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Old 03-17-2013, 02:39 PM   #1
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Default Question, forgive me...

I was reading through the introductions forums and noticed several posts from teenagers.
I have always been overweight and chubby. But I was never concerned about dieting or actively losing weight.

Now that I'm 30, losing weight and being healthier is a huge priority for me. But my point is, it seems like teenaged girls (nowadays) are obsessed with dieting irregardless of how much they currently weigh.

Here's my question:

Do you think that kids (persons under 18) should diet?
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Old 03-17-2013, 02:53 PM   #2
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This is such a thought provoking question for the times we are living in:
- Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and tripled in adolescents in the past 30 years.
- In 2010, more than one third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese.

I do think that teenagers need to be mindful of their eating habits. And if overweight/obese- I think they can go on a "diet"- reducing calories in order to lose 1-2 pounds a week naturally.

But there is also this crazy movement with teenagers and social media with "thinspo" or "thinspiration" where they have these very odd ideals when it comes to what is attractive.

Pinterest has responded with the following message:


And my 18 year old sister posted this on her Instagram last week: http://pinterest.com/pin/124130533451918957/

It would be nice if all teenagers focused on fitness versus thigh gaps.
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Old 03-17-2013, 02:58 PM   #3
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I have a teenage daughter (15 yrs), who I love regardless, that is slightly on the heavier side. I was a big teen and I don't want to see her go through what I went through. She is already selfconscious as it is. I try to get her to try to eat right and exercise with me but she'd rather sit in her room.

Do I think she needs to serious diet? No. Just watch her portions and types of food she is eating. As well as get more active.

By the way, Mozzie, how did you lose your weight? Are you following a plan? I am just starting out and have pretty much the same goals.
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Old 03-17-2013, 03:00 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emid78 View Post
I have a teenage daughter (15 yrs), who I love regardless, that is slightly on the heavier side. I was a big teen and I don't want to see her go through what I went through. She is already selfconscious as it is. I try to get her to try to eat right and exercise with me but she'd rather sit in her room.

Do I think she needs to serious diet? No. Just watch her portions and types of food she is eating. As well as get more active.

By the way, Mozzie, how did you lose your weight? Are you following a plan? I am just starting out and have pretty much the same goals.
I calorie count using MFP. I also use my elliptical everyday.
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Old 03-17-2013, 03:02 PM   #5
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Hi,

You are so right about the teens and weight obsession. I mean I think a large is now 14 and that was a medium back in the day.

To answer your question-I think even children should be encouraged to eat a healthy diet and if this means limiting the junk food in order to achieve a healthy weight then I think that is fine. Extreme dieting with very low calorie intake could be dangerous as they are growing. Limiting chips,etc would in no way be a health issue for them.

Being an obese teen is far more dangerous because it can lead to bullying and a very unhappy teen experience. I do not think bullying should be allowed but in the real world it happens and the heavy are the prime targets.

Just my 2 cents.I think responsible parents must address their kids weight because everyone needs support and encouragement to make changes and a responsible parent does not avoid this issue.

It never gets easy to drop some pounds an d the older a person is ,the harder it is.

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Old 03-17-2013, 03:03 PM   #6
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So if I had to guess I was probably 160ish at 5'4" at the time (high school) I thought I was HUGE, now I'd love to be that weight.

But I guess my point is, shouldn't kids be allowed to be kids? Let the body shaming and yo-yo dieting start after they're adults?

Maybe I'm not explaining my thoughts well....
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Old 03-17-2013, 03:04 PM   #7
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I think it's ok if they diet with their parents' or maybe a school nurse/health teachers assistance (or their family doctor of course) but when the young ones post here on 3FC or on MFP, I steer clear of their posts. I don't want to be responsible responding with the wrong information even though I'd never say more than eat more fruits and veggies, drink more water, get more exercise.

Some of the adults around here make me nervous with the extremes they want to take, I can't deal with the desperate teenagers wanting to lose 100lbs in a month. It breaks my heart but I can't go there.
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Old 03-17-2013, 03:51 PM   #8
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Default re:

I definitely think they should.

I'm not talking about girls who are maybe trying to go from 120 to 100. I'm talking about kids that are at least 20 lbs overweight.

