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Body Image


Body image is the mental picture you have of your body – what it looks like, what you believe about it, and how you feel about your body. Learn more about how you can develop a healthy body image.

Body image and health

Adults can help youth develop healthy habits and a positive body image:

  • Teach children that their self-worth is not related to how they look. Emphasize their talents and qualities. Don't focus on their physical appearance.
  • Give children healthy choices, and teach them to make informed decisions about what they eat. Involve them in planning meals, shopping and cooking.
  • Emphasize the positive aspects of healthy eating, rather than focusing on the effects of unhealthy eating.
  • Do not use food as a reward or punishment. If you use food as a reward or comfort, or if you restrict food as a punishment, you are sending the message that food leads to love and acceptance. This may encourage children to seek out food for comfort or self-punishment.
  • Remind them to eat when they are hungry and stop when they are full. The amounts they eat will vary as they grow. Respect their choices.
  • Make your family meals a peaceful time for enjoying food and talking with each other.
  • Live with a positive attitude to body image, not with a focus on food and weight. Show how you can be happy, healthy and active at any body size. Avoid complaining about your body, particularly in front of children.
  • Encourage self-awareness and critical thinking skills.
  • Be aware of advertising and toys aimed at children.

(Source: NEDIC - Health Promotion & Prevention (extenral link))