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Ask Rene: Our Teenage Daughter Is Very Overweight! Help!


Ask Rene:
Our Teenage Daughter Is Very Overweight! Help!


Hi Rene,

Our teenage daughter has a serious weight problem but my ex-husband seems completely oblivious to her issues – and is in fact, part of the problem.

Kara is 15 years old, 5’6” and already weighs 230 lbs. My ex, Josh and I have joint custody but while Kara eats healthy foods while she’s with me, every time she stays with Josh and his new wife they’re eating pizza, burgers and junk food.

Josh and his wife are obese themselves and I feel they’re sending a terrible message to our daughter. It’s hard to tell her to eat right when she’s not with me half the time (and of course I can’t control what she eats during the day or with friends)

How can I get my daughter to be healthy if her own father can’t handle his own weight issues?


Michelle, Orlando



Hi Michelle:

Glad you wrote because this is a situation that needs to be handled STAT and on more than one front. There’s the health aspect, but it also feels to me like your daughter is being used as a pawn in some sort of bizarre power struggle between you and your ex. That has to stop before she becomes the collateral damage. To that end, here’s what I would propose.


2. Teach Your Daughter How To Make Healthy Choices On Her Own

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Once Kara is on a plan, work with her to show her alternatives to choose from when she is on her own or faced with temptation (that would include the times when she is with her father and his new wife). I’ve always liked Weight Watchers and know people who’ve had great success at losing weight and keeping it off. Once Kara gets the hang of paying attention to what she’s eating and how many calories she needs (along with exercise), she’ll begin making slow and incremental movement toward her goal. But more than that, she will also feel empowered about her own life and health, which I think will further fuel her resolve.

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