Dolores Catania is defending Teresa Giudice, who is being slammed for encouraging her now 17-year-old daughter, Milania Giudice, to lose weight.
During a recent episode of Teresa’s “Namaste B$tches” podcast, the teenager revealed that she lost 40 pounds in middle school after her mom and sisters nudged her to slim down — which Catania said was a “good” thing.
“I do remember Milania had gone through something and she was gaining weight,” Catania, 52, told the U.S. Sun Thursday.
“You know what? Sometimes as an adolescent, you get into an unhealthy lifestyle — you’re eating junk with your friends all the time,” she continued.
“I think it’s good for a mom to monitor and to be conscious of their child’s weight and to get on them about it before it gets out of hand. Obesity is very unhealthy.”
Milania told fans on her mother’s podcast last week that while the “Real Housewives of New Jersey” star, 51, never forced her to eat a certain way, she definitely made a point to comment on the then-middle schooler’s diet.
“My mom would — she would never say anything to me — but she’d be like, ‘Oh, you’re gonna have another ice cream?’” she recalled on the PodcastOne show.
The teen joked that at the time, she would quip back, “‘I don’t care if I’m fat!’ I’d be like, ‘If I’m fat, I’m fat. Whatever. It’s my life.’”
Yet sure enough, all of the constant commentary from her mother and sisters — who weren’t so subtle — led Milania to change her lifestyle.
However, the teen claimed she made her own decision to lose the weight and, that one day, “it just clicked, and I did it.”
In fact, Milania even asked Teresa to hire a nutritionist, who gave her the “healthiest meals” three times a day. On top of that, the then-eighth grader started working out twice a day: before school and after.
“They have to wanna do it themselves,” Teresa chimed in about her four daughters. “You can’t force them, and I didn’t want her to have a complex or anything, and I thought she looked adorable. She was just a little thicker.”
Teresa noted that she always found the teen “adorable” and “beautiful.”
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Yet many Bravo fans were quick to slam the reality TV star for even commenting on her daughter’s appetite and appearance at such an impressionable age.
“That’s so sad that she felt so much pressure from her own family to lose that much weight in such a short period of time,” one person wrote. “She was beautiful just as she was.”
“40 lbs in 2 months?!?!? That’s not healthy at all,” another added, while a third wrote, “This is how young girls are shamed. It can be the beginning of a life threatening eating disorder. Let young girls be free, happy and enjoy this short time in their lives.”
Despite the backlash, the mother-daughter duo enjoyed a night on the town together Tuesday for the Alicia Keys concert.
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