Intuitive Eating

What percentage of 5-year-old girls are dieting? The answer may surprise you.

March 31, 2016

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A Certified Eating Disorders Registered Dietitian (CEDRD) with a master's degree in dietetics & nutrition. My passion is helping you find peace with food - and within yourself.

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In a study recently published in the International Journal of Eating Disorders, 35% of 5-year-old girls reported dieting behaviors.  That's roughly 1/3 of girls in kindergarten.  

Why are kindergarteners dieting?!  And how do they even know what dieting is?!

People really believe they are doing the right thing by trying to teach kids to be healthy eaters and to prevent childhood obesity.  The irony is that the methods that caring parents and teachers are using actually increase the child's risk of weight gain and eating disorders.  Talk about opposite of desired effect.  

What would actually make our kids healthy?  Letting them continue to be the intuitive eaters they were born as.  Stop interfering with their ability to self-regulate their eating.  Adults certainly need to provide structure and balance to a child's eating opportunities - and these are NOT synonymous with restricting the child's food.  For more info visit

Source: Damiano et al.  Dietary Restraint of 5-Year-Old Girls: Associations with Internalization of the Thin Ideal and Maternal, Media and Peer Influences.  Int J ED 2015;48:1166-1169.



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