Diet plan for an obese 12 year old

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Topic: Diet plan for an obese 12 year old

General Discussion December 15, 2011 at 10:39 am

Diet plan for an obese 12 year old

I’m friends with a 12 year obese kid who needs to loose about 50 pounds.  He knows it, and is sort of motivated. He’s bright but a poor reader, poorly educated – with a marginally literate –  social-service dependant mom  (with whom I am also comfortably friendly.)
I have been gently working with them both on understanding nutrition, calories & reading & understanding food labels etc.  But there are so many things I never thought of –  i.e. I gave him fresh cucumbers  from my garden all summer to snack on – only to learn they ate them with gobs of mayonnaise!  (I then introduced him to humus as an alternative.)  Mom will actually throw away whole-wheat bread and wait in line for an hour for  free white bread.  Not a lot of hope there.
 I  remember some kind of diet system where you have cards with various nutritional values – veggie – carbo – protein – fat – that you move from one side of the folder to the other as you go through the day.  Has anyone ever used this system?  With kids?  Is it even still around?  Any other practical suggestions?  I want something visual – colored stickers or something like that – in a little book that he can carry around.  Keeping a food journal will not work.    Mom took him to one meeting with a nutritionist at the clinic (she is also overweight and borderline diabetic)  but is not motivated to go back because of “cultural differences.”

Remember these are people in a completely different reality from most of us – Please I’m not interested in judgement, just suggestions.  

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Ooh, that’s a tough one. I’m curious to see what responses other people come up with. Would he be at all receptive to learning how to cook?

I know this doesn’t answer your question, but how active is this kid? I ask this because a) I think sufficient physical activity is probably as important as diet when it comes to weight control and b) a one-pronged plan consisting of better food knowledge might not work with a typical 12-year-old boy.


Nice of you to take an interest in the health of this child.  However, I would not take it upon yourself to advise an obese child on proper diet and nutrition.  You should look for social or medical programs sponsored by the city that can provide professional guidance. might be exactly what you’re looking for.  Also, I agree that exercise is important.  Can you be a mentor in that–go for walks, talk about different sports/martial arts programs he might like?


A few thoughts:

*Check out the Livestrong’s MyPlate website. Even if he doesn’t have the internet access or the commitment to keep a log, but it might be a good one-time activity to sit down and have a conversation about how calories add up, how exercise takes them down, etc. since they have a lot of good visuals. And if you’re feeling bold, there’s probably a math lesson in there somewhere with all the graphs.

*As a simple book he can carry around, maybe a day-by-day calendar and some stickers to put on each page? For example, he can put a green sticker each day for every time he eats a serving of vegetables.

*There are a lot of after-school programs that address healthy eating/fitness. If there’s one in your neighborhood or at his school, either encourage his mother to enroll him or see if the instructors will share some of their worksheets/activities with you.

I think the most important influence is going to have to be mom, not you, though I give you a ton of credit for wanting to be involved! Is mom willing to model healthy eating behavior for her son?
Good luck. Tough situation.

You might want to consider getting a copy of Food Rules by Michael Pollen, and condensing and retooling its contents into 12-year old parlance. The book has simple diet axioms that are easy to learn and remember. I’d also look into some of the First Lady’s “Let’s Move” program initiatives–

I’m an obese 12 year-old and I need to lose 26 lb to be a healthy weight personally I don’t see what all the fuss is about but then again I have a star a neg desire to become fatter.

I meant a strange desire

Ok you could try putting his height and weight into the NHS bmi calculator because if you’re overweight or obese it gives you some tips on how to lose weightI know this because it gave me some tips and you could use change 4 life.

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