Health is not just a mind-set – it’s a way of living. Diet culture is the in-thing these days and there is mushrooming of the number of health and wellness options in the industry. In the quest for eating healthy, people often end up pursuing diets that are just passing fads and not sustainable in the long run. A new research suggests that the consequences of dieting and even talking about dieting are much more pronounced in children than their adult counterparts.
Research suggests that the number of children and teens developing eating disorders continues to grow, thanks to excessive diet culture. These eating disorders can affect their health, both physical and mental, for many years to come, and thus, may be harmful for children. Diet culture is especially harmful for children since they are in the most need of a balanced diet with ample quantities of all the nutrients, which gives energy and encourages growth. If kids take up dieting, they are at a high risk of developing deficiencies of nutrients such as iron and calcium that are essential to the functioning of the body.
Jennifer Anderson, who is the founder of an Instagram page called ‘Kids Eat In Color’, feels the issue rings pretty close to home. “I’ve heard preschool teachers saying that kids will look at another kid’s lunch bag and see chips, and tell them, ‘Your mom’s giving you poison’,” said Anderson. Parents too have a vital role in preventing children from getting addicted to any diet culture. One way is to block, delete or avoid installing apps or watching shows which promote excessive dieting. With steps like these, children will stay put to eating a balanced diet and reduce risk of them developing any eating disorders.