September 30, 2018


Dear Brandon,

I love my sister a lot and care about her. Lately, she has been eating TONS of junk food. She eats it at night and hides behind the couch just to devour bags of goldfish! I am very worried and scared that when she’s older, she is going to be overweight and unhealthy! I can already see she’s gained weight! Even my parents are concerned! I am really worried and I need your help!

Sister Of A Sneaky Snack Eater

Hey Sister Of A Sneaky Snack Eater,

It sounds like you really love your sister a lot and that’s amazing. She’s lucky to have you.

Now I don’t have siblings, but I do have friends who have dealt with food and eating disorders. Based on that, here’s what I think: don’t get involved in what she eats AT ALL.

If she’s already hiding to eat junk food, then she already knows people are watching and judging her weight and what she eats. So, she’s already building up negative thoughts about food, her weight and self-esteem.

She needs you to be a safe space.

So, don’t make ANY comments about food or weight to her. And if she loses weight, don’t make a big deal about how great she looks – because that will make her feel like she didn’t look great before.

There’s a difference between eating junk food and massively binging on junk food in a really unhealthy way and I don’t know what’s happening here. There’s also a very BIG difference between being naturally chubby and being very obese.

Your job as her sister is to be there for her and love her NO MATTER WHAT. If there’s a medical reason that what she eats and what she weighs is unhealthy, then leave that up to your parents and her doctor. What she needs from YOU is a supportive sister.

Try not to worry. Chances are good it’s just a phase that she’s going through. But if everyone makes a huge deal of it, it could turn into a much bigger problem. So be cool, model healthy eating habits for her, and don’t make a big deal of weight or food—including your own weight and the food you eat.

I hope that helps!

Have you ever worried about a sibling or friend’s unhealthy habits? What did you do? Tell us in the comments!