SAVANNAH, Ga (WSAV) — The teenage years are a time of developing self-esteem and self-identity but when teens struggle with their physical image it impacts their emotional growth.

Social media and language around weight and body image can be damaging. Many teens are then vulnerable to using unhealthy diet solutions. This Wellness Wednesday we’re sitting down with mental health expert Mary Jo Horton from Memorial Health. Below are some of her tips for helping teens develop healthy body image and habits:

  • All adults would benefit from evaluating their habits and language
  • It`s important to create a culture where health and body image are openly discussed
  • Lean on medical providers to work with youth regarding options for health and weight
  • Empower you and your teen to work with a therapist regarding emotional issues in this area

It’s important to have open conversations with your doctor or therapist to learn ways to approach the topic of diet culture with teens. Be kind to yourself—not many people were taught how to approach body weight and image—form habits that nourish and not diminish.