When talking about body weight, parents want guidance and adolescents want acceptance

To identify ways to improve supportive parent–child communication about weight, we assessed parent and youth perspectives of barriers to weight communication, preferences for educational resources and support, and whether perspectives differ across demographic groups and weight status. In Fall 2021, online surveys were completed by two independent, unrelated samples of parents (N = 1936) and youth (N = 2032). Parent and youth-reported barriers to weight communication included discomfort and lack of knowledge about weight, and views that weight does not need to be discussed. Most parents wanted guidance on how to navigate multiple weight related topics with their children. Youth preferences for how their parents can be more supportive of their weight included avoiding weight-related criticism and pressures, increasing sensitivity and encouragement, and emphasizing healthy behaviours rather than weight.

Full citation: Puhl, RM, Lessard, LM, Foster, GD, Cardel, MI. Parent–child communication about weight: Priorities for parental education and support. Pediatric Obesity. 2023;e13027. DOI:10.1111/ijpo.13027