Each month, Dr. Weiss & The Weiss Pediatric Care team publishes a response to one of our parent’s or patient’s health related questions – everything from signs, symptoms, and treatment of illnesses to sibling squabbles, sleep issues, and school concerns. Whatever’s on your mind when it comes to physical, developmental, social, emotional, and academic well-being
This month’s question focuses on eating:
“When does “emotional eating” become something to worry about?”
For the answer we turned to Ethan Weiss, Child & Adolescent Therapist, who comes with great credentials.
In addition to Master’s degrees in Child Development (MS) and Social Work (MSW), Dr. Weiss and I can personally vouch for his expertise.
Ethan is our son and has followed in the footsteps of his grandfather, Sarasota’s first Developmental Pediatrician; his mother (me), a Parenting & Child Development Specialist; and his dad, Dr. Weiss, Pediatrician extraordinaire!
A passion for supporting children and their families runs deep in our family. Ethan has extended that passion to children’s emotional and mental health.
Here’s what Ethan had to say about “emotional eating.”
Lots of people find comfort in food. Some people love ice cream, others turn to cheesy nachos, while to others nothing is as satisfying as chowing down on an entire chocolate bunny (I promise you, he had it coming…).
The point is: food does have the power to give us some “comfort” in life’s rough moments; same with exercise, friends, good music, funny shows–anything that releases endorphins and gives us a lift when we are heavy hearted and low.
The problem starts when a person has or uses only one coping strategy, to the point at which it starts to interfere with healthy daily functioning.
Comfort food can be great for a break-up or a big loss, but when it becomes the “go-to” for dealing with disappointments big and small, it changes from a helpful “sometimes-strategy” to a bad habit.
Many thanks to the parent who submitted this thoughtful question, and to Ethan Weiss for providing words of wisdom.