Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Mother Is At A Loss Over Her Daughter's Weight Problem

Dear Tazi-Kat:

I am concerned about my teenaged daughter.  She has always had a mild weight problem, but since hitting puberty her weight has exploded!  Granted, she is a tall girl (almost six feet!), but the fact remains that she weighs over 250 pounds.  Her eating habits are atrocious, and she does not exercise at all.  I keep healthy snacks in the house, but she uses her spending money to buy junk food.  I encourage her to exercise with me, but she just gives me “the look”; like I am the lamest person to ever to walk the face of the earth.  Short of sending her to fat camp next summer, is there anything I can do to get her to care more about her personal health? 

Chunky’s Mom

Dear C.M.:

Wow.  Just…wow.  Your signature is a slap in the face to your teenaged daughter, who is probably suffering enough with her self-esteem without you reminding her that she is just not up to snuff in your eyes, either.  Has it occurred to you that your daughter’s eating habits and refusal to exercise could be her way of rebelling against your wishes? 

Thin does not equal perfect.  Regardless of her weight, your daughter is still going to be the same person – just a heavier or thinner version.  Can you accept her for who she is?  Once your daughter feels that she is loved unconditionally, she might stop looking for such validation at the bottom of a pint of Häagen Dazs ®. 

At 250+ pounds, your daughter is significantly overweight (she should weigh about 180); and she should drop a few pounds for health reasons.  This is the approach you need to take.  There is absolutely no reason for her to spend her summer at “fat camp”, especially since there are programs like Weight Watchers that can offer your daughter nutritional counseling and moral support in a safe and supportive environment.  As a teenager, she will need parental permission and a doctor’s supervision to participate; but as a teenager, any weight-loss program she undertakes should be medically supervised.  The Mayo Clinic can also offer you tips on how to have a non-judgmental, heart-to-heart talk with your daughter.

I wish you both the best of luck on the journey to lifelong good health.


P.S.  Your daughter should be screened for hypothyroidism, a condition which can cause severe weight gain and lethargy. 

1 comment:

  1. BRAVO TAZI!! As someone who is a student in the medical science field, I agree with getting her tested. I have seen friends who were heavy, then developed anorexia due to self-esteem issues because of being teased and criticized.