As a parent, what topics are difficult to discuss with your teens? Perhaps the traditionally touchy subjects like drugs, alcohol, smoking and sex?
A research conducted by a partnership between WebMD and Sanford Health revealed that being overweight is a more difficult topic for parents to discuss with their teens. One in 20 parents of teens said that they are struggling with the subject of drugs, alcohol, smoking while about 10 are uncomfortable talking with their teens about sex. Nearly a quarter of parents are hesitant to talk to their teens about overweight. The study even suggested that many parents of kids ages 8 to 17 are avoiding the subject of weight.
More than one in five parents admit they have never brought up the subject of maintaining a healthy weight to their kids despite knowing that being overweight poses an immediate health risk to their kids.
It should be noted that according to the American Heart Association, about one in three American kids and teens are overweight or obese.
About 90 percent of healthcare professionals said that maintaining a healthy weight is the most important health topic that parents should discuss with their children, over safe sex, cigarette smoking, drug use, and alcohol consumption.
Still, one in five parents are said that the doctor should be responsible in discussing the dangers of being overweight.
Why are parents having such difficulty discussing this issue with their teens? Susan Bartell, Psy.D., an obesity expert, reasons out:
“Weight has become such an emotionally charged and pervasive subject, especially in a culture that is highly image-driven. Broaching this subject can be extremely intimidating for parents, especially given that parents themselves may be struggling with weight.”
With parents and doctors pointing fingers at each other on whose responsibility it is, teens are left behind not knowing what healthy habits to pursue and what information to digest about the issue of weight.
As a parent, are you prepared to discuss weight with your teens?