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Teenagers & Adolescence
Overweight kids - the Challenges
Where can I find a dietitian who works with teenagers?
This is a rather "delicate" subject with my daughter. Ever since she was born, she has had a problem with not going to the bathroom everyday and therefore having very large stools. We have tried a variety of remedies Metamucil, orange juice every morning, cereal with bran flakes or oat flakes. Nothing seems to work. I worry that if she has this problem as a teen what will it be like for her as an adult.
Her metabolism must be very slow and I worry about her body being poisoned or possibly cancer. I have taken her to the doctor that's when we tried the bran and oat flakes to no avail. I would really appreciate your advice on this matter. Thanks very much.
You did not say what the consistency of your daughter's stool is. If it looks like round balls stuck together, then she is constipated. If the stool is brown colored water, then she has diarrhea. Anything in between in terms of consistency of stool is normal.
FYI, menstruating women often get constipated the week prior to their period as the female body often retains water. This occurs because women's bodies prepare for pregnancy every month! If this is a problem, then water and a fiber rich cereal at breakfast should prevent pre-menstrual constipation.
As to the size of the stool, as long as it doesn't cause her discomfort or abdominal pain, I would forget it. Her body has it's own elimination pattern. Not everyone has a bowel movement every day which is also normal. Vegetarians often have larger stools because of the amount of fiber they eat.
As long as she eats fruits, vegetables and whole grains every day while drinking enough water so that her stools can easily pass, she is fine. She can check if she is drinking enough water by paying attention to the color of her urine. It should be colorless and odorless except for the first voided urine in the morning. Also, if she eats asparagus, then her urine may smell until her body processes the asparagus.
I wouldn't worry about her being poisoned or cancer. Your liver detoxifies your blood and at 15, I doubt your daughter would ingest a poison. A person's risk of colon cancer increases with high fat and low fiber diets. The purpose of fiber is to clean out the gastrointestinal tract and as long as her stools aren't constipated and she is passing normal stool. she is fine.
FYI, exercise can reduce the amount of time food takes to traverse the stomach and intestines. Does she exercise? If not, for her health and long term weight maintenance, she should exercise 30 minutes, 5 times per week.
I'm a 14 year old teenager and I have been struggling to lose weight for quite some time now. I walk twice a day for 30 minutes each time and I do 30 sit ups each week. I eat very well but on weekends I sort of let go of my good eating pattern and eat junk food.
I weigh 66 kilos and my height is about 157 cm. What should my weight be and do you have any tips for me?
Guess what? Your healthy weight range is 55.6 - 65.6 kg and you are average height for age. You are within your healthy weight range for height and age. So, I would recommend you maintain your weight for about 3 - 6 months rather than trying to lose.
Keep exercising like you do with walking and sit ups, but add some weight lifting to build muscle. Get some muscle definition and I bet it will change how you view your body. Focus on achieving a strong, healthy body. The best way to keep your weight under control is by eating a healthy diet based on the Food Guide Pyramid and daily exercise. It takes a change in lifestyle for most teens to make this a regular part of their daily routine.
Periodically eating junk food won't kill you or permanently harm your health. Just don't eat junk food most of the time. Also, don't beat yourself up over hanging out with your friends and doing what they are doing as long as it isn't illegal. Try moderation. For instance if you go out to eat, a burger or grilled chicken sandwich is fine, but skip the cheese, bacon or mayonnaise sauces. If you eat pizza, choose ham over sausage or pepperoni, which are higher in fat and skip the extra cheese. Be bold and add some vegetables (mushrooms, peppers, onions) to your pizza, but skip the olives which are mostly fat. You can choose milk over pop and limit fries to once or twice a month. Hey tell your friends you're a health nut.
Assuming you continue to grow taller until at least 18, when you turn 15, your healthy weight for height should be 71.9 kg max. Depending on how close you are to turning 15, maybe you should be slowly gaining weight. Hope that provides you with some guidance.
I am 16 years old. In the past 8 months, I have lost 80 lbs. and now weigh about 146. I've used your Healthy Body Calculator and it said that I have a daily allowance of 2500 calories.
That is all fine. Here is my problem. There are times when I can't stop eating. I'm afraid of gaining all my weight back and this is tearing me apart. Every time I tell myself I tomorrow it won't happen, but it does. Mostly it happens when I'm alone or bored and usually it's things like cereal or apples or vegetables that I eat. I do not eat any deserts or sweets. But when I start eating cereal or apples, I can't stop. I don't even know if I'm hungry or not anymore, but it's making me very worried. I've already gained 6 pounds in about a week because of it.
