Health Tip: Help Kids Feel Better About Themselves

Encourage a positive body image

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(HealthDay News) -- Kids who have a negative body image feel more self-conscious and isolated, and are more likely to end up overweight or with an eating disorder.

On the other hand, kids with a positive body image are more likely to succeed, and they don't dwell on weight gain or their looks.

The American Dietetic Association suggests how to help parents promote a healthy body image among children:

  • Speak positively about your body -- to avoid teaching a child to be unhappy with his or her own appearance.
  • Focus primarily on your child's health, not weight alone. Stress the importance of eating nutritious foods.
  • Get children involved in physical activities that they enjoy.
  • Check with your child's school to make sure it addresses bullying.
  • Help your child understand that no one has a perfect body, despite images seen on TV and in the movies.

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