My 20 year old daughter is too thin. How can I convince her to eat more/gain so

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  1. RJ Schwartz profile image88
    RJ Schwartzposted 8 years ago

    My 20 year old daughter is too thin.  How can I convince her to eat more/gain some weight?

    I've had her in the doctors and everything is normal, but she is so thin that she's always cold and at meals, she picks at her food.  She claims to not be trying to lose weight, but she slowly has been over the last two years.

  2. Express10 profile image82
    Express10posted 8 years ago

    Have you tried talking to her to find out if she otherwise feels well? Doctors can be wrong, I know, I've gone on an absolute odessy to find out only after seeing 7 doctors what was wrong. There are diseases that make people have the symptoms that you describe however, if it is that she truly wants to lose weight but doesn't want to discuss that with you, perhaps you have someone else that is close to the both of you who can firmly and lovingly talk to her about your concerns for her weight and health?

    1. RJ Schwartz profile image88
      RJ Schwartzposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Many times.  She's otherwise a happy person, so that's why I'm so stumped - no angst, boyfriend, in college, always been level headed.

    2. Express10 profile image82
      Express10posted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Quite often young people in college GAIN weight, not lose it. However, I would be concerned as you are and continue attempting to try and have a discussion. Maybe there are others who can talk to her and discuss it with you discreetly?

    3. Annsalo profile image85
      Annsaloposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      This was my thought. See another doctor. Sounds like a possible health issue, maybe thyroid related. Also could be anorexia.

    4. RJ Schwartz profile image88
      RJ Schwartzposted 8 years agoin reply to this


  3. ElvisaM profile image74
    ElvisaMposted 8 years ago

    Mr. Schwarts, you said she is in college. Maybe stress? Long nights and essays galore can take a toll on ones body. I would encourage her to try and get some rest and maybe see a nutritionist.

    1. RJ Schwartz profile image88
      RJ Schwartzposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      We did discuss her credit load - she dropped a really time consuming class and weight holding steady

  4. profile image0
    candyhippieposted 8 years ago

    Why aren't you convinced by the doctor saying she's okay? Weight loss isn't necessarily bad. What about her? Is she happy with her weight? Are you sure you should try to convince her to gain weight?

    This BMI calculator should help her double check whether her weight is healthy. She may find it useful: … micalc.htm

    As for her always being cold, that might just be a girl thing, linked to iron deficiency as a result of the monthly cycle. She might want to ask her doctor about iron supplements.

  5. profile image54
    peter565posted 8 years ago

    This is usually associated with she want to look pretty. There is a media misconception of what men like, usually due to media misunderstood what men like, guys like healthy girls, as a result, media think guys like skinning girls (because healthy girls, although not always skinny, are at least not fat) guys like wide hip girls, but somehow media turn that into girls with big ass (Why would I like a girl with big ass? Look like a giant chicken butt) So, make her understand, guys like girls who are healthy, not skinny, so if she really want to be a hottie, she should eat normally and healthy, just don't over eat and exercise regulary, that is the best way to look pretty,

  6. Besarien profile image72
    Besarienposted 8 years ago

    Hi RJ! Have had similar worries with my sixteen year old son who seems healthy but wanted to live on a high protein and greens Adkins type diet. My son is obsessed with building lean muscle and has no body fat that I can detect. I understand his commitment to looking fit, but felt he was taking it to unhealthy extremes.

    We did consult a licensed nutritionist (a young male one) who convinced him to be more moderate in his approach to dieting. He is still very strict about what he eats and doesn't but now follows his new guidelines religiously to make sure his body is getting exactly everything it needs to prosper. I have backed off because I feel like he has a better grasp of what he is doing and what is at stake.

    I know it will be harder with a college age young lady, but highly recommend you both visiting a good young female nutritionist who will be far more an authority and role-model for her than her worried dad who loves her. Do try to go with her if possible for your own peace of mind and to make sure all your concerns are heard. I took notes. What you will both learn might be eye opening. It was for us. I wish you both health and happiness, Besarien

  7. tamarawilhite profile image85
    tamarawilhiteposted 8 years ago

    If she is anorexic or has an eating disorder, discuss it with her doctor.
    Hypothyroidism causes weight gain, fatigue, feeling cold. Hyperthyroidism causes weight loss, fatigue, heat intolerance. If there is a possibility this is a thyroid malfunction, talk to the doctor.

