opting for a neutral phase: "unhealthy weight."
A new study published online September 26 in the journal Pediatrics surveyed 445 parents about their feelings on ten words or phrases doctors might use to talk to them about their child's weight. "Obese" and "fat" rated low on the scale while "unhealthy weight" seemed to assign less blame.
Other better choices include phrases such as "high BMI," "weight problem" and "overweight."
"I think [we need to be] really sensitive to the fact that for many parents and children who are overweight, they have experienced weight stigma, they are sensitive to the language used," Dr. Dianne Neumark-Sztainer, a professor of epidemiology and community health at the University of Minnesota in the US, said in an interview with health website MyHealthNewsDaily.com. "We really want them to feel comfortable in the heath care provider's office so they will return and they will be open to getting advice."
While childhood obesity looms large, so do stigmas against kids who struggle with their weight. A recent Australian study found that obesity increases the risk that young children will become socially isolated by their grade-school years.
If your child is overweight or obese, it's important to get involved, said American child psychiatrist Paul Ballas in an interview with health website WebMD. Aim to help your child by encouraging physical activity, serving nutritious meals, and seeking out community activities where your child can bond with his or her peers and gain social support.
While physical activity is crucial, competitive sports may leave your overweight child feeling stigmatized and with a sense of failure, added Ballas. Rather focus on other interests, such as music and academics. "Those are things that can be encouraged that may provide positive social benefits that they may not be able to get from sports," he said.
Life & Style blogs
Scientists develop blood test that could diagnose depression
Android One handsets launch in India: £65 apiece with cricket scores baked in
Students in the south east of England gain the most weight in their first year
Jennifer Lawrence nude pictures leaked: Reddit removes 'The Fappening' board dedicated to sharing naked pictures of celebrities
A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 1 Scottish independence: Ireland since 1919 is a lesson for Scotland in what a Yes vote means
- 2 British tourists 'murdered' in Thailand: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
- 3 Lego breaks out of the toy box and heads for the gallery
- 4 Vogue under fire for 'Big Booty' article
- 5 Julian Assange and Edward Snowden join piracy mogul Kim Dotcom’s political campaign in New Zealand
£400000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: Energy Markets An...
£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Plus excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions...
£22000 - £23000 per annum: Randstad Education Bristol: We are currently recrui...
£35000 - £40000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently r...