Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Parent to Parent: Eating Disorders
It's no secret almost every woman worries about her weight. But it turns out the way a woman sees herself may be greatly influenced by her mother. In tonight's Parent to Parent, Dr. Valerie breaks down how when it comes to body image, moms carry a heavy burden.
WSVN -- Singer Beyonce Knowles knows she's bootylicious.
She's so proud of her body that Beyonce and her mom are the newest spokeswomen for the Got Milk campaign.
Tina Knowles: "It's about looking healthy."
Healthy and happy. Body image is a work-in-progress for millions of women. It is for 13-year-old Lauren Siff and her mom Ellen.
Ellen Siff: "Food was always an issue in my family."
Today, Ellen still struggles with challenges like overexercising and undereating. While Lauren has a knack for snacks.
Lauren Siff: "When I'm bored or I have nothing to do, I eat."
Ellen Siff: "She'll say to me, 'I don't want to turn out, I don't want you to do what your mother did to you.'"
Now, the girls are getting some food for thought. They're seeking help from a licensed nutritionist.
Ronnie Litz Julien: "Body image is an incredibly important concept in a young girl's life, which is why when we become parents, it really is our responsibility to be the ultimate role models."
7 News' parenting expert Dr. Valerie agrees. When it comes to mothers and daughters, words can really eat at a child's mind.
Lynn: "Mothers may not realize it but their daughters are picking up on everything they do, everything that they put in their mouths."
Dr. Valerie: "Even if it's not stated to the daughter, the mother may stand there and say to her husband, 'Honey, do I look fat?' every time she puts something on."
Lynn: "And the message is?"
Dr. Valerie: "The message is it's not OK to be fat."
Dr. Valerie says the secret is to make sure your kids know you're comfortable with who you are.
Dr. Valerie: "It's important to love where you're at, and you can only treat something nice if you appreciate it."
To do that, set a good example. Eat normal portions and buy plenty of fruits and vegetables.
Dr. Valerie: "The message we want to give our kids about eating is that this body goes through our whole lives with us, and we need to love our bodies."
If your child does need to lose weight, make sure the whole family joins in on both exercise and diet. But don't call it a diet, instead focus on a healthy eating plan. And if all else fails, seek help.
There are plenty of books on the topic, like Julien's "What Should I Feed My Kids?" and Debra Waterhouse's "Outsmarting the Mother-Daughter Food Trap."
Both Lauren and Ellen are trying to outsmart the food trap.
With the help of their nutrionist, they're looking and feeling better.
Ellen Siff: "I want the best for her."
Lauren Siff: "Watching her, I want her to be healthy, and I want her to eat healthy."
Dr. Valerie has one more suggestion.She says try to avoid appearing vain in front of your children. She even suggests throwing away the scale if you can.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
IF YOU HAVE A CONCERN DR. VALERIE CAN HELP YOU WITH, EMAIL HER AT: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Valerie Goode:
7711 S.W. 62 Avenue
Miami, FL 33143
Ronnie Litz Julien