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Has my daughter gained weight due to hormonal changes?

Q: My 13 years old daughter weighs 70 Kg and is 155 cm tall. She was born underweight at 2.2 Kg. She reached puberty at the age of 10 years and thereafter has put on weight rapidly. Is her weight gain due to hormonal changes? What can be done to stop/control weight gain? In spite of controlled diet and exercises, she has not shed any weight. I am worried. Is it okay for girl of her age to be sent for slimming course? What are side effects of such slimming courses?

A:Please do not worry as weight during puberty does tend to yo-yo, depending on levels of activity and eating habits. I would not recommend her for any slimming course, as that may not have lasting effects. Rather, she should incorporate good lifestyle habits of exercise and nutritional eating habits at this time of life so that it becomes part of her life. This will make her aware and have deeper and lasting positive effects.

Look at exercise as activities she enjoys rather than it being forced on her as a mundane project she may not accept easily. Also her body image and self esteem is closely linked to this age so do give her positive feedback when she makes attempts in the right direction, even thought there are no apparent changes in her weight. This in itself will provide the motivation she might be looking for, to make this part of her everyday life and with this, she will eventually make living a fit life as part of her goal.

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