A Healthy Conversation

How to talk to kids about weight

When children are overweight or obese, it can affect them—physically and emotionally—for life. But some parents find it hard to start the conversation.

“They don’t know what to say, and they don’t want to make it worse,” says Scott Kahan, MD, director of the Strategies to Overcome and Prevent (STOP) Obesity Alliance.

Here’s how to tackle the topic:

  • Focus on health. When you talk about health rather than appearance, you’re more likely to be productive.
  • Set realistic goals. Don’t focus on losing a large amount of weight in a few weeks. Focus on the long term.
  • Be a team. Instead of telling kids what to do, be their partner in this journey.   
 

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