Past studies have shown that being told to diet or
being teased about weight by a parent is harmful to children, she said. But that still leaves the question of what families who genuinely want to help an overweight child should be talking about.
"They would always ask me, What do I say to my kid?'" Berge told Reuters Health. She and her colleagues surveyed 2,800 racially and socioeconomically diverse middle and high school students and
one or both of their parents about food, weight and related conversations. Twenty-eight percent of mothers of normal-weight teens said they'd talked about healthy eating with their child, and 33
percent said they'd had conversations about weight or the need to lose weight. That compared to 15 percent of mothers who talked solely about healthy eating with their overweight teens and 60
percent who discussed losing weight. Rates were similar for conversations initiated by fathers.
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