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Why has my teenage daughter gained so much weight?

Q: My daughter is around 14 years of age. We have moved out of India. Since then, my daughter has gained 8 kgs in a matter of 6 months. She weighs 68 Kg and her height is 5.2 feet. She is pretty active and plays badminton daily. We got all the tests done and everything is normal. The doctors say that it might be due to hormonal changes but I am really worried. We are vegetarians so our diet is very normal. Can you please tell me the reason for this weight gain?

A:Her Body Mass Index (BMI) is 27.4 and it should be less than 23. The commonest reason for being overweight is obesity, which is related to not sufficient exercises and eating too much. In some cases, you can be slightly overweight due to hypothyroidism and other endocrine disorders. I would suggest getting her thyroid function testes and ask doctors to do overnight dexamethasone suppression test to rule out Cushing’s disease (excess steroids in body). The standard advice is to reduce fatty foods like biscuits, chocolates and ice creams. Also, she must eat 5 fruits and a vegetable portion a day (one portion of 1 banana medium size) in her meal.


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