Monday, November 21, 2016

Arguing with teens over food this T-Day

For many reasons, teenagers start responding to messages about obesity and the environment and embark on diets that don't just limit intake, but eliminate entire food groups.

This can lead to "discussions" and confusion at big gatherings.

C.S. Mott Children's Hospital did a survey of 910 parents with at least one child between 13 and 18.

--One in six said their teen had tried a diet that is vegetarian. Six percent said, gluten-free. Four percent said vegan and two percent said paleo.

Half of these parents said this had caused trouble at holiday and family meals.

And it wasn't just Aunt Emma getting hurt because the kid would not eat her famous Mac 'n' Cheese.

Families also had trouble finding a restaurant all could enjoy (61%). Fifty-five percent spent extra time finding and preparing special dishes. Stress was a factor--with this stressing 54% of those surveyed. And the special foods represented an extra expense for half.

Parents, the researchers said, could ask the teens to prepare his or her own meals or find good substitutions.

But why did the kids come up with these requirements?

--A third said their kid's rationale was health-related.

--29% said another family member was on the same diet.

--A friend's suggestion (17%)

--The diet's environmental impact (14%)

Half of the parents also said they looked into the teen's diet and suggested vitamins or supplements.

But just 17% took the kid to a doctor to discuss the regimen.

So how do the teens fare on these diets?

--Half the parents said it made the teen feel healthier

--41% said no difference

--7% said the teen's health was impacted negatively

Well, kids--you know... They won't stay on anything too restrictive too long--unless, of course, it leads to an eating disorder. Then shunning turkey will be the least of the problems.

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