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Family Dynamics and Eating and Weight Problems

It’s no surprise that family dynamics can be a major contributor to eating and weight problems.

Obviously for a young child or teenager, how her parents regulate her food consumption and the eating behaviour they model will be the largest factors, other than genetics, affecting her relationship with food and her body. 

Parents who are “normal” eaters and have a healthy attitude toward weight will likely produce children who are comfortable in their bodies and around food. 

On the other hand, parent’s who are uptight around food, obsessed with calorie and fat gram counting, constantly dieting or monitoring their food intake, pass along to their children distorted, negative messages about the positive role food should play in life. 

The act of feeding is not the only behaviour that leaves an imprint on children’s attitudes toward food and weight, parents who are preoccupied with their own, their parents or their children’s weight are modelling a mindset that says there is not a range of acceptable weights, only one ideal number for each person, which implies that there is something wrong of a body does not achieve it.

People who grow up with parents who overtly or covertly express extreme dissatisfaction with their own or each other’s bodies pick up the attitude that bodies cannot be loved unconditionally, but must be whipped into acceptability. 

It is never too late to change your relationship with food and weight. You are not a lost cause. And if you think you can change your daughter’s mindset on food and the scale without changing yours… you are at risk for some upsetting times ahead. 

Change starts with you. The parent. Be the role model you wish you had. It might feel like one of your best achievements, seeing her grown-up, confident in her body. 

If you would like to start your food freedom journey, please reach out. 

Jill Bunny


As a cancer survivor and someone who lives with MS, I know the struggles that can come with life while trying to stay fit, healthy and energetic.