For example, I have a 11 year old son who is not overweight, but is maybe a little chubby around his middle. It could go either way at this point. He doesn't control what he eats at this point in his life. I do. I haven't put him on a diet, in the sense, but I've started changing things surrounding what he is eating. (such as juice vs water etc)

I think for those of us who are in control of our kids food, we have a responsibility to make it as healthy as possible so they don't grow up into a teen that needs to lose 50 lbs.
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Old 03-17-2013, 04:06 PM   #9
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I'm with Vex. If they are obese, I think dieting should be looked into. If they're simply a little bit on the chubby side, then guidance toward a more healthful way of eating and higher levels of activity would be fine. I grew up fat and really wish I had learned better eating habits early on. My parents would always say I should watch what I eat, but they never enforced it or modeled it themselves.
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Old 03-17-2013, 04:21 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mozzy View Post
.
But I guess my point is, shouldn't kids be allowed to be kids?
Yes, I really think they should be able to just be kids, but it's so hard in this toxic chemical filled food-like world they live in.
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Old 03-17-2013, 04:31 PM   #11
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Wow, that makes me appreciate Pinterest.
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Old 03-17-2013, 05:11 PM   #12
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I identify with the fat kid syndrome because from my earliest memories, I remember being called "fatty." In fact I remember being 3 and crying to my 5-yr-old brother that kids at preschool had called me "fatty" (hadn't developped the required elementary school thick skin yet) and him putting in my mom's Jane Fonda's New Workout in the VCR for me so I could try to lose weight like our mom.

Even though I was a pretty content child, and have incredible memories of childhood, that to me is not a memory I think anyone should have. I think it's so important not to put our own food and weight issues too much on or around children. I remember having a friend at age 10 whose mom went on a diet to lose weight and what my friend took away from it was that to lose weight (and so, in her mind, look beautiful), you shouldn't eat and thus, began her eating disorder. I get that we want kids to know what's healthy or not, but I also wish there was a way from childhood, they could learn things like portion size (which was my biggest issue, I didn't have a junky diet as a child) and getting in fitness for fitness and being's strong and healthy's sake, not for the sake of fitting in and being thin.
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Old 03-17-2013, 05:50 PM   #13
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I used to work with kids. There was a boy who was little boy who was 10 years old that weight 275 lbs. So yes, I do think children should go on a diet.. well not a diet per say but be taught how to make healthy choices. I have started making low fat meals, buying lots of fruit, and only having milk/water in the house. My kids love it. Months ago they would ask for candy at check out.. now they ask if we can get more apples or grapes.
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Old 03-17-2013, 08:06 PM   #14
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I think it depends and not just for kids either. The more I post on this forum, the more I realise that there is a world of difference between the obese and just the overweight/on-weight. So much so, in fact, there should be two different sites.

Personally, if you are obese (like me) then you should just do what the heck it takes to get the weight down in a way that works for you and then think carefully about maintaining. Even things that some might consider a little extreme. In all probability, unless there are special health considerations, it is highly unlikely that someone 100lbs+ over weight is going to do more harm to themselves in the way they lose that weight than if they kept the weight. Trust me, I'm living it. I used to lie in bed with chest pain because of the weight. I'll take my chances with some malnutrition to stop that coming back. And the sore knees, stiff legs every morning etc. etc. are now all gone.

But for the marginally overweight, that equation no longer holds and they need to be careful how they lose.

I'm gonna get bashed for this...
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Old 03-17-2013, 10:26 PM   #15
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I think that dieting in teens can be highly problematic if done irresponsibly/unnecessarily/in an extreme manner, but I also find dieting to be problematic in adults if the diet has these characteristics. I myself dieted at age 15-16 using weightlifting three times a week, a healthy amount of calorie cutting (1600 - 1800 calories a day) and with the supervision and knowledge of both my doctor and my mom. I lost 55 lbs in about a year and went from 190 lbs down to around 135, right in the center of my healthy BMI range.

I think that if a teen is mature enough, knows not to go to the extreme, has supervision, and has (and uses) good knowledge about nutrition and exercise, that it can be okay for them to diet, IF they are the ones who initiate it (ie. they approach their parents about wanting to lose weight, and don't have it forced on them by outside forces). That said, I don't personally think that children under age 13 should diet whatsoever - it's too risky to their physical and mental development due to the amounts of nutrients that growing bodies need, and I feel that eating disorders can develop more easily at that age. (Not to say that children shouldn't be health-conscious, but before the teen years I think it should be more the parents helping by providing healthier food, encouraging exercise, etc. not a "diet" per se).

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