Home » Expert Q & A » Eating Disorders » Eating Disorders: William Anderson

My obese daughter uses her allowance to buy junk food and my mother gives it to her. What should I do?

  • anonymous Asks ...

    My 8 year old daughter is 4 foot 6 and she weighs 135 pounds. She is not interested in exercise of any kind. I have been trying to model healthy eating and exercise habits but she doesn’t seem to care. I do not want to put her on a diet because of the message that sends but when I let her choose how much to eat she eats too much and she eats too much junk food as well (even though we don’t have it at home she has an allowance and her friends and grandma also supply it). How do I get her to lose weight without putting a lot of negative pressure on her? I don’t want her hungry but something has to change.

  • William Anderson Says ...
    William Anderson

    Dear mom,

    Keep modeling healthy behavior and teaching healthy thinking and habits. 

    Do not give her an allowance if she uses it for junk food. You would not give it to her if she used it for alcohol and cigarettes, would you? 

    If your mother will not stop making junk food available, do not allow your daughter to visit her. Let your mother see her only at your house. Do the same thing with the friends, if their houses make junk food available. If they gave the neighborhood kids beer and cigarettes, you would not allow your child to go there. Do the same with junk food. Actually, the junk food may be more damaging. 

    Do not talk about diets. They do more harm than good. Serve reasonable portions at meals and no more. If allowed unlimited quantities, people tend to need more and more and develop habits of eating more than they need. Make it so that proper portions become the habit.

    Don't be so concerned with her exercise. Model and lead, but don't lecture. The exercise plays a relatively insignificant role, relative to the food. 

    Don't put pressure on her to lose weight. Just control her environment. As the parent, you are in charge of that. Limiting where she goes and what she has is your responsibility. Take a parenting class if you need help. 

    Find out what the schools are doing. If they are not teaching good health habits, get on their case. Find out what they are serving for lunch and if they allow junk food sales in the school or promotion of them in the curriculum. 

    We are in the midst of an obesity epidemic where the culture, family and friends, are not aware their idea of "normal", in regards to food, is lethal and needs to change. You can help them by leading the way.

    Read all the articles on my website, www.TheAndersonMethod.com. Best wishes for helping your daughter. Her life will be so much better if you can help her solve this problem before it becomes devastating.

Featured Experts