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Parents Getting Teens To Diet Doing More Harm Than Good, Study Says

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Billboards boasting the effectiveness of quick weight loss supplements  may not be the only thing creating a problem for teens. Parents trying to help their overweight teenager lose weight may also be doing more harm than good.

A new study finds that parents putting their children on a diet could lead to struggles with their weight as adults. The study, in the journal Pediatrics, of more than 500 teens who had been encouraged to diet, found that approach led to problems with food later.

"They followed teenagers who had been encouraged to diet, 15 years later and found that they were more likely to be overweight, to be dieting, binge-eating, and have lower body satisfaction," Dr. Susan Albers from the Cleveland Clinic said.

Those teens were later also more likely to encourage their own children to diet. According to Dr. Albers, dieting among teens can encourage a negative relationship with food. She says it's more beneficial to practice mindful eating - where the focus is on how you eat, rather than what you eat.

"It's so important to give teens these skills at this juncture in their life and I talk to parents about tools, not rules," Dr. Albers added.

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