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Old Yesterday, 07:56 PM
Location: Minnesota
402 posts, read 139,152 times
Reputation: 1012


I've never had kids myself so I can't speak to that side of things, but i have battled an eating disorder for many years, was very underweight for six years and now battle severe osteoporosis at 46 years old. I didn't have great role models growing up. My mother was a binge eater and the rest of her family made fun of her and I found it all demoralizing.

Whatever you decide to do, please make sure that she understands that she is a beautiful person on the inside and out, and that you love her just the way she is. Emphasize her good qualities and try to refrain from talking about her weight and what she eats, or about your own weight and diet. It's good that you are concerned and trying to help her. Hopefully she will be able to trust you enough to talk about her concerns.

I was in an eating disorder program and we were routinely given Ensures and also carnation instant drink mix to gain weight. Sugar was the last thing we needed to worry about.

Old Yesterday, 08:35 PM
Location: Erie, PA
2,452 posts, read 1,020,934 times
Reputation: 5414
I was also very thin the majority of life--at least up until I hit menopause a year and a half ago, lol.

Still, 75 lbs seems really thin for 5 feet tall especially for someone who is athletic since muscle is heavier than fat. Frame size also matters--so if she is really small boned it might be okay--I am very small boned myself and found that the height/weight charts don't work for me because of this. They recommend a weight range of 119-130 for a woman 5' 3" but at 119 I look sloppy and get muffins I look my best at 105-110. Some people also have a very fast metabolism and if both sides of your family are thin then it's unlikely she will find gaining weight to be easy.

It's time to worry when so much weight is lost that a woman/girl stops having periods.

I wouldn't make her weight a major issue since that age is a rough one anyhow in terms of body image. You did the right thing by reinforcing that 'too big' meant too tall rather than 'too fat' to her.

Encourage her to eat high protein snacks such as cashews, soy nuts, and low sugar yogurt.
Old Yesterday, 08:46 PM
Location: TX/ Maryland
279 posts, read 55,519 times
Reputation: 475
Originally Posted by SimplySagacious View Post
It's good that she's eating healthier, but adding Ensure Plus is adding more crap. One 8 ounce bottle of Ensure Plus has 20 g sugar. That is just under 5 teaspoons.

She's 12 and only one pound under. You are overreacting.
She's 13 and she's not over reacting.
Old Yesterday, 08:56 PM
Location: OHIO
2,024 posts, read 875,472 times
Reputation: 4626
I didn't weigh over 100lbs until 22 and I am 5'2.
I would say I was around her weight at 13. My 13 yr old cousin is also VERY small, maybe smaller. Skinny is just in the family.

I would see what her pediatrician says. Maybe uptake her protein with homemade protein smoothies? Does she like avocados? Nuts? Have her snack throughout the day on things like that.
Old Yesterday, 09:54 PM
Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
8,397 posts, read 7,707,992 times
Reputation: 17794
You've had two adults talk to you that they are concerned about her weight.

Listen to them.

Take her to a doctor.

Start putting healthy calorically dense foods in her diet.
Old Yesterday, 10:11 PM
Location: Denver CO
19,597 posts, read 10,578,367 times
Reputation: 28936
Originally Posted by CGab View Post
What are you talking about? Maybe you didn't put in her stats right. I just went to the CDC website for teen BMI calculation. To calculate her BMI she's 75lbs. 60 inches tall, 12 years 10 months old, GIRL = 14.6 BMI


According to that website, 78lbs puts her in the healthy weight range. That's only 3 lbs. I think if I can get her to 80 she would be good. I want to tread lightly because I don't want it to become an issue with her. She was already asking me why I was weighing her. I told her that I notice she lost a few pounds, probably because of the braces. That's all. However, I also told her that she needed the shakes for the vitamins because of gymnastics/cheer. She was fine with that.

