Preserving Body Image and Self-Esteem Among Overweight Youngsters
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Preserving Body Image and Self-Esteem Among Overweight Youngsters Joanne Ikeda, MA, RD University of California Extension Nutrition Specialist Dec. 10, 2004 FNEP ITV University of Missouri-Columbia. Body Image.

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Preserving Body Image and Self-Esteem Among Overweight YoungstersJoanne Ikeda, MA, RDUniversity of California Extension Nutrition SpecialistDec. 10, 2004 FNEP ITVUniversity of Missouri-Columbia


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Body Image Youngsters

Internal representation of your own outer appearance – your own unique perception of your body.

(Thompson, Exacting Beauty, APA, 2002)


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Body Satisfaction Youngsters

Satisfaction with various aspects of one’s body such as waist, hips, thighs, breasts, hair, etc.

(Thompson, Exacting Beauty, APA, 2002)


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Self-Esteem Youngsters

Self-esteem is “how much a person likes, accepts, and respects himself overall as a person”.


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Body Dissatisfaction Youngsters

Discontent/disappointment with various aspects of one’s body.


How common is body dissatisfaction among children of all sizes in 3 rd to 6 th grade l.jpg
How Common is Body Dissatisfaction Among Children of YoungstersAll Sizes in 3rd to 6th grade?

  • 45% wanted to be thinner

  • 37% had tried to lose weight

  • 7% scored in anorexia nervosa range



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How Common is Dieting Among Children in US? in children.National Study of 10,000 youngsters

  • 41% of Caucasian children

  • 40% of Asian children

  • 33% of Hispanic children

  • 22% of Black children



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Who Promotes Body Dissatisfaction in Children and Teenagers? in children.

  • Teen Magazines

  • TV Shows

  • Movies

  • Peers

  • Teachers

  • Parents


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in children.Body dissatisfaction is the most consistent predictor of the onset of eating disturbances.” (Thompson, Exacting Beauty, APA, 2002)


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Body Dissatisfaction has a negative impact on self-esteem, especially among overweight youngsters.


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“few problems in childhood have as significant an impact on emotional well-being as being overweight.”

Strauss & Pollack, Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med, 2003


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Promoting Body Satisfaction and High on emotional well-being as being overweight.”Self-Esteem in Children and Teenagers


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* on emotional well-being as being overweight.”Point out that human bodies come in a wide range of sizes and shapes and that there is no “perfect” body size and shape.




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Promoting Body Satisfaction and High Self-Esteem body no matter what size it is.

*Challenge media images of the “perfect body.


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Want to Be a Teen Vogue “IT” GIRL? body no matter what size it is.

  • Staying up on the latest trends in fashion and beauty is an absolute must for me!

  • I consider myself to be a leader

  • I secretly (or not so secretly) love to be the center of attention

  • Other people look to me for advice on clothes, cosmetics and style


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Talk About What Characteristics We Value in Our Friends body no matter what size it is.

  • Listens to me when I talk about my

    problems and concerns.

  • Cares about me.

  • Enjoys doing the things I like to do.

  • Is there for me when I need a friend.

  • Doesn’t tell others my “secrets”.


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Promoting Body Satisfaction and High Self-Esteem body no matter what size it is.

* Advocate & demonstrate respect for the bodies of others as well as your own body


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Model Body Acceptance and Body Satisfaction body no matter what size it is.

  • Make positive comments about your own body and the bodies of others.

  • Do not make negative comments about your own body or the bodies of others

  • Verbalize your own rejection of the

    thin, “perfect” body



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* body size is wrong.Take a Stance Against Size Discrimination

• Speak up when you see it or hear it

• Encourage adults to take action if a child is bullied, teased, or discriminated against because of body size.

• Tell parents not to allow anyone to tease or harass a child about his/her weight.


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How to deal with overweight/obesity. body size is wrong.Focus on behaviors NOT weight

  • Soda consumption

  • Fruit and Vegetable Consumption

  • Fast Food and Snack Food

  • Time spent in active play

  • Time spent watching TV


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Set Behavioral Goals body size is wrong.Not Weight Goals

  • Limit TV watching/computer game playing to 2 hours per day

  • Play actively for 60 minutes every day – do something that you enjoy

  • Walk or bike to and from school


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Set Behavioral Goals Not body size is wrong.Weight Goals

  • Drink low fat or nonfat milk at meals instead of soft drink.

  • Limit soft drink consumption to one 12 ounce can a day or less.

  • Eat 5 servings a day of fruits and vegetables

  • Limit fast food meals to 1-2 per week



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Impacts of Dieting on Children’s Health TeenagersPhysical well being

  • Risk of stunting growth in height

  • Lower bone density

  • Delayed puberty

  • Poor nutrient intake

  • Fatigue

  • Obesity


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Impact of Dieting on Children’s Health TeenagersPsychological well being

  • Preoccupation with food and eating

  • Sneaking and hiding food

  • Body dissatisfaction, poor self-esteem

  • Eating disorders


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Impact of Dieting on TeenagersChildren’s HealthSocial well being

  • Subject to size discrimination by adults

  • Teased, harassed, and rejected by peers

  • Apt to become socially isolated



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A Stanford study that followed 692 females from 9 Teenagersth through 12th grade found that increased dieting and radical weight loss efforts predicted greater subsequent growth in relative weight and increased risk of obesity.

Stice et al, J Consult Clin Psychol,1999


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  • Study by Harvard Medical School assessed weight change of frequent dieters compared to those who never dieted.

  • Over 10,000 youngsters ages 9 to 14 followed for 2 years.

  • Regardless of their calories, fat, CHO, or their physical activity or inactivity, the frequent dieters were more likely to become overweight than those who never dieted.


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Diagnosis and treatment of childhood overweight is the responsibility of the medical profession, it not our responsibility.

►Examine child’s growth history over time

►Consider weight of biological parents and close relatives

►Conduct examination of child for medical problems associated with overweight

►Recommend and provide/refer for treatment


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Our responsibility is: responsibility of the medical profession,

  • To help children and adults eat nutritious diets and be physically active.

  • To help create environments that promote eating nutritious diets and being physically active.


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Promote Body Satisfaction, a Positive Body Image, and High Self-esteem for All Adults and Children.  


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Recognize that the best Self-esteem for All Adults and Children.  way to decrease overweight is to create environments that promote healthy lifestyles in families.


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Believe that the vast majority of parents love their children and are committed to fostering their health and welfare.


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Know that our children are our future and we are strongly committed to caring for them and creating a world in which they can thrive.


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