Health Watch - Parental Guidance: Thin Worries

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.


This week on Health Watch, we’ve been talking about the important role that parents play in their children’s lives. Parents provide a lot of guidance in helping their children be emotionally and physically healthy. There are many concerns about childhood obesity, but the other end of the spectrum is also something to worry about.

It’s tough to be a teenage or pre-teen girl these days, with all the super-thin models and actresses serving as images of the ideal figure. Dr. Stephanie Setliff, a psychologist and eating disorders expert at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says these images contribute to the pressure girls feel to be perfect, and the result is younger and younger girls being diagnosed with eating disorders. Parents should look out for an obsession with food or exercise, dieting, changes in eating patterns, withdrawing from friends or favorite pastimes or wearing clothing that conceals the figure.

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April 2010


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