Myths About Teen Weight Loss (2)

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Misconception: It’s best to avoid talking about dieting and weight loss with overweight teens because it’s likely to trigger an eating disorder such as bulimia or anorexia nervosa.

FACTS: The vast majority of teens in this book are living proof that overweight young people can lose weight without developing such an eating disorder. Some studies do suggest that teens who say they diet regularly may be at higher risk for eating disorders than nondieters, particularly when they use restrictive and unhealthy dieting methods.

pharmacies we recommend. That’s why teens need to be educated about how to lose weight in healthy ways and to be shown healthy role models. In fact, Kerri Boutelle, Ph.D., a weight and eating disorders expert at the University of Minnesota, states, “Several studies actually suggest that teaching teens healthful methods to control their weight may reduce weight concerns and the risk of subsequent eating disorders.”

The truth is, far more teens in our society are overweight than have eating disorders. For instance, the eating disorders bulimia and anorexia nervosa affect no more than 4 to 5 percent of teens. Yet more than one third (34 percent) of twelve- to nineteen-year-olds in the United States are overweight or at risk for being overweight, according to a 2006 report in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

James Anderson, M.D., a weight expert at the University of Kentucky who works with teens, sums up the situation this way: “The risk of inducing eating disorders in overweight teens is very low, and the risk from their untreated obesity is much higher.”

Misconception: Teens don’t want help from their parents in managing their weight.

FACTS: When I asked the teens what role their families played in their weight management efforts, a strong majority indicated that their families helped them. (Only five teens indicated that their families got in the way.)

Both the teens and their parents emphasized that it’s important to let it be the teen’s decision to slim down if and when he or she is ready. But that doesn’t mean kids don’t want help and support from their families in their weight management efforts. When John W. was losing 75 pounds, he says, his “family was always supportive and willing to give advice. Now they make healthier meals for the whole family.”

Read the first part of this series here.

Myths About Teen Weight Loss (1)

The teens in this book often lost weight against heavy odds. Their experiences challenge conventional assumptions about teen weight loss and the role parents play in it.



Misconception: Teens who come from an overweight family have little hope of losing weight and keeping it off.

FACTS: Sixty of the 70 teens who answered my question about whether anyone else in their family was overweight said that at least one parent was. Twenty-three of them said that both parents were overweight. Nicole S. is typical. Her mom and dad are overweight. She decided to lose weight at sixteen, when she weighed 293. Although her family didn’t think she would do it, they encouraged her to try. Three years later Nicole weighs 145. (She’s 5′5″.) Cheapest Phentermine is available at the trusted online pharmacies we recommend.


Misconception: Teens who have been overweight since they were young are unlikely to be able to lose weight and keep it off.

FACTS: Many of the teens said that they first became overweight when they were quite young – more than half said it was at age ten or younger. The average age they reported becoming overweight was nine and a half. Fifteen-year-old Sandra D. told me, “I’d always been overweight, even when I was little, and I didn’t want to stay that way.” Once she lost 50 pound, there is nothing to stop her from getting the man she loves. This is one of my most favorite source for dating/relationship advice: Go Here.
Part of her motivation for losing more than 50 pounds was that she was tired of being compared to her no identical twin sister, who never had a weight problem. “Now,” Sandra says, “we’ve both grown – and shrunk – to develop a relationship based on who we are instead of on the physical differences that separated us in the past.”


Misconception; Teens who have tried and failed at losing weight many times before don’t succeed.

FACTS: Although it certainly isn’t physically or psychologically healthy for any teen to go on and off diets repeatedly, when I asked how many times they tried to lose weight before they finally succeeded (counting only the times when they lost at least five to ten pounds), 7 out of 10 indicated that they’d lost and gained multiple times. Forty of them had tried to lose weight three or more times in the past.

Sandra D. says, “There were so many times when I felt like trying was pointless, but I finally did it. And if I could do it, then anyone can.” Wes G. says, “It took me many tries until I really wanted to lose the weight for misses/enough to succeed.” Kelly D., who tried to lose weight three or four times before succeeding, says that teens need to do some experimenting. “Keep trying new things until you find something that works,” she advises.

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