I don't eat a lot of fat and try to keep under my daily allowance, but I can't control myself anymore. My mom says it's because I'm underweight and my body is just hungry, but I don't know anymore. I just want to find some middle ground and be normal again. I don't know what to do and I'm scared. Please help!
You didn't say how tall you are, but at 146 you should be around 5'7". If you are taller than that, you are underweight. You will continue to grow though till 18 and need additional calories for growth.
Why did you lose 80 pounds? Did the weight loss occurr because of illness or do you participate in a sport? This is a tremendous amount of weight to lose for an adolescent male who is still growing and usually not recommended except under medical supervision for extreme obesity.
Your issues are in your head, not your mouth or stomach. I would highly recommend that you contact a psychologist to talk to about what is going on. The foods you are eating are not typical binge foods that bulimics eat, but definitely a symptom of something that needs to be faced. Binging usually occurs when a person is alone. Your inability to determine hunger and fullness while eating when you are not hungry is symptomatic that something needs to be dealt with. The foods you are eating (cereal, vegetables and apples) can contain a lot of fiber, which produces a lot of stool. So before you devleop a problem because of this, go talk to a therapist, especially one who deals with food issues.
If you feel comfortable talking to one of your parents, please talk to them. You could start with your school counselor who could recommend a therapist for you to talk to. Do any of your friends know that sometimes you can't stop eating? If you trust a friend, ask them to go with you to see a therapist if you can't talk to one of your parents. This is not a big problem... yet and your willingness to acknowledge that you need help is a big plus.
Thank you for the concern, I appreciate it very much. I have already talked about it with my mom and some of my closer friends. I do have an appointment with my doctor on Tuesday to talk about it.
I am 5'11. So I guess I am underweight, but the thing is I like the way I look right now and I don't want to change that in anyway. I lost the weight because I was very depressed about the way I looked and finally decided to do something about it. So I did in about 8 months.
Afterwards I went to see my doctor and he said it was incredible, but that I was in perfect health and there was no problem. That was about September and this new problem started December. I'm sure I'll be able to work through it, but I want to say thank you for your letter. I with keep in touch with you about my progress. Thanks.
At 5'11" you should weight about 155 - 189 pounds. Instead of focusing on a particular weight, work toward fitness and strength goals. Do you exercise or lift weights? If not, start doing some exercises you like. Exercise increases the "feel good me's" (endorphins) in your brain and give you more energy.
With a therapist, dig around in your head to find out why you wanted to lose the weight to begin with. Do some work and keep in touch. I would like to hear how you do.
I filled out your Healthy Body Calculator and I was wondering how much of a difference there is, me being 16 not 18.( I'm 5' 11", 140 pounds). Thank You.
Not a lot. You can weigh 155 - 189 pounds. Needless to say, you are probably tall and thin for age. But the good news is guys don't reach 90% of their adult height until age 18. So you will probably grow taller yet. Most guys don't increase muscle mass until their vertical height growth slows so don't expect to fill out till after 18.
Hi! I am a 14 year old female. I weigh about 118 and I'm 5'3". I play basketball on a team and in gym. I'm not overweight though I'd like to weigh about 110. I especially need to take some weight off my thighs. What's a good exercise program for me? Thank You.
Also, since you haven't hit your max height, if you lose weight now, you may not grow as tall as your destined to based on your parent's height. Girls reach 90% of their adult height by age 15 and if you lose some weight, you may stunt your growth which would be a real negative for a girl basketball player.
Talk to your gym teacher about weight lifting exercises you can do with your legs to build muscle for running and jumping. Think strength, not weight loss. Check out your school's weight room. There may be mostly guys there, but a gutsy girl can easily work out!
I 'm nutritionist from Brazil. Now I have a lot of clients online all those are children and teenagers. Sometimes they 're overweight or underweight. The last one send me questions about energy values, to keep right weight.
My question is: For teen who is 11 years old , 85 pounds, height 5'0' , gymnast, eat 1000 calories / day. - One year more eat 100 calories more than 1000 calories. Tell me if this is the right calculation for her.
No, 1000 calories would be way too low. Her basal metabolic rate is 1340 calories. If she just sits or stands the rest of the day, she will need approximately 300 - 400 calories more per day for sedentary activities. At her current weight, she burns approximately 121 calories per hour in gymnastics. To calculate her calories burned during gymnastics, multiply 121 times the number of hours she works out and add that to her basal calories (1340) and activity calories (300 - 400) to get a more accurate number.
