Posted by: Candy | 2009/01/20

Overweight 10 year old

My daughter is 10 years old. She is a bit overweight. Not a lot, but especially around the middle and the " love handles" . Her top half of her body is the " heavy"  part.

What can I do to help her? I do not allow her to eat chocolates and sweets and chips. Maybe once a week. I try to help her to eat healthy, but I am running out of ideas. She will not always eat what I give her and she will eat the whole day. She will tell me she is hungry, but I know she is not, it is just " lus" . I am also trying to get her to do 10 - 15 sit-ups at night.

There is a 9 year old step-sister in the house. She is skinny and eat more than my daughter, but she will not pick up weight.

I am scared that kids will start teasing her and then I sit with another problem.

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Our expert says:
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Dear Candy
Check your daughter's weight and height. According to international tables, 10-year-olds should weigh about 28 kg and be 1.32 m tall. You need to discuss this matter of overeating with your daughter. It is perfectly possible that she overeats because of stress or anxiety or depression or to gain attention. You don't mention when this overeating started, but if it coincided with the arrival of the step-sister, then it is probable that your child is overeating due to psychological stresses. In such a case it is a good idea to have her assessed by a child psychologist who may use play therapy to help her come to terms with her situation. If she is not struggling with a psychological problem and the overeating is just a bad habit, you will have to explain to her that the habit will cause a variety of problems and that you want her to take responsibility for controlling her appetite and her food intake. Make sure that there are not sweets, chocolates, sweetened drinks or chips in the house to help her avoid temptation. Encourage her to be as active as possible and give her some moral support by joining her in physical activities such as going for walks or skipping, etc. She will respond to some extra time spent alone with you. Praise her if she eats less and does exercise.
Best regards

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