Here's Liz Atwood with today's Tween Tuesday:

What does it tell you when three of the five most read stories this week on people.com have to do with Jessica Simpson's weight? Seems like everyone is weighing in (pun intended) on whether the star has put on a few too many pounds. I'm always amazed at how in the United States we have a serious obesity problem, and yet our ideal body type is extremely thin. This sends confusing messages to our tweens, whose struggles with body image sometimes lead to eating disorders.

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This confusion hit home the other day when my 12-year-old announced that he had written an essay about someone he admires. I was flattered when he told me he had written about me until I asked him to read what he had written. He began by describing me as "average looking" and said I was "a bit overweight." I admit I'd like to lose the 5 pounds I put on during the holidays, but my weight is still well within the normal range.

I shared this story with my hairdresser and she said her teen son had commented that he thought the actresses on Desperate Housewives were "fat." Meanwhile, when I asked my son to name girls and women who he thought were attractive, the people he mentioned seemed to me to be extremely — even unhealthily — thin.

What's your tween think? Does your tween have a distorted view of what body type is attractive and desirable?

Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

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