Parents should discuss ramifications of weight with children

Oct 06, 2011

Parents should talk with their kids about the risks of weight gain.

Parents often have to engage in hard conversations with their children to help guide them from making poor choices. From talking about drug use to personal finance, having these talks with children may help them avoid harmful behavior.

According to Stacy Kaiser of USA Today, weight has become one of the most important topics parents must address with their kids. In the long run, weight gain can add to disease and even increase health and life insurance costs.

A recent study by Sanford Health and WebMD, Raising Fit Kids, found that 29 percent of kids would be annoyed if their parents decided to discuss weight with them. Another 18 percent would be confused, 18 percent embarrassed and about 2 percent of children would be happy. The study said kids would rather talk about sex, drugs, alcohol and smoking.

"Take heart: Parents who are open with their children about uncomfortable issues share a stronger bond, and their children are less likely to engage in risky behaviors and bad habits, including compulsive overeating or eating disorders," Kaiser said in the article.

Kaiser writes that tactics can be taken to the difficult topic, including educating babies to preschoolers about the basics of healthy living, nutritious food and exercise. She said that as children grow, parents may benefit from discussing healthy eating options, and researching and planning nutritional meals. said that in the long run, people who are 10 pounds overweight wont be affected by increased life insurance costs, but those who become obese will be hit with extra costs and extra risks for disease. 

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