DEAR ABBY: I'm an 18-year-old male living on my own in an apartment not far from my parents' home. They visit me often and take turns driving me to the local college because I don't have a car.
My parents tend to worry about me. I'm rather thin, but I eat healthy. My dad goes over the top with his concern about my weight and it is hurtful. He has called me a "cadaver" in front of friends. And when he drops me off after classes, he often says, "Now go eat something fattening!"
I have tried to discuss how his repeated comments affect my self-confidence, but am always met with, "I'm your father. I have every right to be concerned." Am I wrong to take offense at my dad's brand of concern? Is there anything I can do to evade these hurtful comments? -- TWIG WITH FEELINGS
DEAR TWIG: Your father's attempt to "help" you by ridiculing you in front of your contemporaries is insensitive. The fact that he is your father does not entitle him to be cruel.
If there is a student health center at your college, go there and talk to a medical professional about what is a healthy weight for your height and age, and whether any medical tests might be necessary to verify your health. If not, consult your family physician. This may provide the "proof" you need in discussions with your father. Some males fill out later than others.
You should also ask your mother to point out to your dad that what he's doing is counterproductive. Perhaps she can make him see the light. If that doesn't work, arrange other transportation to and from school so you will be less dependent on your father.