Mom's Dieting Habits
Do you have a mom who diets? Could you be a dieting mom?
Moms need to think about their influence because they can do major damage to their kids.
Mothers pass their dieting behaviors onto their children without even trying. Sons are influenced by moms, but not like daughters because little girls live to mimic their mothers.
Mothers everywhere guide their babies towards what, when and how much to eat. But moms model other behaviors too, like fixating on body parts and making self-deprecating comments that spill over onto her daughter.
Research published in the Journal of the Dietetic Association showed that 5-year old daughters of dieting mothers could describe “dieting behaviors“. The little girls knew that dieters drink diet soda and don’t eat very much food. The moms didn't teach these concepts to the kids; the kids simply looked and listened.
By age nine, half of the girls have already tried a diet of sorts, and are concerned about their weight. In a Harvard study of adolescent girls, those with moms who dieted frequently were more likely to diet frequently themselves. For mothers and daughters, dieting was a restrictive practice rather than simply trying to eat healthy food. Unfortunately, restrictive diets can lead to binge-eating and to a lifetime of yo-yo dieting.
Food to Cope
Moms with a negative view of the world tended to feed their kids sweet and fatty foods. That was the result of a survey of 27,750 mothers in Norway who were described as "emotionally unstable, anxious, angry, or sad." The mothers relieved their own stress, and the stress of their kids, with food.
Moms who gain excess weight during the third trimester of pregnancy can a set-up a child for lifelong obesity. That is a critical time in producing the baby's fat cells and may disrupt the baby’s appetite control centers in the brain as well.
Make It Right
A mom needs to model good eating habits and practices for her children. These practices help children to develop a healthy attitudes about food and their bodies:
- Avoid negative statements about their shape, size or weight (and the kids’ shape too)
- Set an example of regular exercise and active play
- Sit down to meals with the kids and eat the same food
- Enjoy yummy food that is wholesome and well-prepared
- Stop buying “forbidden foods” if they don’t want the kids to eat (and binge on) them
- Eat treats in reasonable amounts on special occasions (parties, anniversaries and holidays)
- Learn how to cope with stress without using food
- Practice healthy eating rather than restrictive dieting
Do you live to tell the tale of a dieting mom?
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