Our expert says:
Your lass already weighs nearly as much as the average child of 13 years, so I agree that it is vital to do something about her weight. I would recommend that you first have her health assessed by a medical dr, preferably a Paediatric physician, just to see if there is not an underlying cause for her overweight and increased appetite. If she is given a clean bill of health it is better to have a diet worked out specifically for your daughter by 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), because it is important that she eats foods that help her lose weight, but still ensure normal growth and development. Researchers agree that one of the most important factors in child weightloss, is daily exercise. Encourage her to be as active as possible. She should be doing at least 30 min or up to 60 min of aerobic exercise a day (e.g. running, jogging, skipping, cycling, swimming, join a gym or Walk for Life). Now that people are becoming aware of the dangers of childhood obesity, quite a few gyms and also Walk for Life have special programmes for children. If this is not feasible, take her for a brisk walk every day or buy her a skipping rope and encourage her to skip for 30 min daily. Let her start slowly and for a short period and then increase how long, and far (walking) or fast (skipping) she exercises as she gets fitter.
Wishing you both all the best
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