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How to talk to children about weight




School children at Fairmount Elementary School look at a display showing how much sugar is in soft drinks and juices on November 12, 2010 in San Francisco, California.
School children at Fairmount Elementary School look at a display showing how much sugar is in soft drinks and juices on November 12, 2010 in San Francisco, California.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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A study published this week by NYU examines the way parents perceive the weight of their children, and how those perceptions have changed over the years.

It turns out that since the 1980s, the likelihood that parents correctly perceive their children as underweight, overweight or just right, has declined by 30 percent. It raises important questions about how we approach the issue of weight with children.

Many believe there’s been a backlash against increased awareness about eating disorders that’s resulted in parents avoiding the topic with young children. On the other hand, years of talk about an obesity problem also cloud the issue. It’s a difficult topic for many families to broach.

Have you had to talk to you child about weight? Or did your parents talk to you about gaining or losing weight, or just making health choice as a child? What advice do you have?

Guest:

Janet Tomiyama, assistant professor of health psychology at UCLA