Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein Offers Tips On Child and Teen Obesity And Adolescent Eating Disorders

Dr. Holstein is a positive psychologist, educator and author of fiction books for teens and tweens. She believes teens and tweens can learn best through reading engaging and educational fictional accounts of others facing serious issues

Recent reports have noted that movie theaters are losing money as the result of being forced to change the seats in the cinemas from 19 inches wide to 21 inches wide. This is but a result of the problem of obesity our society must face. This problem is magnified for teens and tweens however, as it is during this time period that self image is formed. Many forms of education are offered our youth to attempt to educate and guide them during these formative years. Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein believes there is one form of such messages that can directly engage teens and tweens and help them like no other form can: educational fiction.

"Fiction writing," stated Dr. Holstein, "has given me, a positive psychologist and educator, a way of providing self-help information and support to girls, tweens, teens and the adults in their lives. There are so many topics to tackle: bullying, family dysfunction, relocation, crushes and of course body issues. In The Truth Series, the girl faces and handles many of these issues. It is in the second book, Secrets: You Tell Me Yours and I'll Tell You Mine...Maybe!, at the age of 13 she begins her own journey with how she perceives and handles her body. The girl is concerned that she is getting too heavy. Her frank diary entries make wonderful leaping off points for discussion. I also include questions at the end of the book for further thought. We have a national epidemic going on. Real obesity in children is one problem; the perception of being overweight is another. Either or both can lead to various forms of eating disorders."

As a psychologist and educator, Dr. Holstein is on the front lines of helping parents help children grow up strong, resilient, confident of their self-image and themselves. To this end, she offers the following tips:

1. Praise your children for their positive actions, behaviors and words. Make it clear that their response to life as a good citizen and a loving family member is much more important than their looks or body type.

2. Don't compare or judge people's looks or bodies. Rather point out a person's fine character trait or a good deed that a person has done. Your children are always listening to you and what you say, even if you think they are blocking you out! Your attitude very much influences how they will perceive others and themselves.

3. Show your children by your own eating habits, that you recognize the need for eating healthy foods. If you are out of control around certain foods and habits, what message is that sending to your kids?

4. Consider planting a small garden or learning more about the foods we eat with your children. This can be a fun activity like visiting a potato chip factory, or something more serious, like learning about the differences between organic farming and non-organic farming.

5. Cook up delicious meals, at least on occasion, and let the kids help. It can be fun to find recipes together and shop for the ingredients as a family outing. Praise them for their help and don't get caught up in the milk that spills or the egg that fell and cracked on the floor.

6. Enjoy exercising as a family. Going to the gym or doing a sport together can be wonderful. But simply putting on music and dancing around the house or in the kitchen can burn lots of calories and led to laughs, hugs and feeling connected as a family.

7. And of course, if you child is suddenly gaining or losing weight or showing any form of eating disorder, talk to a pediatrician immediately.

Dr. Barbara speaks regularly on radio programs around the country, and appears on television in New York and New Jersey. Her inspiring audio shows and podcasts can be found on the web, along with hundreds of her articles and stories. She has been a contributor to Heart and Soul, Cosmopolitan Magazine, Redbook, Simple Pleasures, The Wall Street Journal, Time on line, and Family Circle Magazine. She can be reached using the information below or by email at


Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein, internationally know Positive Psychologist is the creator of The Enchanted Self ®, a positive psychology method for increasing happiness. Dr. Holstein has been a school psychologist for over 25 years. She is in private practice in Long Branch, New Jersey with her husband, Dr. Russell M. Holstein.

Her pathfinder book ‘The Enchanted Self, A Positive Therapy’ was published in 1997 by Harwood Academic Publishers and is now in its second printing through Brunner-Routledge. Her second book ‘Recipes for Enchantment, The Secret Ingredient is YOU!’ has received rave reviews as a wonderful inspirational story book. ‘DELIGHT’, Dr. Holstein’s third book is available in two versions, paperback and a CD-rom that includes music, art, and Dr. Holstein’s voice.

Her book, ‘The Truth, (I’m a girl, I’m Smart and I Know Everything)’ is a first in positive psychology. It is a fiction book for girls, tweens and teens. Written by an 11 year old girl as a diary, Dr. Barbara has embedded within the story positive truths and concepts geared to help girls develop self-esteem and resiliency

Her second book in The Truth Series is Secrets: You Tell Me Yours and I’ll Tell You Mine…maybe!’ Now the girl is 13. She handles many adolescent issues, including a crush, moving, a death in the family, feeling fat and problems with girlfriends. Kids and parents have a book they can share and use as a sounding board for needed communication between the generations.

All books are available at the author’s websites below, online booksellers and stores nationwide.


Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein
170 Morris Ave., Long Branch, New Jersey 07740