With First Lady Michelle Obama launching a nationwide campaign tackling childhood obesity, we've been hearing a lot about the issue in the news lately. This morning, CNN.com covered the story and asked how parents can best talk with their children about potential weight problems. Lucile Packard Children's Hospital pediatrician Thomas Robinson, MD, shared his thoughts:
It's better to address a weight problem with children directly rather than pretending it doesn't exist, said Dr. Tom Robinson, the director of the Center for Healthy Weight at the Stanford University School of Medicine.
"In our experience, obese children know that they are heavy. They may compare themselves with their peers or kids they see in the media and, not infrequently, they may have been teased about their weight," he said.
Parents should have an open dialogue with their children and assure them they are loved regardless of weight, he said.
Robinson and other experts went on to provide more specific advice for parents, including the need to focus on health, not weight; treat children equally; be a partner in health - not a policeman; and create an open environment for discussion.