Zee Media Bureau
New York: Parents, take note! If you have a daughter, do not focus on her weight, instead pay attention to what she eats.
As per a new study, the less you comment on your daughter's weight, the less likely she is to be dissatisfied with her weight as an adult.
The findings suggest that commenting about girls' weight can have a negative impact later in life.
Also, women who recall their parents commenting on their weight are more prone to being overweight and are less satisfied with their weight as adults.
"Commenting on a woman's weight is never a good idea, even when they are young girls," said lead author Brian Wansink, professor at Cornell University in the US.
Even slim women are more likely to have poor body image if their parents commented on their weight in youth.
This indicates that weight related comments are damaging to body image regardless of weight.
For the study, 501 women aged between 20 and 35 years were surveyed about their body image and asked to recall how frequently their parent(s) commented about their weight.
Those with a healthy body mass index (BMI) were 27 per cent less likely to recall their parents commenting on their weight and 28 per cent less likely to recall parents commenting on eating too much compared to women whose BMI indicated they were overweight.
Importantly, both overweight and healthy weight women who did recall their parents commenting on their weight, as youths were less satisfied with their weight as adults.
“If you're worried about your child's weight, avoid criticizing them or restricting food. Instead, nudge healthy choices and behaviors by giving them freedom to choose for themselves and by making the healthier choices more appealing and convenient,” Wansink added.
The study has been published in the journal Eating and Weight Disorders.
(With Agency inputs)