Children and Stress
Stress affects both adults and children, and seems to be on the increase in our fast-paced world. There is concern that children’s hurried and scheduled lives leaves little free time for relaxation and play.
Stress may have an effect on our weight:
- During stressful times some people use food for comfort and to decrease anxiety.
- When we feel rushed and stressed, it’s harder to listen to our inner signals for hunger and fullness so we may overeat.
- Parents who are experiencing stress may have less energy to plan and prepare balanced meals and keep active as a family.
Stress is one possibility to consider if your child seems to be gaining weight too quickly. Ask yourself:
- Have any stressful family events happened recently? For example, separation, divorce, death of a family member or money problems.
- Is your child under stress at school? For example, having difficulty with school work, being teased or bullied.
- Are you and your child always in a power struggle over what and how much he/she should eat for meals and snacks? Are you concerned that your child is eating too much?
- Is your family life so busy that there is little time for parents or kids to relax? Is there too little time for family meals?
If you believe your family needs counselling and support to deal with issues that are causing stress, referral information is available through:
- Your family doctor
- Your local branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association
For more information: