Question: Is it possible that putting your child on a diet will lead to an eating disorder?
Answer: Parents often ask if putting my child on a diet will result in an eating disorder, and the truth is most of the time this isn't going to happen. My question to them is usually why do you want to put your child on a diet. And the reasons really need to be the right ones. The only reason to put a child on a weight loss diet is that the child is very overweight or has some underlying medical problem that would be helped by weight loss.
And if that's the case, then the diet can be approached and seen by both the child and parent as a function of health, not cosmetics. if the child feels they're on a weight loss diet to make themselves prettier or better looking, or that they'll be more accepted by the family, that's the wrong reason. It's most important to understand that this is a diet that's about health, about improving our health, about feeling better, but that the child is fine as they are.
And it's important to understand that this should be done slowly so that it's less traumatic to the child and it's also easier to implement by the family. It's most important also to realize that getting healthier can be done as a family. The child does not have to be singled out, and in fact the child should not be singled out. Anybody in the family at any weight can start to eat a healthier diet and live a healthier lifestyle.