How parents and children can support each other's weight loss

Jackie London of Good Housekeeping discusses how a new home-based weight loss program helps children lose weight with their parents.
4:38 | 06/14/19

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Transcript for How parents and children can support each other's weight loss
Happy father's day to you both. A "Gma" health alert about getting fit as a family. A new study finds they're more successful when they team up to slim down and janai Norman has one family's story. Looks good. Reporter: Healthy eating can be a struggle for busy parents and their children. That had always been the case for Celeste robin and her 10-year-old son Matthew. Together they've been trying to drop some pounds and live a healthier lifestyle but without much success. I was overweight as a child into adulthood. Reporter: When Matthew was 6 they teamed up for a weight loss study out of Louisiana state university where 16 child/parent pairs were put on a closely tracked diet that included scheduling regular snacks and meals and controlling portions and eating fewer processed foods and reduced screen time and increased exercise. The dietitian came to our house and she made us do a journal of what he ate and we also put up a pedometer on him and took pictures of his food. Every week they challenged me to eat a new fruit and a new vegetable and it actually made me become a less picky eater. Reporter: Matthew started to exercise more playing his usual soccer and adding swimming, biking and scooting to the mix. It compared the outcomes of robin and her son with other parents and children who only got nutrition and exercise information through the mail. When parents are involved in helping their children to make positive health-related choices around food, nutrition and physical activity, the outcomes seem to be better. Reporter: The outcome encouraging. Matthew and his mom lost between 5 and 10 pounds each and reduced their bmi. The main thing would be to have available snacks that are better for them so instead of having a bag of potato chips and a coke, have water and a banana. Reporter: As for the children in the other group, they actually gained weight and saw their bmi rise. I learned that you can make your life so much better by just doing one thing to help your Reporter: Janai Norman, ABC news, New York. All right, I'm joined with Jackie London, a registered die trig and nutrition director of "Good housekeeping." Good morning. Good morning. This seems like buddying up really worked for them. Absolutely and that's because shared experiences lead to healthier habits and healthier habits start at home in the context of your everyday life and, of course, with your loved ones because accountability is so important but when it comes to kids, parents determine what the food is going to be. What's on the menu and kids determine how much they want to have. Kids are really in touch with their hunger cues so we don't have to worry about the restriction. We really want to encourage more more often. They will eat what you put in front of them. Sugary cereals are often just the easiest thing to reach into the cabinet, pull out and give your kid but you've got healthy alternatives fun to make. Oh, yes, you can just have a lot of fun in the kitchen making meals and snacks with kids and bring them to the grocery store so you're involved in the experience as well like fresh produce. We have here blueberry, nectarine, strawberries, all seasonal right now and lower sugar which makes them a better all alternative. Health benefits are abound. Kids have fun helping with those too and you say that snacking when it comes to snacking it's really important to be mindful about what you're eating. It's easy to eat junk. It is but it's also for ADTs, you know, we have a tendency to confuse thirst and hunger so it's important to stay hydrated and a great way to do that is actually eat your water content so can you do that through fruit, veggie, produce in general, more produce more often is your takeaway but have fun with it. Adding some of these fruits into your water is going to make for a more flavorful beverage, but without any of the sugar that you'll get. So much better than soda. You say it's about making healthy choices as a whole family. Yes, it is a holistic approach so when it comes to healthier habits that stick and stay with you that lead to a healthier lifestyle overall it's really about being involved and considering where you are when you're eating and the experience thaw want to have with your loved one. Good tips. Thank you. We survived the wind. Over to you,

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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