I'm, Like, SO Fat!
Helping Your Teen Make Healthy Choices about Eating and Exercise in a Weight-Obsessed World
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It's hard to decide which is more frightening--the "food" teenagers enjoy, or the things they say about their bodies. Whether it's your son's passion for chips and soda or your daughter's announcement that she "feels fat," kids' attitude about how they look and what they should eat often seem devoid of common sense. In a world where television and school cafeterias push super-sized sandwiches while magazines feature pencil-thin models, many teens feel pressured to starve themselves and others eat way too much. Blending her experience as the mother of four with results from a survey of nearly 5,000 teens, Dr. Diane Neumark-Sztainer shows you how to respond constructively to "fat talk," counteract negative media messages, and give your kids the straight story about nutrition and calories, the dangers of dieting, and eating right when they're away from home. Full of examples illustrating the challenges teens face today, this upbeat and insightful book is packed with great ideas that will help kids everywhere feel better about their looks and make healthier choices about eating and exercise.
Table of Contents
1. If It's Not One Thing, It's Another: Dealing with a Spectrum of Weight-Related Problems
2. Our Susceptible Teens: What We Know about Causes and Contributing Factors
II. "How can we protect our teens when society pushes fat but promotes thin?"
3. Parents Matter (a Lot)
4. Friends, Fashions, and Fads
5. Physical Activity: A Big Part of the Answer...in Moderation
6. The Great Diet Debate
7. The Four Cornerstones of Healthy Weight and Body Image
III. "What and how much should teenagers eat?"
8. "I Know How to Diet...I Just Don't Know How to Eat": What Teens Need to Know about Nutrition
9. Portion Control and Calorie Counting: Teaching Teens to Pay Attention without Obsessing
10. Vegetarianism: Doing It Right-for Your Teen and Your Family
IV. "How can we make a difference at home...and away?"
11. Family Meals in a Fast-Food World
12. Eating Out---When Cooking Just Isn't Going to Happen
13. Fluent in the F Words: Talking with Teens about Food, Fat, and Other Touchy Topics
V. "What can we do when problems come up?"
14. Helping an Overweight Teen Be Healthy and Happy
15. How to Spot the Signs of an Eating Disorder and What You Can Do to Help
*Resources for Parents and Teens
"The pages of this book are packed with one good idea after another. In a scientifically sound and caring way, Dr. Neumark-Sztainer addresses topics that are central to the health and happiness of all girls and boys in their teenage years.”--Kelly D. Brownell, PhD, Director, Yale Center for Eating and Weight Disorders; author of Food Fight: The Inside Story of the Food Industry, America's Obesity Crisis, and What We Can Do About It
"Dr. Neumark-Sztainer is an internationally recognized expert on body image and eating problems in teenagers--and few scientists are able to communicate their insights in such a warm, understanding, and empowering manner. At every step, she offers realistic and thought-provoking suggestions for changes you can make to help enhance your teen's self-esteem and well-being."--Susan J. Paxton, PhD, School of Psychological Science, La Trobe University, Australia
"Dr. Neumark-Sztainer is a widely published researcher, a successful prevention specialist, and a gifted teacher. She is also a mother who has learned on the job how to strike a balance between active parenting, bite-your-tongue silence, and constant support for her children. This is an incredibly wise and helpful book for anyone struggling to give kids healthy messages about food, weight, shape, and exercise."--Michael P. Levine, PhD, Department of Psychology, Kenyon College; coeditor of Preventing Eating Disorders
"Dr. Neumark-Sztainer has integrated an impressive wealth of academic and practical knowledge into this comprehensive guide for parents. This is an exceptional and highly readable resource for dealing with the whole spectrum of eating and body shape preoccupation in teenagers. Suggestions for parents are sensible, doable, and grounded in current realities of family life. In an era of much confusion about body shape and weight, this book can serve as a powerful guide to raising children with a positive connection to healthy eating and their bodies."--Niva Piran, PhD, Counseling Psychology Program, University of Toronto, Canada
"For parents seeking to raise children who feel good about themselves and their bodies, this book is chock-full of helpful, practical information and insights. It will also be a valuable resource for health professionals and educators. Based on the research and wisdom of one of the country's leading adolescent nutrition experts, this book can help make a difference in the lives of teens and families."--Mary Story, PhD, Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
"This remarkable 'how-to' guide can be characterized in one word: balance. Dr. Neumark-Sztainer balances practical advice for parents with scientific evidence to support it--and shows how to help teens take a more balanced approach to food and fitness. Delightfully clear, uplifting, and empowering."--Richard E. Kreipe, MD, Chief of Adolescent Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, University of Rochester Medical Center
"It is too late to help my daughter, Anna, who died of an eating disorder at 21. I wish this book had been available when she was younger, because I might have been better equipped to help prevent her illness. I suggest all parents of teens read this book--the result would be far fewer teens suffering from weight-related problems."--Kitty Westin, President, The Anna Westin Foundation
"A tour de force. Neumark-Sztainer breaks down the latest academic research findings on teenage dieting, fitness, nutrition, and eating disorders in a way that parents can feel empowered to talk with their teens about weight and body image issues without alienating them. Her hands-on advice to parents of teens is extremely uplifting without being dogmatic. This book is a keeper; one of those core books on parenting that is destined to become a classic."--Sharlene Hesse-Biber, PhD, Department of Sociology, Boston College; author of Am I Thin Enough Yet?