From Steve, Child's Age 13 - 02/11/01  Click here to reply  
My son is quite overweight. He is 5' 4, and weighs about 150 pounds. He was 160 about three months ago, and he's been trying to lose weight by walking for an hour on the treadmill everyday. However, he can't seem to control his eating. We found that he averages about 32 grams of fat a day. How many calories and grams of fat does he need? His waist size has dropped from 34 to 33, which is pretty good, but its still too large. Does anyone know what I good waist size would be for him? I also have a weight problem. I'm 5' 10 and weigh about 230 pounds. I also wear a size 38 in pants. Does anyone know what I good size for me would be? We're trying to do this together, but we just can't control our eating. Tips on any of this would help.
Reply from anne, Child's Age 5 - 02/20/01 
I suggest seeing a doctor and looking at the food pyramid to get a range of calories and fat grams. Adults should have a maximum of 30% of their calories come from fat with less than 10% of those from Saturated fat ( bad fat). I am almost positive children need more than that but I am not sure how much more. Keep encouraging him to keep up the hard work and congratulations to both of you for taking on such a hard task.
Reply from Sue, Child's Age 12 - 02/12/01 
Sorry, read your bulletin too quickly and realise your son is 13. Well, at 13 boys of that age are even hungrier and probably thicker around the middle. Same advice though.
Reply from Sue, Child's Age 12 - 02/12/01 
I think that 15 is a very hungry age, what with all the activities boys especially are doing plus the exercise he is doing on the treadmill. It sounds like his weight is definitely going in the right direction i.e. down and if you are supporting him and doing this together then half the battle is won.
Regarding calories and how many he should be having, that is very difficult information to find out. I know that for adult men they recommend about 2000 but it may even be more for a growing boy. I would get professional advice from a doctor to be sure. Regarding the grammes of fat, I think that 32 grammes is way too high. Can't say for sure how many a growing boy of 15 should have but I have a neighbour who is always dieting and she recommends no more than 15 for an adult women.
I will tell you what helped my daughter lose weight and it may help you. She was about 20 pounds overweight and has now lost 10 pounds in six weeks. We decided on a maximum calorie intake and write down exactly what she eats and in that calorie intake she is allowed treats as long as at the end of the day she is within the calories. She loves pizzas, chinese food, pasta - don't all children - but I still bought them but the Weight Watchers versions. They are smaller portions but we add lots of vegetables. Plus they do Weight Watchers soups that are very low in calories and, again, will fill her up. Her hungry time of day is the evening so she tends to have her soup and vegetables then when she is peckish. You need to find out how many calories everything is - there are loads of lists on the internet. Plus go around the supermarket with your son, head for the Weight Watchers section and let him choose what he wants. Believe it or not there are even low calorie ice lollies. It is very boring and very laborious to keep reading the labels to find out how many calories everything is but in the end you will automatically know. Changing eating habits requires immense willpower and sacrifice because you are denying yourself what you really want to eat. We found some low calorie cakes and lollies so my daughter can still eat something sweet. Also we just stopped buying chocolates, bread, sweets etc so the food just isn't around to nosh on. We now always had a big supply of fruit, vegetables and low calorie snacks to hand. We even found some low calorie crisps.
I am not sure about waist sizes but at 15 your son is still growing so I wouldn't be too concerned about his waist measurement.
Regarding your weight, I would just follow the above advice plus you should both drink lots of water - at least eight full glasses a day. Good luck.