Lynchburg, VA - A new study shows teens who diet actually gain more weight over time.
The images are all around us: the magazine ads, the commercials, all pressuring teenagers to be thin.
Doctor Dianne Neumark-Sztainer is the author of "I'm like so fat." For the past 15 years, she has been tracking the eating habits of 2800 adolescents for 'Project Eat' at the University of Minnesota.
"We live in a society where we have classism, we have racism, and we have weightism," said Dr. Neumark-Sztainer.
The doctor's team found 58% of the teens studied used diet pills, vomiting, or skipping meals to lose weight. Plus the more adolescents dieted, the more weight they gained. In the course of 10 years, on average, adolescents gained 10 to 20 pounds more than teens who didn't diet.
"Talk less about weight, do more," said Dr. Neumark-Sztainer.
Dr. Neumark-Sztainer suggests offering healthy foods in the home, eating dinner as a family, and avoiding negative comments.
"Making comments like you should get off the couch, do you really want a second helping; these comments can be very hurtful, dangerous, and have unintended consequences," said Dr. Neumark-Sztainer.