Obese Kids: Talk to Them

Here’s a good idea. Worried your kids are gaining too much weight? Talk to them about it. According to Reuters training healthcare professionals with special interviewing techniques designed to motivate parents of overweight kids could help children stay fit and trim. Anne Harding reports:

The technique, motivational interviewing, involves asking open-ended questions (for example, "could you tell me how you feel about your weight"), listening and repeating the interviewee's answers, and encouraging them to recognize what is holding them back from making changes, Dr. Robert P. Schwartz of Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, the study's lead author, told Reuters Health.

"What you want to do is get the patient to take responsibility for their behaviors," Schwartz said in an interview. "What motivational interviewing does is help people get unstuck from their ambivalence."

Motivational interviewing has been used successfully to help people with substance abuse problems, but employing the approach to address physical activity and nutrition is something new, he added.

Talk to your kids—who would have thought?

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Monty - May 15, 2007 3:06 PM

What if the parents are obese? Would they be saying "Do as I say, not as I do"? All the children would know is fattening food. Could they take seriously what the parents say, when there is nothing they can relate it to?

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