33 answers

Overweight Teenage Daughter

My daughter, 13, just had a physical. She is 5'4" and weighs 178 lbs. I was a little shocked to hear how much she weighs. Her family on her dad's side are all overweight. Growing up I was extremely thin (even though it has caught up with me after 3 kids). I have talked to her about how she needs to watch what she eats and exercise because of the genes that she inherited. She loves to eat sugary treats, loves Starbucks, and doesn't really watch what she eats. How do I tell her without hurting her feelings that she should start dieting? I have always told her that numbers don't matter as long as she is healthy, but I don't think she has a healthy lifestyle right now. Thanks for your input.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks for all your input about my request. I wish I could monitor my daughter's intake of food 24/7, but unfortunately she makes some of her own choices when she is away from home. So a nutritionist sounds like a good idea. I really appreciated the responses that could relate to my situation and my family.

Featured Answers

My sister had a similar issue last year, it has since changed. Her 14 year old daughter is now quite average in weight. The only change in the house hold is that my sister lost 30 pounds herself and did not "preach" what she did not "practice" her self! They began to walk together and both changed their eating habits. It wasn't instant, when my sister first began excersicing and eating right, her daughter was not "on board". When she noticed the difference in her mom, she gradually began to join in! Good luck. I know that as a mom of teenagers we have to be so careful not to lower self-esteem, they get enough criticism from peers!

1 mom found this helpful

I was an overweight child until I found out about fresh veggies for snacks, such as carrots, celery, broccoli and cauliflower. I little low fat dip is good with all of these. Try to impress upon her that weight causes health problems. I hate people who think thin is beautiful, but to me health is most important. Lots of veggies, raw or cooked without butter are good. My favorite snack is a radish or carrots. Good luck.

At 13 years of age...you are the culprit! Do not blame genes! She is 13 and drinks starbucks! You need to be more involved in her life..work out together, eat healthy together, lose weight together, all the while spending time together.

More Answers

I wouldn't tell her she needs to start dieting at all. I would start a healthy eating/exercise program for the whole family, and I would not say one word about the reason for it, unless you want to say that you feel the whole family needs to start getting healthier. You do not want to damage her self-esteem, or cause other family members to resent her because they don't get to eat junk food any more.

If she likes sugary stuff, then don't have it in the house. It isn't benefiting anybody's health. Starbuck's? Tell her that the economy is such that Starbuck's is a luxury that your family can no longer afford. Try finding a healthy beverage for your family to enjoy. Smoothies, or herbal teas (sweetened with honey, splenda, or some other type of sweetener if sweetening is necessary) might be some better options.

1 mom found this helpful

Along with making healthier meals for your WHOLE family at home (so it's not just a focus on her), get her involved in a physical activity that she would enjoy. It can be boring just to go and exercise. Find a class or sport that she would enjoy participating in. Swimming, dance, or karate might be good choices. If she's involved in something fun, it won't be a focus on exercising. It will just be a benefit that comes with doing something fun. Talk to her and decide together on a activity that would be fun for her.

1 mom found this helpful

I would emphasize "gaining" a healthy lifestyle instead of "losing" weight. None of us likes to "lose" anything and making this distinction has helped many people that I know. You are the best influence on your daughter - If you eat well and are physically active. If you can find activities to do to together that would be great,too.

The CDC has several resources for guidelines for a healthy lifestyle for kids. Here is a link to a site designed for 9-13 year-olds (might be a little "young" for your daughter):

http://www.bam.gov/

And some for you:

http://www.cdc.gov/HealthyYouth/physicalactivity/brochure...
http://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/everyone/guidelines/c...

1 mom found this helpful

Be VERY careful how you approach this. Do not make it seem like it is only her problem and/or her fault. I think the approach of what another poster said would work best. Change the eating patterns and lifestyle of the whole family to one that is healthier. Talk to the doctor for a recommendation to a dietician. Avoid Weight Watchers and similar places right now. Take a class with her about food and nutrition from a repritable source. Then it's not as much of a focus about weight loss as it is about healthy eating (which will lead to weight loss).

If you put the focus on your weight loss and healthy lifestyle(or your husbands ?) and INVITE her to participate you will get her to do what you want better than putting the focus on her.

And, I can tell you that she already knows that she is heavier than most of the girls in her class, she doesn't need to be told.

Good luck to you and your daughter.

1 mom found this helpful

My sister had a similar issue last year, it has since changed. Her 14 year old daughter is now quite average in weight. The only change in the house hold is that my sister lost 30 pounds herself and did not "preach" what she did not "practice" her self! They began to walk together and both changed their eating habits. It wasn't instant, when my sister first began excersicing and eating right, her daughter was not "on board". When she noticed the difference in her mom, she gradually began to join in! Good luck. I know that as a mom of teenagers we have to be so careful not to lower self-esteem, they get enough criticism from peers!

1 mom found this helpful

The worst thing my mom did to me was to go on and on about my weight. Like alot of the other posters I agree that what you need to do is get rid of the sugar along with carbs. Look into healthier choices- whole grain bread, vegetables,fruits. Look for a website that will help you prepare healthy meals.

I struggle with my weight. The only things that help have been, cut the carbs, cut the sugars (also carbs) and be active. Another excellent point by others. Don't call it exersizing just start a routine of time with her and make it a walk in the park. Good Luck.

1 mom found this helpful

As someone who has ALWAYS struggled with her weight (including teen years) I think you need to tread lightly, but you can't ignore it.

I completely agree with some of the other posters who said 1) get the junk out of your house and 2) start walking or excersising with your daugher. If you have weight to lose too -- you may even want to join a Weight Watchers group together.

Another BIG thing I think would be important is not just buying and preparing healthier meals --- but including your daughter in the "cooking". That will help her start to better understand what is actually in her food and will help her to be able to make smarter choices.

1 mom found this helpful

My mom and I joined Weight Watchers together when I was about your daughters age. It teaches a healthy lifestyle and just becomes a healthy way of life. We even started walking and eventually were power walking. I maintained a normal weight through high school and beyond! This created a healthier lifestyle for the entire family that lasted decades - and kept my mom and I very close through my trying teen years!

1 mom found this helpful

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