The Fat Conversation – Difficult to have but Necessary

Although having such a conversation with a child can be difficult if parents approach it in the right way then the long term benefits are immense. So if they feel they need help to solve the problem then we should try to help them get it right.


One in three children in the UK are obese, it seems that many parents need to have a conversation with their children about being ‘fat’. Even though there is oftentimes obviously a need to have the conversation parents are still reluctant to do so.

Many are worried that by brining up the subject of waist size it will have negative consequences in the future that could harm the child in question.

”A new survey has found that 40% of parents are worried that talking to their child about their weight will lead to an eating disorder. This figure rises to 65% of parents who identify their child as being overweight or obese.”

Also over a third of parents think that by bringing up the subject of their child’s weight it could lower their self-esteem.

The ‘Let’s Talk About Weight’ survey, conducted by MEND (Mind, Exercise, Nutrition…Do it!) did however find that even with these concerns 42% of parents had attempted to have the conversation with their child. However almost half of them said it had not been a good experience and 85% of parents with an overweight child though there should be more support to help parents approach the subject properly, so as not to make things worse for the child.

Dr Paul Chadwick the co-founder, Clinical Psychologist and Clinical Director at MEND said, “With obesity affecting a third of the UK’s children, we can no longer afford for weight to be a taboo subject.” Especially with its links to other serious long term health problems such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Chadwick also said, “It’s crucial that we talk about obesity in a helpful way with a focus on the positive aspects of being healthy rather than ‘looking good’. At MEND we can support parents and health professionals to talk about weight in a way which supports children to become fitter, healthier and happier.”

Original Article can be found here: