Monday, April 19, 2010

Food for Thought

This morning  I read an article in the NY Time Magazine section - The Fat Trap - Please check it out...

The gist of the article is the relationship between food and our children and how we influence our children's feeling about food, weight, etc.  Some quotes from the article...

The Journal of Adolescent Health, more than half of the girls reported engaging in some form of disordered behavior while trying to lose weight: fasting, popping diet pills, smoking, vomiting, abusing laxatives, binge eating.

A 2003 analysis of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, meanwhile, showed that mothers were three times as likely to notice excess weight in daughters than in sons, even though the boys were more likely to be large.

OH MY GOD! I have a daughter...I want her to have a healthy body image and love the way she looks...I also want her to eat healthy and be active but without obsessing over either of these things.  This got me thinking about my own self image and my relationship with food & exercise and all that.  I have always been pretty fortunate - My first time dieting was after I gave birth.  Prior to that I always maintained a healthy body weight (it definitely fluctuated quite a bit - hence the various pant sizes in my closet) but more importantly, I've always had a prety good self esteem.  But I also had a mother who when I came home from college freshman year said "you put on a few..." - Some of you may gasp at this - but in my family honesty is the best and only policy.  And I cared (and still care) about my mother's opinion, so what did I do that summer after gaining the freshman 15?? I watched what I ate - I did not obsess  over it - I was aware of it.  Two very different things.  And my mom let me know when I looked like myself again.
I think the best parenting is by example.  I hope that I can teach Jenna to be proud of her body regardless of her size, but also be aware of what she's putting into it and staying active.  And I think all this starts now which is part of the reason I try to offer her lots of healthy snacking options (which is probably better for me to - I certainly don't need to be eating her cheeze-it leftovers) and try to keep her as active as possible. 
Read the article...what are your thoughts??

1 comment:

  1. interesting article, although having taught at an all girls school not surprised in one bit. at our school obesity was hardly an issue, but being too skinny was (seems to be against the american trend). and when you saw the moms, they were skinner than the teenagers!

    so this article def makes me a little happy I have a boy... but of course they dont site any info on young boys, body image and weight. it seems like now, and in the toddler/preschool years, we have to offer a variety of fruits and veggies, and keep them active, not sedentary.