Overweight Teenager

Erica - posted on 07/26/2010 ( 23 moms have responded )

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I have a 15 year old that is 285 lbs and I am so worried about his health. He doesn't seem to care that he is overweight. I try everything to help him. We don't buy any junk food but he goes to his Grandparents houses (they both live next door) and he eats whatever he wants. (They buy the junk food) He is lazy. He quit football because it was too hard. He wants to be on the computer or watch tv. I can't get him motivated! I lose sleep over this and cry so much. How can I get this kid to lose some weight without pushing him away?!!

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Joan - posted on 07/26/2010

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do you have the funds to sign him up for a gym with a personal trainer? some health insurance will pay a certain portion or specific amt for such things.does he have a wii? or any wii games you may be able to get him to do some of this. my son is also overweight but i had to accept that he will come to realize on his own and do something about it.

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Karen - posted on 08/09/2010

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Another resource is the excellent book written by pediatrician and former FDA head David A. Kessler. It talks about the ways the food industry has wired our brains to overeat, that is to continue eating when we are no longer full. For a review of his book "The End of Overeating," check out this article: http://online.wsj.com/article/NA_WSJ_PUB...

Jakethia - posted on 08/09/2010

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I advise you to go walking with your son, and continue on feeding him a good nutrition meals at the house, you can still take him over grandparent house, just tell them don't give him any junk food, because you are watching his weight. My kids grandparents are the same, they love feeding my kids junk food, which I don't like either. Grandparents love their grand kids, but they don't know when to stop letting them get their way; such as, giving them what they want, like the wrong food and other things, which make the kids happy. Erica, it good to sit down and talk to your son about his weight and let him know that you are concern about his well-being, and at the end, he will thank you for helpping him. I wish you the best with your son, Erica.

[deleted account]

I am a nutritional consultant. I have a program that I use with children who are overweight/obese for the ages of 10-17. The plan works and has very good results. I am happy to send you more information on it as well as testimonials from other children that have gone through the plan. You are right to be concerned. This generation is not expected to out live their parents. Staying that big will no doubt cause other health problems and the health care cost for obese patients is a staggering $117,000+ This program is something that you could follow with my guidance in a long distance fashion. my e-mail is veghead67@hotmail.com please write to me if you are interested.

Barb - posted on 08/08/2010

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Wow, so many helpful and Encouraging posts on here to help you. My favorite quote is "Action is the antidote to despair". Yes, talking to the grandparents and getting them on the same page as you is very important. What has helped me drop 80 lbs has been a nutrition class. Aristotle said: take your food like your medicine and let your medicine be your food. There are foods that will boost his metabolism and help him burn the fat, turn it into energy, the more weight he loses the easier it will be for him to want to move and be motivated.
I suggest yes, taking him to the Dr, and asking for a referral to a nutritionist for a meal/diet plan that can work with you. Also, eating the right foods more frequently, (5 small meals of the right foods) will increase his metabolism to help him shed off those pounds. Eat foods with lots of fiber, try nutrition.com or sparkpeople.com to create a life plan/diet plan.

You have to do the same thing. You can't expect him to eat special foods or do things you wouldn't do. You have to teach him, this is the way to live, to eat, this is how you do it. It isn't a diet to loose weight, it is a way of life.

My heart goes out to you and I wish you the best.. This won't be easy and you are going to have to be bullheaded about it, but know you are saving his quality of life by doing it.

Barbilee - posted on 08/07/2010

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Erica, I am going to be open and honest. Your son is not stupid, he knows that he is damaging his health and in essence killing himself, but right now that is all he knows. It doesn't matter how many times you tell him or how many times the doctors tell him, HE MUST DECIDE. He sees the world as it really is, kids are brilliant that way. He sees that diet and exercise don't work. If they did we would not have a 73% obesity rate in this country in our adults and a 39% obesity rate in children. Most doctors are trained to say "get more exercise, eat better" but they RARELY can give you an answer. Getting a dog? nice, but it will not solve the obesity issue. Gyms and trainers DON'T WORK - until the body is ready.
Erica, I am a family wellness coach. I specialize in obesity for children. If you want real advice, that works in the real world, I am all in. My company uses FOOD, we believe in EDUCATION NOT MEDICATION for almost everything.
Contact me directly at barbileehemmings @ yahoo.ca. I know I can help. Are you really willing to step up and help your son? there are two kinds of complaints in everyone's world, things that go on a VENT LIST and things that go on a CHNAGE LIST. I will only work with your family if you have this on your CHANGE LIST.

Barbilee, B.A.:B.Ed.
Family Success Coach

Traci - posted on 08/06/2010

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Ok, first, take the computer games away, tv if in bedroom, out, if granparents cant feed him a balanced meal, stop the visits, call to say hi.., I personally hate the word "fat", "diet" I love food, eat everything but in small amounts and that is what you need to do and as my mom has said to me many times, stick to it, stand your ground, walk every night, afternoon and in one week do a wiegh in, and the next week and the next and if 1 or 2 pounds a week comes off, then your getting somewhere, do this for a month, and keep going for the rest of the year, yes a year, you will be saving his life. No soda, No Koolaide, crystal light makes water yummy, 25 calories, now be strong, mom , good luck!! He is going to complain so what get tough! I have it works!!

