Pledge to Pass on a Healthy Body Image

  • by: Care2
  • target: American Adults
Teens feel the pressure to be thin from all around them including media, magazines and of course, peer groups. But where can teen girls and boys turn to receive a healthy body image?

As an adult you may be more influential than you think. Your role may be parent, teacher, friend or neighbor, but you should be aware that regardless of who you are you have an influence on teen's perceptions of body image.

Take initiative to be a positive influence on the teens in your life. Learn the signs of risk for eating disorders and actions that you can take to improve teenagers' own body image.

I pledge to take initiative as a role model for teens, to learn the signs of an unhealthy body image (see below) and take action to promote a healthy body image.
Signs of Risk:

* Changes in eating habits with no explanation
* Notable weight gain/loss with no explanation
* Secretive food habits, or hiding food that they eat
* Unhappy about their body image

Actions to Promote Healthy Bodies:

* Be a role model - children learn what they see, so be aware of the things you say about your own body image and health choices that you make.
* Choose health - instead of focusing on weight and appearance, focus on health.
* Maintain open communication - create or maintain a healthy open relationship with a child, so that they can come to you if they do have a problem.
* Compliment actions - place honor on positive actions rather than appearance. Avoid complements that focus on appearance only.

* Teach healthy food habits - offer healthy snacks and teach teens how to cook healthy foods.
* Keep them informed - be sure that teens know that weight gain is a normal part of growing up.
* Know your child's peer group - teen's peers can have a substantial influence on perceptions of their own body image.
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