  8. profile image0
    RTalloniposted 8 years ago

    That would be distressing.  Try to find a doc who will do a complete thyroid workup.  Docs who will do it are not easy to find.  Using one that you have to talk into doing it may be worse than useless.  Do web searches to find out what kinds of docs will do them so you can find one in your area.

  9. WordCrafter09 profile image65
    WordCrafter09posted 8 years ago

    From what I know/have seen about young women in their very late teens and into their twenties, many tend to be the thinnest they'll ever be just because they have metabolism working in their favor, but also because even if they weren't super skinny as mid-teens many often slim out (either because of getting past the stage of having little to do but snack with friends or because some keep growing (taller) past the mid-teens and/or because many kids/girls in particular, maybe can just have a little extra "softness" until they get closer to "genuine" maturity (mid-twenties).  The kid who was already pretty slender as a teen often gets super slender in her late teens and through the twenties (and maybe beyond, depending on many things)..

    On the other side of things, while "too thin" is so often in the eye of the beholder, if I thought my own son or daughter were too thin (these days) I wouldn't necessarily be thinking in terms of getting them to eat more.  I'd be concerned about the possibility of substance abuse (or one kind or another).  I'd say if you're really certain it isn't substance then just get her weight off your mind; but these days there are so many people who are substance abusers and whose parents would have no idea that they are.  I don't know what the answer is there.

    Having made the last depressing remark, I'd add that many girls/women are small-framed and less likely to eat like goats or sharks (or whatever/whoever just eats everything and anything).  Having all kinds of things to do, demands on time, different types of stress (etc.) can mean not only forgetting to eat and (not being a big eater anyway) having little appetite.  If she's someone who doesn't care about (or who stays away from) eating sugar - there you go, all the makings of super-thin in the twenties.

    It's not for me to say you don't need to be concerned, but if SHE, herself, would like to add a few lbs I'd suggest she eat more carbs and dairy/fat daily.  (As a small-framed women who didn't gain weight quickly, no matter what I ate on weekends, I can tell you it takes a real "concerted (and sustained) effort"(planned or not planned) at her age.  If she's physically active and has a frame (height, shoe size) that's more average than it is super-small I'd think she could have a challenge trying to eat enough sugar, starches, fat (etc.) to accomplish weight gain.

    Regardless of age, people who can only eat when/if they actually have an appetite just can't always eat more.

  10. manatita44 profile image70
    manatita44posted 8 years ago

    A difficult one. You have my empathy. Maybe, if she is spiritually inclined, she can work with the Hari Krishna people. I know many personally, and I feel that they are good Souls. They are experts at preparing tasty meals, and they may take her as a volunteer.

    We have Sri Chinmoy Centres all over the US, and they may also take her as a worker or volunteer in one of their restaurants. I believe that Shaloo Swalia is good with food, but the problem may be bigger, I suspect.

    Watch for hobbies that she loves, and as long as it seems harmless, then encourage it. People do much more from a happy state, then a despairing one. Not an easy one, Bro. You have my Love and best wishes.

    1. RJ Schwartz profile image88
      RJ Schwartzposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Thank you brother - always appreciate your thoughts

  11. Michaela Osiecki profile image69
    Michaela Osieckiposted 8 years ago

    Slowly losing weight over the course of a few years shouldn't be too concerning, but if her weight drops significantly in a short amount of time that could be cause for alarm - either due to a medical issue or possibly an eating disorder.

    Many girls with anorexia or bulimia go to great lengths to hide their eating habits or what they do regarding food, so unless she's being really secretive or evasive about "dinner" time, I wouldn't worry too much.

  12. profile image0
    savvydatingposted 8 years ago

    Hello Ralph......I am concerned about the possibility of anorexia. A second opinion might be in order. If she has anorexia, you will not be able to convince her to eat. She will need professional help. Anorexia is a very serious condition. I have a step-niece who has suffered greatly from it---but she is getting professional help. Consequently, she has gained some weight. Just keep in mind that weight gain is only one part of the solution. Anorexic's also require on-going psychiatric help. It is nothing for you or her to be ashamed of. Best of luck to you.
    As an aside, maybe she has an iron deficiency.

    1. RJ Schwartz profile image88
      RJ Schwartzposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      We had a full thyroid done and blood work - waiting

    2. profile image0
      savvydatingposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      We will wait and see. You are taking the necessary measures. There are a plethora of medical issues which may be contributing to her loss of appetite. My best wishes are with you.

  13. hakeem122 profile image53
    hakeem122posted 8 years ago

    I advise you to speak with them and discuss with him her life with her friends and her boyfriend .... possible she had some psychological problems or physical.


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