Posted by: Shelly | 2009/07/30

Worried about Teen

I am worried about my 13yr old Daughter. She eats poorly and is constantly commenting on her weight. She is very thin but is always pulling at her skin and making remarks about cellulite. She loves sweets and chips however (Has a VERY sweet tooth). She is not taking her multivitamin either anymore. We constantly tell her that she is not fat and that she needs to eat healthyier. Her height is 1.53 and she weighs 39.5kg. Should I be concerned and what can I do?

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Our expert says:
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Dear Shelley
Your daughter is certainly NOT overweight and should at this stage of her young life be eating a well balanced diet that consists of plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables (at least 5-7 portions a day), lean meat, fish (3-4 times a week) and eggs (4 per week), plus 3 cups of fat-free milk or yoghurt or cottage cheese a day, whole, unsifted grains and cereals (3-4 servings), legumes (cooked or canned dry beans, peas or lentils or soya) as often as possible, and poly- or monounsaturated oils or margarine (olive oil, tub marg, etc) (3 tablespoons a day) to provide her with all the nutrients she needs for healthy growth. Discuss this matter with her and point out that if she is so worried about her weight and cellulite then she needs to eat the above mentioned foods and stop eating sweets and chips which do not provide nutrients for growth and health. If her eating should deteriorate further then please take her to a clinical dietitian (visit the Association for Dietetics in SA Website at: and click on "Find a Dietitian" to find a dietitian in your area), so that any potential eating disorder can be diagnosed and treated as early as possible.
Best regards

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