A study released in the May 2010 issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health suggests that when parents follow healthy weight-control strategies and maintain a healthy body image, their overweight adolescent children tend to follow suit.
Researchers analyzed self-completed surveys from 103 overweight adolescents and their parents and found that psychological factors like parents’ depression, self-esteem, body satisfaction and emphasis on thinness influence adolescents. The study analyzes a number of health practices, including fasting, skipping meals, taking diet pills, monitoring calorie intake, increasing exercise, eating more fruits and vegetables and avoiding food high in fat.
Findings underscore the strong association between parent body satisfaction and adolescent body satisfaction, as well as the importance of family dynamics. For example, when household stress was high and family members were not getting along, adolescents reported overeating.
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