Fitness and Weight Talk in Front of Kids?

Jun 24, 2011 11:52am


Dear Liz,

I know that my husband and I need to be cautious about talking weight and diet around our children, especially our 3-year-old daughter.  But what about talking fitness and exercise around them? My husband is an athlete and I've upped my fitness in the last year, so we talk about it regularly. We also talk about organic food and healthy eating, but is there such a thing as too much? What about discussing concerns for overweight family members in front of the kids? We have some close relatives who are seriously overweight and diabetic.

Spokane, Wash.


Hi there, thanks for writing.  I think this is a very important question in terms of what kind of impact it has on our kids.  We live in such a weight conscious society that there is blatant overexposure and  interest in this topic, to the point I believe our kids are indeed negatively impacted in many ways.  There is a fine line between “health” and “weight” conscious so you might step back and watch for where you stand on it.  My thoughts on children are that modeling  a healthy lifestyle is far more effective than talking about it.  With a three-year-old, I would curb the verbal talk about overweight family members.  The more important message for the kids is that we don’t judge people for what they look like, regardless of the medical dangers. If you are overheard talking about the weight and bad health of an overweight family member, I believe it will not send the better message.  Fitness is a lifestyle and if you and your husband engage in it, the kids will naturally have interest in what you’re doing.  But, again, too much talk on any topic can have a negative impact later. Kids often, as they get older, will rebel if there is too much exposure on a subject, so be careful your message doesn’t  backfire.  As much is natural for you to discuss your fitness is what I think is appropriate.  When in doubt, remember, everything in moderation. 


Great things for you guys!



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