Our expert says:
Dear Big Tummy
I can't really judge how overweight your 16-year-old daughter is as you don't mention her weight in kg and height in metres. On average girls of 16 weigh about 50 kg and are approx. 1.6 m tall. Compare her weight and height to these average figures to estimate if she is overweight. It is always best to have teenagers assessed 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), who will determine how much your daughter should weigh and how much she needs to lose. You can also try to help her reduce her energy intake by giving her an energy-reduced, low-fat, high-fibre diet (click on 'Diet' at the top of this page, 'Weight loss', ‘Balanced diet' and then on 'Slimming Diet' for a copy of such a diet), and encouraging her to increase her energy output by doing regular exercise (running, jogging, skipping, cycling, swimming, join a gym or Walk for Life). It is important that she should eat regular meals and a variety of foods to ensure that she obtains sufficient nutrients to help to grow strong bones and teeth, etc, while losing weight. In teenagers daily exercise for 30 min or longer is one of the best ways of stimulating the metabolism and promoting weight loss. Buy her a skipping rope and get her to skip for 30 min a day.
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