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Understanding Thinheritance and How to Help Teens Overcome It

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Thinheritance is a relatively new term meaning that some teenage girls and boys have a strong desire to be thin. Many people would say this is due to the media and society as a whole for the way overweight and obese people are looked down upon. In actuality, it is simply learned behavior from a close relative more often than not the mother.

How Thinheritance Develops

Thinheritance develops by children and teens listen to their parents or other close family members. Mothers who do not have a good body image allow their feelings to show in front of their children. This makes the children uncomfortable with their own body image.

In some cases, parents and those adults close to the child/teen will comment on the child/teens eating habits and body imagine a perfect example that seems harmless is “If you continue to eat like that you are going to be as big as the house!” Children seek their parent’s approval therefore; being thin in their parents (mostly their mother’s eyes) becomes a priority for them. This can lead to an eating disorder.

How to Help Teens Overcome Thinheritance

Logically the best way for a child/teen to overcome this “condition” is for parents/adults not to belittle themselves in front of their children to begin with. Secondly, not commenting on the child/teens eating habits will also help prevent any eating issues or disorders. If parents provide their children with a healthy well balanced diet and instill the importance of exercise through activities that are active at an early age Thinheritance can be stopped before it begins.

If you find yourself in a position where it has already began then changing your (the parent/adults) behavior about your own body imagine and eating habits in front of your child/teen may be beneficial. If that does not help the situation then therapy may be needed especially if you notice signs of an eating disorder.