Morning Rounds: Ending Emotional Eating

Norfolk, VA - Giving your children their favorite sweet or salty treat to stop the tears can seem like a good idea at the time, but News 3 medical expert Dr. Ryan Light says emotional eating can cause serious health problems in the future.

“[If] we’re eating just out of stress, then it becomes what we do every time that we’re stressed,” said Dr. Light of Tidewater Physicians Multispecialty Group practice at Greenbrier Family Medicine. “Instead of having coping mechanisms, it leads to over eating and excess calories.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control, childhood obesity rates have tripled since the 1970s.  Their data indicates one in five school aged children are obese.

Dr. Light said ending emotional eating begins with parents. He encourages moms and dads to model healthy eating habits and avoid using food to celebrate.

“Birthday cakes or having a part is fine,” said Dr. Light. “It shouldn’t be your primary coping strategy for every single event in your life.”