Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Should my child have a weight loss consultation if she's lost a lot of weight recently?"
My daughter is 14 and has lost 20 pounds in nearly two months. She was somewhat chubby but not really overweight. Is something wrong with her?
It is good that you are aware of your daughter's weight and are involved enough to notice the weight loss that she has been having. No matter the initial weight of your daughter, 20 lbs of weight loss in 2 months is a good reason to be seen by a physician. Weight loss can indicate many things (from metabolic disorders to digestive problems), but one of the most common problems in teenage girls involves eating disorders. Bulimia (involving binge eating followed by "purging," which involves self inflicted vomiting) and anorexia (unhealthy abstinence from food) are both very common in teenage girls. While it is very important to speak with your daughter's pediatrician about the weight loss, it is also important that you, as a parent, engage in conversations with her about her weight. Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight are important to long term health, and being overweight can also affect the self esteem of many individuals. Achieving the ideal weight through unhealthy means, such as purging or anorexia, are very unhealthy, however, and can be signs of a young person that needs your help. Please speak with your daughter's pediatrician soon, and also discuss these issues with your daughter.
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