Health Tip: Creating a Healthy Body Image

Help prevent eating disorders

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(HealthDay News) -- Eating disorders can lead to unhealthy eating habits, and in extreme, can trigger a dangerous drop in weight.

Cultivating a healthy body image in your teen can be key to preventing an eating disorder. Here are suggestions, courtesy of the Center for Young Women's Health:

  • Teach your child to respect herself -- both her physical and non-physical attributes.
  • Talk to your child about the importance of being herself, and why it's unrealistic to look like models pictured in magazines.
  • Don't focus on food, calories and weight. Make sure your child doesn't obsess over it either.
  • Try to teach her the importance of a healthy lifestyle and good nutrition, not dieting.
  • Make meals a positive experience, and focus on the physical and mental benefits of a healthy diet.
  • Teach your child not to deal with stress or emotions by using food.

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