True or False: About 1 in every 2 teenage girls and 1 in every 4 teenage boys have tried dieting to change the shape of their bodies.
Teenagers everywhere are inundated with messages and images on a constant basis about how to look good and project the best image. Most often, though, that “best” image is a thin one. Kids, like adults come in all shapes and sizes so conforming to one popular idea of what looks best can lead to dieting in the form of limiting food or restricting food choices. This is usually based on a perceived idea that cutting out one food from their diet is going to help them lose weight.
With 1 in 2 teenage girls, and 1 in 4 teenage boys trying to diet, the need to get a dialogue going is important. You can start the conversation by asking your teen why they’ve decided to try a diet. Let them know that you understand the pressure they’re under from the subtle and not-so-subtle messages they see every day on TV and the web. You can also talk to them about how most diets don’t really work since they usually involve eliminating food or removing something from their diet that keeps their diet well-balanced.
It’s important to note too that if you think your teen is drastically changing their diet and it’s not a temporary thing, you should talk to your family doctor about it.