Jennifer - posted on 08/06/2010

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I also have an over weight son. He is 13 and weighs 185lbs. We have cut out allot of snacks but not all I have switched regular snacks with whole wheat one. We also have whole grain bread and pasta. he does most of the yard work outside because he is also hard to get motivated to anything that would burn calories. he was playing soccer but also quit it because it was to hard. I am keeping my fingers crossed that he still wants to play football this year.He also has to go out side with his younger brother and play if he wants to play the computer or the playsation for only an hour that day.Chores seem to be his biggest calorie burner in the summer or winter. In the winter him and his brother shovel the driveway. We also all go for walks when the weather is nice all year around. I ask my son what he wants for snacks that i can either bake for him or that are good for him. he likes yogurt with fresh fruit in it. His favorite is lowfat vanillla yogert with chopped apples and cinnamon in it. i always have plenty of fresh fruit on hard for both of my sons to munch on, I try to keep it cut in easy to grap containers so they are more likely to eat it rather then it go bad.Try putting grapes in the freezer too.

Jane - posted on 08/06/2010

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Interestingly, many kids with ADD (minus the hyper) use eating as a fidget. My daughter lost weight right away and kept it off when we treated her ADD.

Barbara - posted on 08/06/2010

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I have a 15 yr. old daughter who is about 230 lbs. I had the same problem with getting her motivated. She also was a "couch potatoe" and it was frustrating to me because she is still young and should be more active. A year ago I started taking her to a nutritionist which started out "ok", but she still wasn't motivated enough. That only lasted a few months, but she started eating better and was excited about making her meals and keeping track of them, but I think she did because it was forced on her and she eventually stopped. The nutritionist was great so maybe you can try that. Now we ride bikes together and also attend the gym a few days a week. The other thing I looked at was "myself". I too am overweight and children only mock what they see their parents do, so that is why I am working on myself as well. Good luck with your son.....I too have cried for my daughter.

Louise - posted on 08/06/2010

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The grandparents are smothering your son with food. I would start with them and say that you are worrid about your sons weight and that you know he is getting food from them. tell them that you really want what is best for your son and that is to eat healthy food and exercise. If they are not willing to back you then ban them from access to your son. Try and kick start a diet by going on an activity holiday where he has no choice but to work. These holidays are easy to find and are run for teenagers of all shapes and sizes. You really need the support of all the family to tackle this one. Try changing the whole families meals replacing any fat ladened ones with steam cooked or baked dishes. This is a diet for life your son needs not a quick fix.

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I agree w/the comment from Tracey. The grandparents are hindering you from helping your son. I think you all need to sit down w/a doctor or nutritionist and have all of the risk explained to your family. Now if his grandparents can listen to how they are helping to KILL their grandson...and not make changes for HIS LIFE...I don't know what to say.

Try getting up and just taking a walk with your son. Make that your mom/son time where you guys can be open w/eachother and talk to one another. Instead of looking at it as exercise, maybe he will view it as "special" time that he gets to spend w/you.

Find a pair of shoes or something that he really likes...and tell him if he puts for the effort to just lose 5lbs...you'll reward him with that gift. Maybe he will be motivated by that when he sees how good he looks with just a 5lbs loss...and how GREAT he feels.

Best of luck to you and your son!

Tracey - posted on 08/05/2010

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Take the grandparents to the doctor and make them listen to all the health risks about being overweight, then they should stop buying the junk food. Until you get them on board you are fighting a losing battle.You all need to work together.

Karen - posted on 08/05/2010

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Watch the ingredients in what your son eats, as well. Many empty calories come from beverages. A key ingredient in many foods is High Fructose Corn Syrup. Although the corn industry likes to say it's "natural", it's not like sugar. The food industry likes it because it's 1,000 times sweeter than cane sugar, costs less, has preservative qualities, and - it makes you hungrier! (30 years ago that was one of the points they sold the food manufacturers on to get them to switch to HFCS.) It's in bread, cereals, all kinds of things. Think of it this way, it's pretty easy to down a 32 oz soda with a fast food meal. Would it be easy if it was 32 oz of water? Diet beverages also can be problematic, as they trick the body into thinking it's starving, and in the process, it makes you hungrier. Make an appointment with a licensed nutritionist to map out an eating plan. If he loses a few pounds, it will be easier to exercise more.

Jane - posted on 08/02/2010

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Do a half hour at a time. It's not as hard, and knowing that there's a specific stop time will help a great deal.

Also, he's still growing taller, so restricting calories is not a great idea, choosing where they come from is. Unlimited fruits and vegies, but keep the sugar to a minimum.

