Childhood Obesity – Emotional Eating Creates Low Self Esteem
Or does Low Self Esteem cause Emotional Eating?
Susie is overweight. Susie has low self esteem.
Those two often go together. Why would Susie not have low self esteem if she feels she has no control over her body and her eating? The fact is that Susie has lots of control over her body, she just has not come up for air long enough in order to find that control. And, she is a child with far less experience in dealing with issues of this type.
When a child is overweight a little or a lot, her self esteem usually suffers. Susie is made fun of at school – especially on the playground where she cannot keep up with the others. They laugh and poke fun at her in the classroom because she is too big for her desk. No one sits with her on the bus because – well, because Susie does not leave room for another person.
Susie is constantly made to feel bad about herself; consequently, her self esteem suffers. She feels bad that others tease her and laugh at her. The only place she finds comfort is with food. Eating makes her feel good because she is concentrating on how good the food is rather than how she really feels.
What can be done?
Let me ask you this? Do you think Susie really understands when her mother talks about the dangers of Diabetes, Heart Disease, Joint Failure, and all the other things that will happen if Susie does not lose weight? Remember, Susie is a child. Her experiences are very limited and she is focused on the fact that she feels bad when people make fun of her and she feels good when she eats.
Susie is an emotional eater. She may eat because she has low self esteem OR she may have low self esteem because she is overweight. Nevertheless, something needs to be done for Susie.
Susie and her parents would benefit from more than nutrition and exercise lessons. What they really need to do is get to the bottom of why Susie has such low self esteem and raise it high. The higher it goes, the less Susie will eat. The less Susie eats, the higher her self esteem will rise. And so on and so on.
Many types of therapy are out there for children like Susie. She deserves to be helped. Psychologists, hypnotherapists, NLP practitioners, EFT practitioners all have tools for helping Susie find herself again.
Do you have a Susie in your family? Will you get her some help?