The title of this post is also the title of a book that was somewhat popular a few years ago. Like Mother, Like Daughter explored the impact of mothers’ obsessions with weight and eating on their daughters’ attitudes about those subjects. It also somewhat obviously delved into the inevitable struggle with self and size acceptance that arises when daughters are ‘nurtured’ by moms who continue to buy into negative attitudes and beliefs about the same.
So while this isn’t a new topic, it’s certainly one that’s pertinent as "health officials warn parents about the dangers of junk food and lack of exercise" (so saith a recent Associated Press article on the subject). The point of the experts (one of whom is the impressive eating disorders therapist Carolyn Costin) quoted in the article is simple. While we want to help our children grow into healthy adults, fostering an obsession with diet and body image isn’t the way to go. And that’s just what happens when mothers make disparaging comments about their own bodies, or "squeal with delight over a few lost pounds" or "meticulously count every calorie that crosses their lips." Besides fostering a lack of self-esteem, such behaviors create a diet mentality that just about guarantees future struggles.
The article is an interesting — and short — read. Definitely one for all moms to take the time to check out — even if they only have sons (unfortunately this issue is starting to affect men more and more).