Most of the time, it comes out the wrong way, either as an insult or a failed attempt to offer help. It makes people feel awkward and self-conscious, and could lead to a drop in self-esteem and a rise in eating disorders.
And it starts when we are young.
According to a 2011 survey sponsored by WebMD and Sanford Health, one in four parents is uncomfortable talking about weight with his or her kids. Participants reported they’d rather talk to their children about sex and drugs than weight and obesity.
Health organizations have started responding to that problem.
Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta recently launched a website, strong4life.com, which encourages parents to have “the talk” about health with their children. The talk doesn’t include the word “weight.” The website aims to give parents the tools they need to discuss and implement a healthier lifestyle for themselves and their children.
When I was a kid, I didn’t really talk about weight or healthy living with my parents. When they were growing up, it wasn’t something that needed to be taught because people were more active, food was more wholesome and portion sizes were smaller.