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Weight Loss Confidential: How Teens Lost Weight and Kept It Off and What They Wish Parents Knew

Book Review

Weight Loss Confidential: How Teens Lost Weight and Kept It Off and What They Wish Parents Knew
By Anne M. Fletcher, MS, RD
Houghton Mifflin (2007)
Reviewed by Katherine Tallmadge, MA, RD

Claims

Based on her experience with her teenage son, the author claims to offer unique solutions to successfully help teens lose weight. She spent three years compiling the stories of more than 100 formerly overweight teens and claims to shatter many myths.

Diet Plan

The book does not offer a specific diet plan because the author says "one size didn't fit all." About half the teens lost weight on their own, and the other half had help from a professional, such as a registered dietitian. The teens lost an average of 58 pounds and some as much as 75 to 100 pounds. Even though some experts worry teens will become obsessed if they're taught about the importance of self-monitoring, nutrition and calories, this is the way most of the teens were successful. Using these techniques, the teens learned how to eat healthier diets and gained healthy attitudes about their bodies, weight and food.

The author found that teens who were most successful simply ate more healthfully than they used to. The most common strategies for weight loss were exercising more, cutting back on high fat foods, going on a diet, no longer eating certain foods, counting calories and eating less of all foods. The author provides a calorie guide, tips on cutting calories, fat and portions.

Nutritional Pros and Cons

The author encourages eating more fruits and vegetables, eating regular meals, smart snacking and avoiding skipping meals and self-deprivation. She warns against unhealthful behaviors like following low-carb diets and smoking.

Bottom Line

This book is recommended for anyone with a teen who is worried about their health or weight. Adults will learn how to best help the teens in their lives, and teens will learn how to help themselves.