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The Confidence Project

Refreshinlgy honest & helpful conversations for fitness-minded women exploring body, business, and the human experience.

Oct 18, 2018

I've wondered for a long time how dieting and diet culture effects children. Do kids pick up on their mother's eating habits? How damaging is it to demonize foods for our kids- even if we really, TRULY feel that things like donuts and cookies aren't healthy?

Turns out- all of my suspicions were correct.

A neurotic relationship with food so commonly begins with a parent (or parents) who are also neurotic around foods.

Here are just *some* of things that lots of parents do out of love for their child that might be potentially damaging down the road:

-Rewarding behavior or test scores with food
-Bartering for dessert based on how much of dinner is eaten
-Over-emphasizing how special going out to eat or having Fast Food is
-Commenting on our child's weight or size
-Feeding siblings differently based on natural body size
-Restricting certain foods or food groups
-Eliminating certain food or food groups
...just to name a few

Ultimately, this teaches that there is a morality and specific values associated with certain foods. This sets up children for a more complex relationship with food, which has been shown to then pave the way for disordered eating, clinical eating disorders, as well as body image issues.

Sure, on paper, none of this stuff sounds too detrimental, but I can promise you, it certainly can be.

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