Our expert says:
I can understand that you must be very worried about your niece. The average weight for girls aged 10 years is about 28 kg, so if your niece weighs 83 kg then she weighs more than double the normal weight. Her height is within the normal range. I can only suggest that you try and convey to her parents that she is in danger of developing obesity-associated diseases such as diabetes (if she does not already suffer from diabetes) and that she need professional assistance ASAP. The child must be assessed by a physician to see if she already suffers from diabetes or any other condition that could be contributing to the weight gain (e.g. hormonal imbalances), and a clinical dietitian (visit the Association for Dietetics in SA Website at: www.adsa.org.za and click on "Find a Dietitian" to find a dietitian in your area). The dietitian will assist the child and her parents with a diet and advice on how to help her start losing weight and if necessary how to control the diabetes. Exercise is also one of the most important factors in helping young people to lose weight. The child needs to do 30 or more minutes of brisk exercise a day (walking, jogging (if she is able), skipping, swimming, cycling, or doing workouts at a gym or joining Walk for Life). The exercise stimulates the metabolism, promotes weight loss and also helps to control blood sugar and insulin levels (if she is diabetic).
Holding thumbs for all of you
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