Kids, Dieting and Weight

When children diet, parents--influenced by dominant thinking--might think, "It was okay, she needs to lose a little weight." Unfortunately most people do not realize the problems associated with dieting.

What would you do if your child started dieting....and could not quit? If your child was dieting, lost control and began to binge and purge? Scary thoughts.

While not all kids who diet develop eating disorders, most kids who diet will get caught up in diet mentality and spend years (years they should be enjoying life) worrying about calories, fat grams, carbs and the scale. Help your child never feel the need to lose weight or to diet.

If you need some convincing, read the research. Then, check out the resources at the bottom of this page.

Doctor's Comments Can Trigger Eating Problems - One of our cients, a 12 year old, was told by her doctor she had better "watch her weight" and should be more active. That was all it took. One year later, she is still in treatment for anorexia. This is by no means an isolated incident. Find out how you can help your child when they visit the doctor. 4/08

Frequent Scale-Steppers Gain More Weight - Teen girls who frequently weighed were more likely to gain weight, some gaining close to twice as much weight! 12/06.

School Intervention Programs - It appears school related intervention programs are not working, and no one is finding out why. 12/06

Mom's Weight Focus Can Rub Off On Kids - Dieting mom's can trigger unhealthy fixation on weight in their kids. Even small cues, such as making self-deprecating remarks about thighs or showing delight over weight loss, can send the message that children should be similarly focused. 8/06

Family’s Weight Comments Harm Girls - Girls whose families criticize their weight or eating habits may develop lasting problems with body image and self-esteem. Data suggest that even occassional comments may have a lasting negative impact. 8/06

Dieting Makes Little Girls Fat - Five year old girls who diet end up fatter as they get older. 6/04

Dieters Perform Worse on Exams - More research showing dieters perform more poorly on exams. Interesting, girls outscore boys in grade school and high school, even when so many of them are dieting. What would happen if the girls weren't dieting? 5/04

Children Who Diet End Up Heavier - "Dieting to control weight is not only ineffective, it may actually promote weight gain," said the report from Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.  Based on a study of  more than 16,000 U.S. boys and girls age 9 to 14 from 1996 to 1998.  Pediatrics, 10/03.

Help Your Child Avoid (or Heal) Eating, Weight and Body Image Problems


Kids, Eating, Weight and Health - Introducing a new approach that can help without harming.

Changing the Conversation, Part 1 - Compassionate look at the harm obesity prevention can do to kids; offers alternatives.

Changing the Conversation, Part 2 - How to help our kids by promoting healthy eating for ALL children.

References - For the above 3 articles.


Tips to help you raise your child with healthy body esteem.

Ten Things You Can Do - For yourself and the girls in your life to re-learn body acceptance.


For Parents:

Real Kids Come In All Sizes by Kathy Kater
Secrets of Feeding A Healthy Family by Ellyn Satter
How to Get Your Kids to Eat, But Not Too Much by Ellyn Satter

For Kids:

I Like Me by Nancy Carlson. Starring a female pig who is her own best friend and likes her round tummy and curly tail.