Who says you're overweight?
weight; height; overweight; diet; fat; thin; grow; growing;
The right weight for you
When you are a nearly teen, there are all sorts of things happening in your life.
- You are just starting or are already experiencing the changes to your body caused by puberty, when your body starts to change from a child's into an adult's. Some people start puberty before they are 10 years old, some set off around 12 to 13 years, and some are late starters.
Whenever you start puberty, you can be certain that there will be changes in your height and weight.
- Some young people put on weight, then suddenly have a growth spurt and go skinny. Others seem to grow gradually and in proportion. Others take ages to get started and still look like little kids when everyone else is nearly grown up!
- It has a lot to do with your genes - what you inherit from your parents. It also has to do with the way you care for your body to keep it healthy.
It's the right time of life to get into some really good habits about healthy food and exercise.
Puberty is not just about changes to your body - it is also about changes in thinking and feelings.
- Suddenly you may find yourself feeling shy or embarrassed with friends you have always known.
- You may find it hard to talk to your parents.
- You may feel envious of others.
- You may feel wildly happy one moment and really sad the next.
Our topic on Puberty - changes in thinking can give you more information about what is happening.
Lots of kids start worrying about how they look as they take more interest in clothes, body image and looking good, and often that is when they start to get worried about their weight.
Be realistic. Our topics on Body image and Weight - how much should you weigh? will help you.
Some kids can be really unkind to others who don't have the same size and shape as themselves. Don't join in with their bullying and if people are being mean to you let them know that it is NOT OKAY. Our topic Stick up for yourself! Being assertive may be helpful.
I too heavy, too fat, or too thin?
If you are worried about this, put your mind at rest by going to have a chat with the doctor.
He or she will ask some questions about your family, take some measurements of your height and weight, and be able to work out if you are the right weight for you.
We are all different. People can weigh the same and look entirely different - so you can't compare yourself with your friend.
If you are overweight or underweight, your doctor can advise you about what you can do.
You probably already know about healthy foods and how much you should be eating. Our topics in the section 'Your Food' will be useful in giving you a few reminders.
Knowing what to do is one thing, but doing it can be hard, so you need to take charge.
you can do
- Get help! Ask mum, dad or your caregiver, your doctor and your friends if they will help you to keep on track with healthy food.
- Check out the pantry and the fridge! Stay away from snack foods and get into fresh foods like vegies, cheese and fruit.
- Don't fill up on fizz! Steer clear of soft drinks. Water is the best thing for you to drink, plus some milk which you need to keep those bones growing straight and strong.
- Get up and go! Once you've started on the healthy diet, get out and exercise. Even a bit more exercise than what you were doing before will make a difference, and you could add more each week as you get fitter.
- Watch when you eat! Eating when you are watching TV or a movie, and eating when you are feeling sad or reading a book is not a good idea. You are busy doing something and not noticing how much you are eating.
- Stop when you're full! I know that some food is just so yummy that it's really hard to say no to eating more than you need, even when you are full! But try to notice what you are doing. Take less food, take longer to eat it, and leave the table straight away before you get tempted to eat more.
- Change your eating habits. Eating small meals more often during a day keeps up your energy, and you are less likely to eat too much. Does your school let you snack on vegies, nuts and fruit halfway through lessons? Some schools call it 'brain food' time.
- Get real. Accept that if your favourite food of all time is 'unhealthy', then never eating it again is going to make you feel pretty angry. It's OK to have a treat sometimes - just make sure that it isn't too often, or you will start to feel bad about yourself.
- Start now. If you have been checked out by the doctor and you are overweight or underweight, then get started right away on doing something about it.
Do you have problems about food?
There are times when most people don’t feel like eating. This can be caused by illness, bad things happening to them or someone they love, worry, fear, bullying, and a whole list of other things.
Some people become so upset that they may become obsessed by what they eat. They may binge on food and then feel bad and make themselves sick. They may eat too little and make themselves ill.
If you, or your friend, are spending a lot of time thinking about food, worrying about your body, your weight or what other people think about you then it’s time to talk to your trusted adults and to go and see a doctor.
What kids say
"I am much taller and more developed than the girls in my class. I thought I was too tall, but my parents are both tall and mum did all her growing when she was young like me. I am fit and healthy, so I guess it is okay."
"People tease me because I am so big. My parents are both big and dad works on a farm. I guess I eat as much as Dad but I only help out sometimes, so I will ask mum to give me smaller meals. Maybe I will do more exercise too. I don't like being called names."
"I am so small and skinny I look like a little kid. I used to feel left out sometimes when I was never picked for teams in sport, but now that everyone knows I can run fast, hit the ball hard and catch it, it is better. I hope I grow more next year though before I go to high school."
Dr Kate says
"Most people would like to look good. But looking good doesn't always mean that people are feeling good about themselves.
You don't have to look good to be happy.
Think about the people you like. Do you like them because they are really good looking? Or do you like them because they are kind, funny, good friends, care about you and all the other things that make someone a nice person to know?"
Healthy food and exercise
Work wonders, why not try it?
If you get it right when you're a kid
You'll never have to diet!
We've provided this information to help you to understand important things about staying healthy and happy. However, if you feel sick or unhappy, it is important to tell your mum or dad, a teacher or another grown-up.