The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Teens dieting solo not the best idea

By Mona Lisa Tucker/south news editor

Being thin does not guarantee happiness.

As a teenager, I struggled with my weight because in my culture the thicker you are, the better you are, so I consistently compared myself to others. No matter how much food I consumed, my size five didn’t change.

For years, I was self-conscious about my weight and, on many occasions, wore extra clothing to feel bigger, until a few years ago.

The upcoming book Maggie Goes on a Diet is about a downtrodden, overweight 14-year-old who changes her eating and exercise habits to produce a smaller, happier version of herself through self-motivation.  

In a fairy tale, this may happen. But in the real world, this teen would require much help from family, friends and the kindness of others to achieve those goals.

For example, on the reality show Too Fat for 15 one teen weighed more than 500 pounds with some major medical problems and difficulty walking when she arrived at Wellspring Academy in 2010.

She got that way by sitting at home and being fed all types of fatty, high-calorie foods by her mother.

Over time, with the help of the Wellspring staffers, counselors and dieticians, the teen lost more than 200 pounds.

She can walk better, has entered college with a new outlook on life and has inspired other morbidly obese people to fight for life.

Other teens who weren’t as heavy made strides to improve their health on the show, as well. On the other hand, one teen decided she wanted out of the program, so she broke the rules and was terminated.

My 14-year-old daughter, Ebony, is not thin or obese. Nonetheless, she has been taught to love herself, regardless of the opinions of others or society’s dictates.

She said girls at her school are many different sizes, and most of the girls seem to value themselves by the way they groom and treat themselves.

A better way to approach child dieting is through a collective family effort and professional counseling, if needed, because children need to know the correct way to lose unwanted pounds without putting their lives at risk.

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