Parents worried about teen's weight should talk lifestyle

Dec. 12, 2013 at 6:00 PM

MINNEAPOLIS, Dec. 12 (UPI) -- U.S. researchers say parents worried about an adolescent's weight should have a conversation about healthy lifestyle rather than size.

A study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics, found conversations between parents and teenagers that focused on weight and size were linked to an increased risk for unhealthy weight-control behaviors. Those behaviors included fasting, binging and purging, the study said.

Jerica Berge at the University of Minnesota Medical School said conversations between parents and children that focused on healthy eating -- such as eating fruits and vegetables -- worked better.

"This allows adolescents to feel more empowered because they are trying to change a behavior rather than an outcome," Berge said in a statement. "Focusing on healthy eating behaviors also has a more positive undertone and seems more doable."

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