Dieting is a controversial topic among people of all ages. Needing to reduce weight can be in the eye of the beholder, but health also needs to be addressed when weight goes beyond a certain number. Determining who needs to diet and when depends upon the health of the individual. As a teenager, the body is still growing and developing. The transition time of development may alter the weight of a teenager on either positively or negatively. If a teenager is on the higher side of his/her desired weight, dieting may become an option to prevent further weight gain and reduce existing weight.

Should teens diet?  The answer depends upon the individual and the current plan their doctor advises. Diets can be trendy fads that do not reduce weight and instead cause weight gain, sugar and hormone imbalances, and other health issues. Any potential diet should be a lifestyle change rather than a ‘diet’. 

When determining if a diet is right for a teen, body composition, current eating habits, and current exercise habits should be assessed. In the event an imbalance of calorie intake/output, a teen should work toward a healthier balance of caloric intake. Teens should diet only if the weight reduction is contemplated for health reasons and is reduced through proper eating habits and exercise.

Reducing caloric intake and adapting a ‘diet’ must be individualized to the teen and incorporate a healthy mix of protein and vegetables while eliminating junk food. Rather than doing a fad diet, a teen should have a goal to eat healthfully and exercise more often.