New research suggests that careless comments about weight gain can have repercussions for years afterward.

The impact on girls may be especially destructive, she said, because “girls are exposed to so many messages about thinness and body weight, and oftentimes women’s value is closely linked to their appearance. If parents don’t challenge those messages, they can be internalized.”

Several studies have found that when parents encourage overweight teenagers to diet, the teenagers are at higher risk of lower self-esteem and depression and of being overweight five years later.

Source: Parents Should Avoid Comments on a Child’s Weight