Adolescent weight gain

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Adolescent weight gain

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How can you support your daughter if you're concerned that she is heavy? One of the things that you can do is let her know that people come in all different shapes and sizes, and there's lots of different ways to be healthy and beautiful. So provide her with lots of other images of how women look besides what you just see in the fashion magazines. So take her to an art museum, for example. Let her see some beautiful, voluptuous women. Presuming that she's eating a healthy diet, make sure she's getting plenty of exercise and activity. What we know is that even women who are considered overweight, if they're getting a lot of exercise and they're eating a healthy diet, they're actually at no greater health risk than someone who's on the thinner side. The other thing to keep in mind is if your daughter hasn't yet entered puberty, her body is naturally gonna put on more fat cells because she's about to grow maybe six inches and develop breasts. So her body is just getting her ready for this. So she may look very different in just a year or two. If she's eating healthfully and getting exercise, she's doing what she needs to do.

See SuEllen Hamkins, MD's video on Adolescent weight gain...

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SuEllen Hamkins, MD

Psychiatrist & Author

SuEllen Hamkins, MD, is a psychiatrist, author and founding member of the Mother-Daughter Project, a community of women and girls that developed powerful, practical ways to help mothers and daughters stay connected and thrive through adolescence. Co-author of The Mother-Daughter Project: How Mothers and Daughters Can Band Together, Beat the Odds and Thrive Through Adolescence, Dr. Hamkins has given numerous presentations for parents and psychotherapists around the world, focusing on mothers, daughters, their relationships and the kinds of communities that nurture them.  As the psychiatrist for the Smith College Counseling Service from 1992-2004, SuEllen offered consultation to over a thousand women ages 16 to 23 to help them resist and overcome problems such as anorexia, bulimia, depression, anxiety, trauma, assault, and self-injury.  In addition to her work on behalf of mothers and daughters, as the Assistant Director for Psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, she has been instrumental in developing strengths-based, narrative approaches to psychotherapy and psychiatric practice, helping people cultivate their values and strengths in the face of serious difficulties.  SuEllen is the mother of two daughters, now 17 and 22, and raising them has been the most thrilling and rewarding work of her life. She lives with her husband and younger daughter in western Massachusetts, where they love to swim outdoors, cross country ski, shoe snow, dance, cook and lounge around in the living room, reading. 

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