Underestimating her calorie requirement would negatively affect her athletic performance and cause her to lose weight. If she loses any weight, then she is probably not eating enough calories and should eat more food, more often. It is reasonable for her to weigh herself every week to make sure she isn't losing weight over time. She should pick a regular private time to weigh herself. Furthermore, since she is still growing she needs sufficient calories to fuel her adolescent growth spurt and reach her genetically determined height.
Hi, Joanne. I'm 16, 5'10" and about 170 lbs. Am I fat? What is the normal weight for my age and height? Thanks!
Hi I am a female 14 years old, 5"7 and 118 lbs. I want to know if I am underweight or not?
No you are not underweight for height. You are taller than 95% of the girls your age and average for weight with a healthy weight range of 111 - 145 pounds. By adult standards, you could weigh 121 - 149 pounds, which would put you 3 pounds underweight at your current weight if you were an adult, but you are still a teen. Your BMI (body fat estimate) is 19 with a healthy range of 16 to 25.
Girls reach 90% of their adult height by age 15. Bone density increases to age 25 so eat calcium rich foods like milk and dairy products.
Make healthy food choices and exercise. If you feel underweight, try weight lifting or other muscle building exercises to build muscle, which weighs more than fat because muscle has a higher water content.
When watching what you eat to get quickest weight loss results and exercising regularly, should you be as concerned with calories as with fat content? For successful weight loss, how many grams of fat / day are necessary for a girl age 16?
Well check it out for yourself, but you will have to pretend you are at least 18 for now. Go to the Healthy Body Calculator. It will calculate your calories and fat grams. Would not suggest weight loss just yet as your body is still growing. Calories count, but so does fat. The number of calories you need depends on your height and current weight. In addition, 30% of your calories should come from food sources of fat.
I have a fifteen-year-old daughter who eats virtually no fat. She consumes plenty of food otherwise, but is very careful to eat fat free foods whether the fat comes in the preparation or from the food itself. She appears somewhat thin (110 pounds, 63 inches tall last June). I do not know if she is still 110 pounds. She eats vegetables and cereals and fruits as well as prepared fat free foods (pudding or other fat free desserts). What are the implications of such a rigid avoidance of fat?
Your daughter's weight is appropriate for her height if she is still 5"3" and 110 pounds. However, you do not know if she weighs 110 and it may be confrontational (power struggle) to get her on a scale. The eyeball test also works. If a person looks thin, they probably are underweight.
In order to prevent fatty acid deficiency, you only need about 1 tsp. of polyunsaturated oil per day. Even diets that are extremely low in fat, can't get that low even if the person only eats fruits, vegetables or fat free grains. But, you daughter may not be getting the fat she needs. You can talk to her that a fat free diet is unhealthy for her skin as it will become dry, red and flaky. Appeal to her concern for her health as she may be eating a low fat diet because of the health benefits.
Just lowering the fat content in your diet does not necessarily lower your body weight. Researchers have found that people will make up the difference in calories of lower fat foods by eating more food later in the day. Unless of course, the person is restricting their food intake which will result in lowering body weight.
Your body needs fat to make sex hormones and if your daughter's body fat is less than 18% she may not be menstruating. This is another indicator of low body weight as well. The long-term consequences of not menstruating and low body weight shows up most in a woman's bones. Bones lay down calcium until they reach a maximum density around 25 years of age. After 25, you can maintain your bone density by eating calcium rich foods and weight bearing exercise (anything except swimming and bicycling). If a person restricts their intake of calcium rich foods like dairy products, they risk early osteoporosis. Perhaps your daughter would be more motivated to modify her low fat eating habits if she knew the consequences on her bone health rather than focusing on her weight unless she is less than 95 pounds. If she is less than 95 pounds, read the anorexia topic.
I am a student and my instructor is letting me use her e-mail address. My question is how can you lose weight if you have no time to exercise? I barely eat at all and when I do I try to watch what I eat.
Does being a vegetarian really help you lose weight? Does no meat include fish? Please write back!
All the students would like to say "WE LOVE YOU JOANNE!"
Well unless you are lying in bed all day, guess what??? You are exercising every time you move your body! Ways you can increase the exercise you do get, is to walk more and climb stairs rather than using an elevator. Plan after school activities with your friends that don't involve sitting in front of the television.
Actually barely eating at all doesn't help keep your body healthy or provide fuel for your brain to function in school. If you are a teenager or pre-teen, you are in a growth spurt. Guess what? If you are taller, you get to eat more food and expend more energy doing the regular things you do. Start eating 3 times per day to fuel this growth. Eat until your are full then stop even if you leave food on your plate. You also need to eat regularly because studies have shown that kids who eat breakfast do better in school, especially classes before lunch, than students who skip breakfast. Watch what you eat by using the Food Guide Pyramid as a guide.
