Talking to tweens about healthy eating

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(CNN) — It’s an uneasy topic when moms discuss their daughters’ weight.

It’s no different for the first lady.

When Michelle Obama mentioned her daughters’ weight once had gotten “off balance” in speeches about childhood obesity, she came under criticism from parenting bloggers and anti-eating-disorder activists. They said the first lady inadvertently brought attention to her two young daughters’ weight when they are at a sensitive age.

Obama’s mention of her girls in this context raised an issue many parents may confront. When parents become aware of a possible health problem related to their children’s weight, how can they address the problem without causing self-esteem issues for youngsters?

It’s better to address a weight problem with children directly rather than pretending it doesn’t exist, said Dr. Tom Robinson, the director of the Center for Healthy Weight at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

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