April 2014 Blogs

Students and Body Image: A Brief Overview of a Complex Issue

 from the Team of Registered Dietitians from Dairy Farmers of Canada

There is a lot of talk these days about how children's health is affected by their weight, eating behaviour and activity level. At the same time, many children are finding it increasingly difficult to maintain a positive body image and to feel good about themselves. In this article we explore some of the complexities surrounding weight, body image and self-esteem.

 

What Are Body Image and Self-Esteem?

 

Many factors, including weight, can influence body image and self-esteem and, in turn, our thoughts, feelings, and behaviour. We know body image and self-esteem can influence our thoughts and activities, but what do these terms really mean?

Promoting a Healthy Body Image for Students

 from the Team of Registered Dietitians from Dairy Farmers of Canada

Supporting positive body image and self-esteem in children has countless benefits for the children in your classes (1). Implementing strategies that promote positive body image in your school can help create a supportive school environment free from weight bias, weight-based bullying and eating problems among students (2). Having a positive body image helps a child to develop emotional stability, good self-esteem and confidence (1). Promoting positive body image can help to foster a healthier, happier and more productive classroom in which children feel safe, accepted, validated and celebrated.

Change the Way You Think to Change the Way You Eat

Wendy Shah, RD and Dr. Colleen Cannon of the Craving Change™ program

Many people want to understand ‘why’ they eat the way they do. Why do they frequently crave unhealthy foods? Why do they take second portions when they already feel full? Why are they searching for a snack 20 minutes after eating a meal? This is especially true for those who need to focus on their food choices because of a medical condition or weight management. Most people blame themselves when they ‘fall off the wagon’. Does this sound familiar??

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