• Diet Culture Is Harming Our Kids | Zoe Bisbing And Leslie Bloch Of The Full Bloom Project | Episode 127

  • Diet culture is hurting our kids Full Bloom ProjectDiet culture is making it hard for our teens to interact with food in a healthy way. It turns food choices into moral judgements and cultivates eating disorders. Our kids feel judged for their body weight, exercise habits, and food choices and it’s harming their self-esteem, health, and even their relationships with us. Mighty Parenting podcast host Sandy Fowler talks with therapists Zoe Bisbing and Leslie Bloch to understand diet culture and the reality our teenagers are living in with regards to weight, body shape, and size. 



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    A Favorite Quote from the Show: 

    “Parents can focus our compliments and praise for our children on the things we value, on their character rather than their looks.”

    High Points From Our Conversation About How Diet Culture is Harming Our Kids:

    Full Bloom Project diet cultureDiet culture is a system of knowledge, values, and meanings that supports interpretations of personal health choices as moral character. It focuses on and values weight, shape, and size over well-being. 

    Variations of diet culture also include rigid eating patterns that on the surface are in the name of health, but in reality are about weight, shape, or size. 

    Diet culture is making it hard for our teens to interact with food in a healthy way.

    Diet culture is impacting our teenagers and twenty somethings in ways large and small. The effects fall on a continuum from severe eating disorders to normative discontent where people just don’t feel good in their bodies.

    Our kids need to eat well and nourish their bodies without feeling the need for compensatory behaviors. 

    Our kids develop a sense of what’s valued from home, school, and peers. As they get older they look more to their peers to see what is worth their time and energy.

    It can be exciting for parents to see kids make healthy choices but those choices aren’t always good. Healthy eating or exercising done to excess is actually not healthy. They may spend so much energy on the behavior that they end up neglecting other important facets of life. They can also become obsessed and unable to skip the exercise or eat anything that isn’t perfect.

    Diet culture perpetuates the idea that “bad eating” needs to be punished with exercise.

    Parents can intervene now to help prevent problems later. One starting point is coming to terms with our own body issues.

    We can focus our compliments and praise for our children on the things we value, on their character rather than their looks.

    We want to avoid vilifying foods or attaching moral judgement to eating particular foods.

    95% of people who make drastic changes in order to lose weight do not sustain the weight loss. Those who do sustain it often end up with an eating disorder.

    The goal is to eat intuitively.

    Weight science does not hold up to the idea that diet and exercise will help everyone lose weight. Social and interpersonal relationships have shown to have a greater impact on health outcomes than weight loss.

    Our Guests:

    Leslie Bloch Zoe Bisbing diet cultureZoë Bisbing and Leslie Bloch are both psychotherapists based in New York City and mothers of two. They met in graduate school and, over countless coffee dates, quickly discovered a shared dedication to the treatment of eating disorders and body image concerns. As their families and private practices blossomed, they both have become certified specialists in the early detection and family-based treatment of childhood and adolescent eating disorders.

    Zoë and Leslie are co-founders of the Full Bloom Project, where they help parents apply insights from the research to promote body-positivity, self esteem, and well-being in their families. They host the weekly Full Bloom Podcast and create downloadable resources for body-positive parenting available on their website, www.fullbloomproject.com.

    Our Sponsors:

    Save The Children – help a child get through the pandemic www.savethechildren.org/savekids

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