Obesity rates in children have tripled over the past 30 years, with rates for teens increasing from 5 percent to 18 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Eating too many calories and not getting enough exercise are the primary causes of the obesity epidemic. A healthy weight loss diet for 15-year-olds should not be overly restrictive and should include a variety of foods from all of the food groups.
Slimkids is a weight management program you can do at home with your 15-year-old. It was developed by a nurse with more than 27 years of child-care experience, and has been reviewed and approved by pediatricians and dietitians. The plan uses a calorie-controlled diet based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans to help your teen get to a healthier weight. The diet does not require your child to count calories, but uses tools to teach your 15-year-old how to make healthier food choices and control portions. The plan includes diet guidelines, sample menus, a food diary, and tips on eating after school and during the holidays. Once you order the program, you also have access to online support to answer questions and help you and your 15-year-old stay motivated. Most teens who follow the program lose an average of 1 to 1 1/2 lb. a week.
Shapedown is a group-based weight-management program developed by the faculty at the University of California Medical School at San Fransisco. Programs can be found all over the country. As a group program, it encourages parent participation. Shapedown says teens have more success at losing weight and keeping it off when they have the support of their family. During the 10-week program, you and your 15-year-old learn how to be more active as a family, while learning how to make healthier food choices. In addition to working on improving diet and physical activity, Shapedown also works on building your teen's self-esteem and helping you set better limits. Most teens lose about 10 lb. following the Shapedown program, according to the website.
Go, Slow and Whoa
Go, Slow and Whoa is not a diet, but a tool you can use to teach your 15-year-old how to make healthier food choices to get to a better weight. The plan divides foods into three groups based on how often your child should eat them. "Go" foods are low in calories and high in nutrients; your teen can eat as many "Go" foods as she wants. Examples include whole wheat bread, skim milk and fresh fruits and vegetables. "Slow" foods contain more calories and should only be eaten a few times a week. Examples include oven-baked fries, fruit juice and pancakes. "Whoa" foods are very high in calories, and eating too many will lead to weight gain. "Whoa" foods should only be eaten a few times a month. Examples include whole milk, fried chicken and doughnuts.