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WJBD - Health & Fitness News - Overweight Teen? Study Says Focus on Healthy Eating, Not Weight Loss

Overweight Teen? Study Says Focus on Healthy Eating, Not Weight Loss

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(MINNEAPOLIS) -- With a high prevalence of weight-related problems in adolescents, obesity in this age group has tripled in the U.S. in the last 30 years. Now new research suggests that the trick to getting teens to eat a healthy diet may be in how parents talk to them.


For a study published in the journal Pediatrics researchers at the University of Minnesota looked at more than 2,300 teenagers and over 3,500 parents for associations between parent conversations and adolescent disordered eating behaviors, such as dieting, unhealthy weight-control behaviors and binge eating.


Overweight kids whose parents talked to them in terms of losing weight were more likely to engage in unhealthy behaviors. But parents whose conversations focused only on "healthful eating behaviors" had kids who were "less" likely to exhibit the unhealthy behaviors.

In other words, accentuate the positive to avoid negative behavior.


The study authors suggest doctors talk to parents about how to best address the subject and focus on healthy eating.  


Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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