Someone asked how much did she lose due to the braces? I believe only 2lbs because she was sick right before that and the clinic I took her to weighed her in at 77lbs at the time. They didn't say anything about her weight, but it was just a clinic, not her pediatrician. She has always been real thin. Both of my girls are, but I also know she's had a growth spirt recently too as she's almost as tall as me (not saying much, lol). I was also very thin when I was young. Besides that, she is a very healthy girl and always has been.

I do appreciate everyone's posts. Thank you
Posting as someone who had a child who was clinically underweight. Generally speaking, if there are no signs of anorexia (unnatural restriction of caloric intake and/or unnatural levels of activity to try to burn off calories) and her health is generally good, my experience was that they were not that worried about my son's weight. I had to bring him in for weight checks a few times a year, but as long as he stayed on his growth chart curve, they were ok with that curve being the 2nd percentile (with his height being about the 50th percentile, so his BMI was below the 5th percentile pretty consistently). He turned 14 last summer and finally started to put on a little more bulk - he's still quite slim (needs slim size jeans, etc) but I can't count every vertebrae from the knobs sticking out on his back anymore! lol!

You are right that 3 lbs is not a *huge* difference. But she still falls into the underweight category. I do understand losing weight when she first got her braces, but she should be putting that weight back on now that she's adjusted to them. While I wouldn't see this as an emergency situation, esp. since she is ok drinking the shakes and doesn't seem to be restricting calories, I think it's certainly something that should be discussed with her pediatrician. Presumably you have an appt coming up fairly soon, since she's pretty close to a birthday? I think it's ok to wait a month or two, in that case. If nothing is scheduled, then I think you should go ahead and get her in to be seen. They may be fine confirming her overall health and tell you there is nothing to worry about, but it's still worth getting that confirmation. And if they do have concerns, then you don't want to have a lot of delays in getting them addressed.
Old Yesterday, 10:27 PM
Location: Early America
1,552 posts, read 735,036 times
Reputation: 3317
Originally Posted by CGab View Post
I saw the nutritional value. It also has 51 grams of carbs. I honestly didn't think too much of her weight until people started bringing it to my attention.

From your OP:

1) She's having a growth spurt right now. Rapid body changes are normal. It's not abnormal for a slim kid to look sickly during this time.

2) She lost 3 pounds after getting braces. Not unusual.

3) She stopped eating junk food so her calorie intake is probably lower.

These things are perfectly natural. If it would ease your mind, take her to a doctor. The doc can advise you on a diet that shouldn't need supplementing (hopefully). She especially needs good nutrition during this growth spurt.
Old Yesterday, 10:33 PM
Status: "Welcome Governor Polis!" (set 3 days ago)
Location: Foot of the Rockies
85,700 posts, read 100,126,654 times
Reputation: 32149
Originally Posted by SimplySagacious View Post
From your OP:

1) She's having a growth spurt right now. Rapid changes are normal.

2) She lost 3 pounds after getting braces. Not unusual.

3) She stopped eating junk food so her calorie intake is probably lower.

These things are perfectly natural. If it would ease your mind, take her to a doctor. The doc can advise you on a diet that shouldn't need supplementing (hopefully).
3) is very concerning. That's how anorexia starts. They're going to "clean up" their diet, eat more healthily, etc. What it means is they're restricting food. Personal experience with one of my daughters.
"Refuses to eat certain foods, progressing to restrictions against whole categories of food (e.g., no carbohydrates, etc.)"
Old Yesterday, 10:46 PM
14,857 posts, read 19,072,857 times
Reputation: 20615
Originally Posted by K12144 View Post
... When you do see her eat, does she go to the bathroom or anything immediately after?...

I looked for the OP's answer to this question but didnt see one.

CGab, have you been paying close attention to whether your daughter goes to the bathroom or somewhere else (garage, her room, etc) to perhaps throw up after eating or after drinking the Ensure?
Old Yesterday, 11:19 PM
Location: Dallas TX
14,586 posts, read 20,946,905 times
Reputation: 20995
I was similar to her growing up. Everyone thought I was anorexic, when it was just a high metabolism.

That said, talk to her doctor, talk to your daughter. I think providing her more protein such as others have suggested would help.
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