Many people struggle with their weight, and that includes youngsters. Even kids talk about body image, dieting, and what foods to eat and what foods to avoid. That’s right, kids ask about weight. And, as parents, we need to know how to answer those questions honestly.
To put things in perspective, it helps to look at some stats on the obesity rate. According to the CDC:
- 13.9% of kids between 2 and 5 years of age are obese
- 18.4% of kids between the ages of 6 and 11 are obese
- 20.6% of adolescents between 12 and 19 years of age are obese
Let’s say that your kids come to you with some questions regarding weight. How can you respond? We’ve compiled some information below on how nutritionists would answer when kids ask about weight. This can help you know what to say if this conversation ever comes up at home.
Examples of Questions Kids Ask About Weight
Trevor’s mother doesn’t keep cake in the house because she says that she doesn’t want to eat it and gain weight. If you eat cake, will it make you fat?
Suggested answer: “Well, it sounds like Trevor’s mother is hoping to keep her weight under control. If you eat too much, yes, that can make you less healthy, so it’s smart to watch what you eat. A lot of people tend to eat a little too much. And, because cake is really a food that you should only eat sometimes, Trevor’s mom is probably trying to stay healthy by eating cake less often.”
Why do Matt and Trina’s mothers let them drink soda, but you won’t let me have it?
Suggested answer: “Every family has rules that they want to follow to help each other stay healthy. We don’t keep soda in the house because it isn’t really good for your body, and it isn’t healthy to have it all the time. If you drink too much of it, it can harm your health and your weight because it has a lot of sugar. We satisfy our sweet tooth with other treats.”
As you can see, it’s all about connecting health with eating right, so making it less about staying skinny and more about staying well is a good way to answer these types of questions.