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Kids Health and Body Image

Very young children are not immune to dissatisfaction with their bodies. Kids are bombarded with media images that tell them they have to be thin, tall, and good looking to be popular. These images put a lot of pressure on kids that far too often turns into eating disorder such as anorexia and bulimia. Even children as young as four and five sometimes fall prey to eating disorders.

Kids Health Keys: Prevention, Education, and Example

As parents, we worry about whether our kids are eating healthy. To help your kids maintain a healthy weight, we may become overly obsessed with calories. Although calories do matter, focusing on just one thing can actually make the problem worse. Help your child maintain a healthy weight and educate her about what good nutrition and proper eating mean. Set a good example by maintaining a healthy weight yourself and getting enough exercise.

Watch for Eating Disorders in Children

Learn the signs of eating disorders in children. Kids that avoid food, binge eat, or eat only certain foods may be in danger of an eating disorder. Talk with your pediatrician if you have concerns.

Talk to your Child about Health, Fitness and Body Image

It's not always easy to teach kids a healthy body image. Teach your child that healthy eating and healthy living, including exercise, is far more important than weight. Make sure that you talk to your child about body image and help assure him that he is normal and healthy. Be sure to talk about how physical appearance is only part of who we are and how people on television and in the movies usually don't look as good in person. They have personal trainers, stylists, and makeup artists to help them look their best. Magazines may use photographic tricks and processes to make people look thinner. Also, remind your child that the people they see in the media may be thin, but they are often not healthy because they are always extreme dieting and exercising to stay so thin. It's nearly impossible for "regular" people to keep up.