Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Diets and Children

We're already into the second week of the year, and like in my previous post where I mentioned my dislike of resolutions in terms of my blog, I also am not one to making any stern changes to my lifestyle just because the new year creeps in, as to suddenly make a change because of a New Year often leads to failure, instead its far more long lasting if the changes are made when you really want to make them.

However my news feeds seem to be filled with good intentions, people quitting smoking, other promising to cook a healthy meal a day and lots and lots hoping to make 2013 the year that they drop the dress sizes and lose weight maybe even go on a diet, try some herbal remedies to detox and generally start the year revitalised and healthy maybe even trying out vitamins from sites like Evolution Slimming

Whilst all these resolutions are great, the notion of improving your life is always a good thing, having motivation to change something you know could do with improvement is always positive, but there is always a niggling worry when I hear alot about diets.

Weight, thankfully isn't really anything I have ever had to worry about, I have always been fairly comfortable with my weight never being the thinnest or the most beautiful, but never being overweight either, I am honestly thankful for that. As I know those who do struggle to maintain a comfortable weight really do have to work at their diet, but I do worry how the 'healthy eating' and 'we need to diet' messages effects our children.

 I know it is increasingly harder for girls as they grow up and want to have the 'ideal' body image. With the constant stream of perfectly slim and beautiful models in magazines it is easy to see how young girls firmly believe that their own bodies are never going to meet these unrealistic expectations. Added to this the fact that alot of the real female influences in life are always on a diet, counting calories and openly concerned about their weight,  it is really no surprise that the amount of children admitted to hospital with eating disorders each year is on the rise.

When Jake was 6 he broke his wrist whilst at school, and I took him to hospital where they Xrayed it and decided he would need an anaesthetic to try to reline the bones, which meant we had to stay in hospital over night, it is the only time I have ever had to stay in hospital other than when I was giving birth, and it was an eye opener!

On the ward with Jake there were 5 other beds, one was empty.

One had a teenage boy in it who had the same broken wrist as Jake, but it was not this that shocked me, it was the occupants of the other beds, young girls.

Girls who had eating disorders, whilst I sat with Jake and watched him sleep off his anaesthetic, I over heard the same conversation with several young girls, the youngest couldn't have been too much older than 8 or 9. Parents desperately pleading with their daughters to eat a little something, and Doctors being stern explaining that if they refused to eat they would have to put a tube in to their stomachs.

The image of these young girls has stayed with me over the years as a stark reminder of how important it is to encourage healthy appetites.

Having a daughter of my own, it is a worry and I try to ensure she doesn't have any negitive body image issues, and that I am  passing on,  my hopefully positive, attitude to her, ensuring she knows that you don't have to be the same as anyone else to recognise your own beauty.

Obviously, its not always the media influences of beautiful skinny models that have an effect, and the fundamental issue is the relationship with food.  I know this is something some people truly struggle with, but diets and the talk of 'healthy verses unhealthy' may be important, so children learn to monitor their food and obesity levels don't rise more than they already are, but what about the negitive impact on childrens view of food?

Around the same time Jake was in hospital the school was doing a very full on program about how fatty food was bad, and really trying to encourage healthy options, I remember looking after my friends children after school one day, as my three came home eager for a top up snack, I offered some chocolates, crisps and cakes, and was shocked to see them refused, branded 'not healthy' for fear they would get 'fat'  I remember thinking how very sad it all was, these children were in no way shape or form even slightly over weight!

I have since constantly chanted that cakes and burgers, chips and sausages will not make you fat alone, and it is all about variety and moderation, having cake is fine, as long as you eat up your greens with your dinner, having a take away will not make you over weight, unless you have one for breakfast, dinner and tea!

I only hope that as my children enter their teenage years they carries on with the happy attitudes towards food and body image, I hope that once Chloe gets more aware of celebrities and the perfect image of womens bodies, as her own body changes, that she keeps remembering how beautiful she is just for being herself, and I hope that my boys do too.

I hope that parents who openly go on diets make sure they encourage their children not to think food is bad, and they help model good eating habits, which of course, include eating!

This post was written by myself,  for  Evolution-Slimming.com Please see my Disclosure Policy


  1. Some good information and common sense here. Hope our children make the right choices later in life x

  2. I think the reason I have a problem with my diet is because I was indoctrinated into the diet squad from a young age. I watched my Mum diet all my life. I really don't want to repeat history but it's hard breaking old habits. I won't be dieting this year and I think it will be good to take a break from it. I want to lose weight as I'm not at a very healthy weight and it has an impact on my confidence but to be honest I haven't found anything that works for me psychologically. x

    1. its really difficult isn't it, so much of our actions do stem from things we saw as children, my mum was never bothered about her weight, never dieted and I guess thats why I have never tried too.. I hope you find a way to be more confident and manage your weight without the strain of worring each time you eat and following a diet xxx


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