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January 31, 2013

Being the Heavy

by Tracy Jensen

Dara-Lynn Weiss gained a lot of notoriety as well as criticism for how she dealt with her daughter’s weight issues. After her article was published in Vogue last year describing how she put her 7-year-old on a diet, the media backlash painted her as overly harsh and possibly laying out a future of body-image issues for her child. Her book on the topic, The Heavy, was released this month.

Disclaimer alert: I have not read her book, but recently she has been doing a lot of press for its release. I found a particular interview in a New York Times blog very insightful. I think she brings up a great point, how as a parent, you have to walk this line between being loving and understanding while also being firm and disciplined. I think we all walk that line every day with most aspects of parenting.

However, when it comes to our kids and their weight, because of the intense focus on fighting childhood obesity, there is a tendency for society to weigh in on how you deal with it. How DO you encourage healthy eating choices while building a positive self-image in your child? What is probably by nature a tough situation is complicated by other people’s perception, and sometimes judgment.

If you think it’s time to have “the talk” with your child about weight and are unsure how to handle it, here’s some expert advice to get you started.

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