Can Your Daughter’s Friends Influence Her Eating Habits?

March 25, 2013 at 6:40 pm Leave a comment

Is your daughter fixated on her weight? Does she consider herself fat? Does she feel that she gains weight no matter how little she eats? Right now I have a couple of students who worry about eating or drinking anything for fear of gaining weight.

As graduation approached for my daughter, I remember the photographer telling her that she needed to stop eating “all those cookies” and lose weight, so that she would look good in her prom dress. My daughter and I laughed at the time, but little did I know, that she took those words to heart, and began watching what she was eating. By the time prom occurred, she was tiny! So were her girlfriends.

According to Journal of Youth and Adolescence, a girl’s peers exert more influence on her dissatisfaction with her body, more so than TV actresses or social media. Dangerous weight control such as excessive dieting or bulimic tendencies often begins during the tween years. For some reason, excessive weight control does not affect girl “jocks”.
The words “You’re fat” can easily send a t(w)een girl into an eating disorder spiral.

This theory isn’t new to parents. Can’t you tell what peers your daughter is involved with based on how she acts? I certainly could. Are you concerned with your daughter’s obsession with weight? If so, ask your health care provider or school personnel to suggest a prevention or intervention program that will help her better control any obsessive eating tendencies.

C. Lynn Williams – #MsParentguru
Author & Parenting Coach

Trying to Stay Sane While Raising Your Teen (St. Paul Press, 2010)
The Pampered Prince: Moms Create a GREAT Relationship with Your Son (St. Paul Press, 2012)

Entry filed under: anorexia, eating disorder, preteen, teen suicide, weight. Tags: , , , , , , , .

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