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One Size Doesn't Fit All

The teen years can be tough. But life for a teen struggling with weight and eating issues, life can be downright depressing and miserable.

Author Abby Ellin talked about issues of fat and food with teens, parents and experts for her new book, "Teenage Waistland: A Former Fat Kid Weighs in on Living Large, Losing Weight and How Parents Can (and Can't) Help." Click here to read an excerpt from her book.

Though Ellin claims right up front to not have the answer to what will help your teen lose weight, she does know what won't work.

She says, "It's not a one-size-fits-all problem or solution. No one thing works for everyone, and it's hard to know what the right one is for you and your child. Don't shame the child. Take them to the doctor and make sure everything is okay."

The desire to lose weight has to come from within, Ellin tells The Early Show co-anchor Hannah Storm. She notes that notes parents are not always helpful in their desire to support their kids.

"I think I became conscious of that when my grandmother wouldn't let me go live in Florida," Ellin explains, "She wouldn't let me come visit her until I lost ten pounds when I was 12 years old. All of a sudden, this unconditional love had a condition on it."

Ellin believes parents need to confront their own food issues before trying to help their children. She is firmly convinced that parents are passing on their own unhealthy attitudes and are not very good at helping their children.

The following are a few of the parenting tips she talks about on the show:

  • Don't keep junk food in the house
  • Model good behavior
  • Don't shame your child
  • Self acceptance is a difficult task
  • Don't fall into the fat acceptance trap
  • Attitude is contagious