As parents, we want the best for our little kiddos and would do ANYTHING for them. Whether it’s a dad sporting a cochlear implant tattoo to show solidarity for his daughter or a mom founding a biotech company to search for a cure for her daughter’s genetic disorder, a parent’s love knows no bounds. Heck, one Colorado dad even took beauty school classes (!!) so he could do his daughter’s hair in the morning.

Mother and daughter having a good time

So, when it comes to helping our daughters with body image issues, you want to do everything you can to keep it positive. Now, a new study, published in the Eating and Weight Disorders Journal, makes a correlation between how parents talk to their daughters about their weight when they are children and how they feel about their bodies as adults.

More than 500 women, ages 20 to 35, were interviewed about the comments their parents made when they were younger about their eating habits and their weight. The study found that the more that parents critiqued their daughters, the more likely it was that they were overweight and felt self-conscious about their bodies. For girls who don’t remember their parents saying much, if at all, about their weights or eating too much as children, they had healthy BMIs (Body Mass Index) compared to the other women surveyed in the study.

One of the most important tidbits from the study is that no matter the actual weight of the women featured, those who said that their parents commented the most on their weight or said things like, “Don’t eat so much,” all reported that they were unhappy with their current weight, despite their BMI.

One of the authors of the study, Brian Wansink, suggests that if a parent is a concerned with their children’s weight, steer them toward healthier eating options instead of critiquing their weight. Making meals at home and working out together are great ways to bond with your child AND and guide them toward healthy habits. PSST… Want to start cooking with your kiddo at home? Check out these pro chef tips from Patricia Wong, founder of PBS’s YouTube cooking series Farm to Table Family.

What do you think of this study’s findings? Tweet us your thoughts @BritandCo!

(Photo via Getty)