New study warns parents not to talk to teens about dieting

A new study published in the Journal of Pediatrics linked parents encouraging their teens to diet to adverse health outcomes -- including a higher risk of obesity -- later in life.
2:15 | 03/06/18

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Transcript for New study warns parents not to talk to teens about dieting
I got my popcorn ready. The "Gma" parenting alert. A new study says parents telling their teens to diet could lead to life-long problems with eating and weight. Dr. Jennifer Ashton is here the to explain. Tell us about the research. Michael, it's been known for some times that when parents encourage teens to diet, it can lead to unhealthy behaviors and unhealthy emotional outcomes. This study showed that when parents encouraged their teens to diet, not only does it have short-term effects but long-term effects for the children when they become adults, 15 years later, and intergenerationally, meaning it affects their offspring as well. This is significant. This domino effect goes way into the future. This is occurring at a time where the primary stage of development for teens so to become comfortable with the changing body. It becomes like a moving target for them. Why? Why is talking to your kids about dieting, food, how does that affect them in such a long-term way? I think we don't know the answer. If you look at their image with multiple factors inputting, there's communication, behavior, self-consciousness, peer pressure, social media. Everything that they're bombarded with. You take one of their primary influencers, their parents, and say, you need to diet, you need to take your body and actually make less of it, even when that's medically indicated, it can be very disruptive for them. You have a degree in nutrition. How to you talk to your kids about it if they need to lose weight? That's the million dollar question. Ask for professional help. I think we need to realize that there's the potential for diet to be a four-letter word for our children. And parents need to be aware of that. The other thing is, we need to emphasize this is about inner health. Not a number on the scale. Or noeszly what you can see. Most importantly, you know as parent, I know as a parent, children are looking at our behaviors as well as listening to what we say. We have to walk the walk. You think of dieting, young girls. It affects young men as well. 100%. This is a major issue for all teens. Thank you, doc. Now over to you, rob.

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

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