PC and TV should be rewards, not a matter of course. Give him the job of mowing your lawn for PC time. Of raking for TV time.

I bought my sons a weight bench and put it in the family room, so they lift weights while they watch.

It's a hard thing, so good luck to you!

Gena - posted on 07/28/2010

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How tall is he? He may not be as overweight as you think.My 14 year old is 6'2", wears size 16 shoe & weighs about 280. He too quit football but only because he is in Boy Scouts & is going with others to Philmont, New Mexico next June. He loves football but did not want to pass up this once in a lifetime opportunity. It is a 100 mile backpacking trip for 12 days. He has to be a certain weight or he will not be able to go and the cost is $1400. Told him if he doesn't make the weight limit he will be grounded til he goes to college and he will only be a Freshman in High School this year. Right now he is over weight limit by almost 40 lbs.

Portion control is my sons problem and sweets..We do as you do..we don't buy the junk food, but when they go to friends or grandma's the get it there even though we have asked them not too. We too are perplexed as what to do.

Don't let him watch TV or use computer or go to grandparents until he has completed some sort of physical activity for the day. If nothing else get him to walk..& do it with him. (or your husband). Doesn' matter what time of day..just get him moving. We are fortunate enough we have an in-ground pool, so my son swims. He also loves being outside fishing & hunting. So taking away TV & computer did not work on him. Also, a trip to doctor's office might be beneficial if doc tells him all the things that can happen to him by being overweight. (Hmmm think I just gave myself some good advice) My son hates going to doctor so that might be the answer to your problem as well as mine. If you find something that works..let me know. Good luck to the both of us..Sounds like we have the same son..LOL

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The first step, is taking him to a doctor for a complete physical and blood workup, to rule out any health problems. If that is okay, then he needs to be enrolled in a program for overweight teens. And play the tough love card...if he doesn't go or follow the program, take away the tv and computer. Then, talk to the grandparents, tell them they are enabling him to keep gaining weight and if they can't help, he can't go over there with out you or your husband. Some of this, I'm talking from experience, both for my 17 yr old daughter and myself. In the last year, I got her to drop 45lbs...she still needs to lose about 30 more. She inspired me so, that I have lost 98lbs in the last 5 months. I was a heavy kid and so was my husband. We are now in our early and late 40's and starting to realize we need to get healthier. Don't let him get to this age to realize it. If I can be of any other help, or you just want to tell me thanks, but no thanks.....I'm crazymom2two@cox.net

Becky - posted on 07/27/2010

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I understand. My son is 17 and 220 lbs. I don't buy junk but others do and motivation is hard. I make him go outside with me. I started with just yard work and then said lets go for a bike ride. He is still overweight, but he is getting exercise and that to me is something. Since doing this his appetite has decreased as well. Good luck.

Sheila - posted on 07/27/2010

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My daughter is overweight also. We go for walks together, ride bikes together even just playing out in the yard will give him exercise. You said he was in football but quit. Why not take some time an go to the park or out in the yard and throw the football around. Don't throw it all the best, that way he will have to move some to get it.

Angie - posted on 07/26/2010

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Exercise with him. My children love to jump on the trampoline in the evening after dinner. I've tried to keep up but I can only do it for about 15 minutes before I'm exhausted. Go for walks with him, it'll be a great time to talk. Most important, explain to his grandparetns that they are killing him. They provide him with whatever he wants because they love him so much and don't understand their role in his obesity. Do his BMI (google it and you'll find a calculator). Take that to your parents along with an article about healthy BMI for him and what the effects of an unhealthy BMI for him. Maybe, seeing proof of the dangers of his diet will sink in. Good luck!!!

Aliska - posted on 07/26/2010

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Do you have a dog or would you consider getting one? Most kids love dogs and an active, playful puppy that needs walking and taking care of could get him off the couch and moving.

Try to get the grandparents on side so they stop buying the junk food, maybe scare them a bit in regard to his health. Ask them to use the money on activities instead. Good luck.

Erica - posted on 07/26/2010

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Thank you for the replies. We have talked to the doctor before and all he said was to keep him off of refined sugars. We don't have a Wii yet but have talked about getting one for Christmas. I would love for him to have a job, but he's not driving yet so there is the problem of getting him to work. I am going to try the 'hour for hour' idea. I like that! Only problem is will he do an hour of "hard" work for it. Thanks so much for all the suggestions.....I greatly appreciate it. Would love to hear more...

Cara - posted on 07/26/2010

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Oh, my heart hurts for you. I would try a few things. First, the doctor should talk to him, as he is damaging his health. Maybe he can say something that will get through to him. Second, I would talk to the grandparents and try to get them on your side. Then I would severely limit the pc and tv, and any other sedentary activities and only allow 'hour for hour' to start with. One hour of activity earns one hour of pc.
And I would be really honest with him 'you are severely shortening your life, damaging your body,etc.' And if football is too hard, maybe he should get a job (one that is not sedentary)

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