Pointing Out Weight Issues Can Harm Children
September 28, 2016
The Jerusalem Post — Parents who frequently point out weight issues to their overweight or underweight children could damage their relationship with them.
This is among the finding of a study by Dr. Naama Atzaba-Poria, head of the developmental psychology program in BGU’s Department of Psychology.
Dr. Atzaba-Poria discussed her research at the recent Negev Conference for Child Welfare, held by Ben-Gurion University and Soroka University Medical Center in Beer-Sheva.
Dr. Atzaba-Poria studied 55 families, some of which clashed over picky or overeating habits. She found that members of these families were at greater risk for developing bad relationships with each other.
“Our findings stress the central role that weight has in our society,” she says.
According to recent data, one out of every three Israelis aged five to 21 suffers from obesity. In Arab families, the situation is even worse, with 40 percent of children by age 12 being overweight.
“Children who are underweight sometimes turn into overweight or obese adults,” Dr. Atzaba-Poria says.
“We have to put less stress on the child’s weight and more on how to eat in a healthful way and to create proper eating patterns.”