Women More Likely To Have Poor Body Image When Parents Comment On Weight

Parents that make comments regarding their daughter’s weight could be setting her up for body image issues down the road, according to a new study published in Eating & Weight Disorders.

The fewer times a parent makes a remark about his or her daughter’s weight, the less prone she will be to having body issues later as an adult. After surveying over 500 women between the ages of 20 and 35 years of age, researchers discovered that weight-related statements by parents caused their daughters to be more prone to overeating and weight gain as adults.

“Commenting on a woman’s weight is never a good idea, even when they are young girls,” said Brian Wansink, PhD, lead author of the study.

A positive alternative

During the study, female participants were asked to remember how often their fathers or mothers made comments about weight. Women with a healthy BMI were 27 percent less likely to recall weight-related comments and 28 percent less likely to remember parental suggestions on eating compared with females who were considered overweight.

Researchers also claim that comments concerning weight and eating habits in general led to negative body image issues for adult women regardless of their weight.

The key to helping young women avoid these body issues later in life can be attained by providing healthy food alternatives around the home to enable children to make smart decisions for themselves.

“If you’re worried about your child’s weight, avoid criticizing them or restricting food,” said Wansink. “Instead, nudge healthy choices and behaviors by giving them freedom to choose for themselves and by making the healthier choices more appealing and convenient. After all, it’s the choices that children make for themselves that will lead to lifelong habits.”

Source: Cornell Food & Brand Lab

Eating Disorder Self Test. Take the EAT-26 self test to see if you might have eating disorder symptoms that might require professional evaluation. All answers are confidential.

Find a Treatment Facility Near You

Click on a state below to find eating disorder treatment options that could be right for you.

Where do calls go?

Calls to numbers on a specific treatment center listing will be routed to that treatment center. Calls to any general helpline will be answered or returned by one of the treatment providers listed, each of which is a paid advertiser: Rehab Media Group, Recovery Helpline, Alli Addiction Services.

By calling the helpline you agree to the terms of use. We do not receive any commission or fee that is dependent upon which treatment provider a caller chooses. There is no obligation to enter treatment.

CALL NOW FOR IMMEDIATE HELPCALL NOW FOR IMMEDIATE HELP800-776-3990Response time about 1 min | Response rate 100%
Who Answers?