Q:

How should a 12-year-old lose weight?

A:

Quick Answer

The best way for a 12-year-old to lose weight is to become physically active and work with his parents to develop a healthy diet. If the child's doctor recommends it, parents can also enroll their child in a commercial weight-loss program or summer camp for overweight children..

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Full Answer

When working with their child, parents should encourage him to engage with a weight-loss program personally by keeping a food diary, logging his daily activities and measuring his walking activity by using a pedometer. The parents should also create a supportive environment and help their child see himself as having an active role in the weight loss process.

The child’s physician may recommend local weight management programs to help deal with the problem. If none are available, programs such as Weight Watchers or TOPS accept kids who have medical permission to participate. Parents should make sure their child is mature enough to handle the required activities. They should also ensure that any program chosen is oriented toward kids around the age of 12.

Besides weight loss programs, simple physical activities, such as engaging in sports, jogging and walking to school, serve as a first step toward a healthier life. Such activities help build muscle, allowing the body to burn calories more effectively.

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