Sunday, February 8, 2009

Out of my comfort zone...

I dislike tabloid papers for obvious reasons but today I really hate them. Lets take this weeks poor victim - Jessica Simpson. On one hand I am outraged to read headlines like "Jessica Simpson and her fat pants" or "weighty issues for Jessica". And on the other hand, I'm concerned for teens reading this trash and believing that JS is fat! What effect does this have on teenage girls who are overweight? Or what about the girls who have distorted body images, how does this effect them? Jessica may have gained weight but she is a healthy weight. Do teenagers get this?

I asked one teenager, what do you drink at school? (back to the beverage issue!). Her response was "Arizona Iced Teas - about 3 a day". I could have told her all the reasons in the world why it would be better to drink water, but the bottom line is she likes these drinks. How do we talk to teens about making healthier choices ? On one blog I was asked about teens drinking coffee drinks and the effect of caffeine on their growth. I need to research this topic a little more, but I'm wondering, if we told our teens "drinking caffeine will stunt your growth" - would they care ?? I don't have answers to these questions.

As adults, we know that if we eat a lot of saturated fat for example, our cholesterol goes up and we may experience a heart attack sooner rather than later. The 'cause' and the 'effect' of eating unhealthy becomes clearer as we age. For most teens its about how they look, so talking to them about how they look, or how they think they look, and how this makes them feel is the important issue. If they are overweight, how do we help them ? As parents we need to take an active role in this step - provide healthy foods, prepare meals and work out with our teens. I am sure this is easier said than done !

I'm definitely out of my comfort zone when it comes to the mind of teenagers. I have no idea what they think about body weight and health issues. Any teenagers reading, or parents of teens, please share your thoughts !


  1. I remember drinking black coffee and diet coke as a teenager -- you knew to avoid the full sugar sodas and such -- there were few secrets. But today there are so many choices disguised as healthy that are LOADED with calories and sugar. Even veggie juices and teas. I remember putting on 10 pounds after college and not knowing what the hell was happening. then I realized that I'd been drinking frozen coffee mocha drinks from AuBonPain -- three or four a day! Then someone told me they were 700+ calories a pop! And I thought it was all the Bass Ale! (not that it wasn't a factor, but). Most of the teenagers I know have healthy body images (so far) I will have to ask them more outright to be sure that's the case! Great post, nic. xo

  2. Great conversation starter. I look forward to following this is timely and important.

    I know there is a best seller in here....