Life Lessons: Project Eat
Between 41 percent and 66 percent of all teenage girls in the U.S. have attempted to lose weight at some point, but a new study shows teens who diet actually gain more weight over time.
So what can parents do to help break this dieting cycle? We have the details.
The images are all around us: the magazine ads, the commercials, all pressuring teenagers to be thin.
Dr. Dianne Neumark-Sztainer is the author of "I'm Like So Fat." For the past 15 years she has been tracking the eating habits of 2,800 adolescents for 'Project EAT' at the University of Minnesota.
"We live in a society where we have classism, we have racism, and we have weightism." says Dianne Neumark-Sztainer, PhD, MPH, RD, lead researcher of 'Project EAT' at the University of Minnesota.
Her team found 58 percent of the teens studied used diet pills, vomiting, or skipping meals to lose weight.
Plus the more adolescents dieted, the more weight they gained.
In the course of 10 years, on average, adolescents gained 10 to 20 pounds more than teens who didn't diet.
So what can parents do to help promote a healthy environment for their teens?
"Talk less about weight, do more," advises Neumark-Sztainer, PhD, MPH, RD.
She suggests offering healthy foods in the home, eating dinner as a family, and avoiding negative comments.
"Making comments like you should get off the couch, do you really want a second helping; these comments can be very hurtful, dangerous, and have unintended consequences," explains Neumark-Sztainer, PhD, MPH, RD.
Hopefully, positive reinforcement in the home can combat the negative messages seen everywhere else.
Dr. Neumark-Sztainer plans to track her 'Project EAT' participants through adulthood and study how they communicate healthy eating habits to their own children.
Copyright 2013 WFMZ. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Police: Dead baby found in trash; charges possible
Bank robbery suspect, getaway driver nabbed after police pursuit
Derrick Redcay welcomed home by crowd of supporters
2 arrested in New Jersey wedding brawl
Crash closes intersection in Northampton County
Police warn about cop impersonators and how to detect them
Crash involving overturned truck closes Route 222 in Richmond
Pennsylvania sued by US over police fitness tests
Thanks to Yuengling, SteelStacks' Oktoberfest will be free
Community wants to help restaurant rebuild after fire