Parents who urge their kids to diet may not only be condemning their own children to be overweight or to have eating disorders; they may also be dooming their grandchildren, a new study shows.
The findings support what much other research has shows: that weight-shaming kids doesn’t encourage healthier habits and can instead hardwire a vicious cycle of binge-eating, skipping meals and a lifetime of self-loathing.
“Furthermore, the negative effects of parent encouragement to diet can compound over time, not only impacting the person directly receiving the messages, but also potentially hurting generations to come,” Jerica Berge of the University of Minnesota Medical School and colleagues wrote in their report, published in the journal Pediatrics.
Their study of teens who grew up to be parents themselves found that those whose parents encouraged them to diet were more likely to be obese and to have eating disorders. And years later, when they had kids of their own, they made the same mistakes.