There are different types of vegetarians and you can be just a red meat avoider and still eat fish or chicken. Or you could not eat any meat, but include eggs and dairy products. Or you could avoid any animal products. Read the vegetarian topic.
Being a vegetarian does not necessarily mean that you will lose weight. You will lose weight if you eat less food that your body needs. But I would not recommend weight loss if you are less than 18 years old because weight loss could interfere with how tall you are supposed to be or how much calcium gets deposited in your bones. Better to grow into your height and keep your weight the same. If you are a female, you will achieve 90% of your adult height by age 15 and if a male 90% of your adult height by age 18. Girls continue to grow until 18 and boys until 23. So don't short change yourself!
Thanks for the positive feedback!
FYI: The following tables were developed by Joanne Kendrick MS RD, nutritionist with the St. Paul Ramsey County Nutrition Program, Minnesota. The tables contain weight gain and height growth for teens. These tables continue from the infants & toddlers topic and the children topic.
The gains in weight and height percentiles were calculated from the 1976 growth charts of the National Center for Health Statistics, NDHS Growth Charts, which are the latest available as of February 1996. The data was created by the NCHS in cooperation with the Center for Disease Control and are based on data from the Health Examination Surveys and the Health Nutrition Examination Survey. These data are appropriate for infants, children and teenagers in the general United States population.
Weight and height should be within 2 percentile rankings of each other. Percentile rankings are figured at 95th, 90th, 75th, 50th, 25th, 10th and 5th. This means that at the 95th percentile, the teen is heavier or taller than 95% of other teens the same age.
Growth curves should not rise or drop 2 percentile rankings over 6 months as this would indicate a change in growth pattern (i.e. becoming short and heavy or tall and underweight). For instance, if a teen's weight is in the 95th percentile, then at any age, his/her weight should not be below the 75th percentile. Also, there should be a correlation between height and weight as well. For instance, if a teen's height is at the 75th percentile, this teen's weight should not be below the 25th percentile or above the 95th.
The tables intended use is for teens and parents to assist them in determining whether their weight and height are following a "normal" growth pattern using the teens own growth rate. For instance, if a female teen's weight and height were in the 50th percentile (average for age) then between 13 and 13 1/2 years of age, the teen should gain 4 pounds and 3/4 inch in height. If the female teen was in the 5th percentile (small for age), then between 13 and 13 1/2 years of age, the teen should gain 4 pounds and 3/4 inches in height.
GIRLS 12 - 18 YEARS IN POUNDS
GIRLS 12 - 18 YEARS IN INCHES
BOYS 12 TO 18 YEARS IN POUNDS
BOYS 12 TO 18 YEARS IN INCHES
I am thirteen years old and I'm always afraid of being overweight. I am 5'5", but I won't tell my weight because I don't want to hear again that I'm perfect just the way I am. I recently lost a lot of weight and in my eyes I look okay but could stand to lose some more. My best friend is always telling me to eat junk food because she thinks I'm going to become anorexic. Besides the fact that junk food is bad for my health it also adds weight. Of course, who can blame her? She's 4'10" and weighs about seventy pounds. She looks anorexic but eats a lot and she isn't bulimic. Is it normal for her to weigh that much and what would be the normal weight for me?
If you are a boy, 122 to 150 pounds is OK. If you are a girl, 113 to 138 pounds is OK. A 4'10" girl's normal weight is 81 to 99 pounds.
Your friend is about 77% of her healthy body weight. But if she eats food every day, several times a day and doesn't throw it up, then she is probably just thin for her height rather than anorectic. If you want to know more about eating disorders, look at the anorexia or bulimia topics. Pre-occupation with weight is just one of the many symptoms used to diagnose an eating disorder.
Losing a lot of weight during adolescence is not recommended (how much did you lose?). Adolescence is a period of growth. Better you grow into your weight by getting taller during a growth spurt than trying to lose. Also, exercise is a great way to restructure your body's composition, lose fat, gain muscle.
If you think you look OK, then why do you think you need to lose more weight? Sounds like you are unhappy with your body or are unhappy with the way you look, in spite of losing weight. Some of that is part of being a normal teenager. If you think about your weight a lot, you should talk to someone about your thoughts. A psychologist or dietitian would be appropriate for you to discuss your weight concerns with. You could also talk to your parents or an older relative whose opinion you respect.
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