You should never say this to your young girls: experts
WOMEN who remember their parents' comments about their childhood weight are more likely to be unhappy with their size as adults, research suggests.
The study also found they are more prone to being overweight in later life.
"Commenting on a woman's weight is never a good idea, even when they are young girls," said Brian Wansink, the study's lead author.
The study, published in the journal Eating and Weight Disorders, asked 501 women aged 20 to 35 about their body satisfaction, their eating habits and their BMI.
They were also asked to remember when their parents made comments about their weight or how much they ate as a child.
Women with a healthy body mass index (BMI) were found to be 27 per cent less likely to remember their parents commenting about their weight than women whose BMI indicated they were overweight.
They were also 28 per cent less likely to recall their parents saying they ate too much.
However, both women with healthy and overweight BMI who remembered their parents comments about their weight were less satisfied with their size as adults.
Dr Wansink added: "If you're worried about your child's weight, avoid criticizing them or restricting food.
"Instead, nudge healthy choices and behaviors by giving them freedom to choose for themselves and by making the healthier choices more appealing and convenient.
"After all, it's the choices that children make for themselves that will lead to lifelong habits."