Difficult at EVERY age! Especially for Teens. Are you concerned that your teen is not feeling good about his/her body or worse, is developing an eating disorder?
Our culture surrounds us with expectations of how our body should look like. Teens are especially affected by how media displays the image of "thinner is better" body types.
WHAT TO DO?
Start with consistent annual check-ups. They allow your doctor to follow the normal growth pattern for your teen. This is very important to see normal and abnormal patterns in a growing body just as it was when they were a developing baby. The most difficult transition seems to be when hormones are continuing to change and the height stops.
This is a difficult time for teens and can cause confusion and overwhelm them, resulting in an eating disorder at times.
Just for Teens
Are your friends constantly talking about "being fat"? It's very confusing to know what is a healthy weight and what is healthy to eat! Plus, many adults may have outdated or distorted views of what is healthy. Come see us at the Teen Zone if you are worried. In the meantime a great place to start reading is this handout from the National Eating Disorder Association just for teens.
BMI (BODY MASS INDEX)
BMI is an age and sex specific calculation used to compare your teen's weight to his/her height. This gives an estimation which helps determine if your teen is 'underweight, healthy weight, overweight or obese'. When combined with family history, and a good diet and exercise history - it helps determine if your teen is at risk for developing diseases such as diabetes, high cholesterol and hypertension or other health issues.
If the BMI is posing a health risk, your doctor can help you develop a plan which can bring the BMI down to a healthy range, thus, decreasing/eliminating risk of health issues.
Some websites we like with more information on BMI, diet, and exercise:
- Alliance for a Healthier Generation
- Let's Go! - A nationally recognized childhood obesity prevention program
- CDC: About Child & Teen BMI
Just for Teens
BMI is a calculation used to compare your weight to your height. This gives your doctor a rough estimation of percent body fat and used to determine if you might be underweight, healthy weight, overweight or obese. When combined with your family history, and a good diet and exercise history â€“ it can help us determine if you are at risk for developing diseases such as diabetes, high cholesterol and hypertension.
If your BMI is greater than the 84th percentile, you can most likely be at risk for medical problems. This is why it's very important to come and talk to your doctor and see if changes need to be made.
A good website just for teens about healthy diet and exercise choices: