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Boys putting on weight before puberty?

(30 Posts)
MRSJWRTWR Thu 29-Sep-11 10:47:10

DS1 12 (Yr 8) has put on quite a bit of weight during the last year or so. Nothing that is obvious with clothes on, he is a tall boy wearing age 13-14 which he needs for length rather than width. However, without clothes he has a very obvious tummy and looks very well padded.

Now his diet hasn't changed a great deal. He has school dinners and packed lunches and home cooked dinners and not much opportunity for spending his pocket money on junk food. I would also think that he is doing more exercise now than he did at primary school.

DH is all for taking a strict control of his diet, no more sweet stuff, pizzas etc (which I must say he doesnt have very often) but I am loath to do this at the moment and have also been told that children quite often put on a bit of weight before the growth spurt at puberty. Or is this a myth?

Obviously, I'm keeping an eye on it but I don't want to make a 'thing' about it with him.


mumsamilitant Thu 29-Sep-11 11:51:04

Think you're being very sensible. DP's son had a massive spare tyre was rather plump last year (aged 13), he's now 2 sizes slimmer and 5 inches taller!

eaglewings Thu 29-Sep-11 11:54:59

Nephew was like your son a year ago, now he is miles taller and skinny. It's been amazing to watch!

My sister did limit his sweet intake slightly but he ate the same as his brothers, a normal mixed diet

knaresboroughlass Thu 29-Sep-11 11:58:12

Same issue - we have stepped up the excercise, surreptitiously, couching it more in terms of building up muscle....

MRSJWRTWR Thu 29-Sep-11 12:48:21

Thank you, that is all very reassuring. Yes, we've increased the exercise at home as well even though he does alot at school. I go swimming with him after school once a week and he goes for a long bike ride with DH most weekends.

Although he is already as tall as me (5'5"), he hasn't grown much taller over the last year and no other signs of puberty yet so am assuming a growth spurt of some sort is to come.

EggyChick Thu 29-Sep-11 12:52:55

Same happened to my DSS, he put on a lot of weight for around a year and then suddenly shot up! As Eaglewings says, it's amazing to watch, one minute short and plump and the next tall and gangly.

HattiFattner Thu 29-Sep-11 12:55:05

i believe they need to grow outwards before they can grow upwards!

SecretSquirrels Thu 29-Sep-11 13:18:51

Interesting as we have this with DS2, I was thinking of posting on here, but this thread seems to cover it. I am worried as to whether I'm dealing with it properly.

DH and I are both tall and slim.
DS1 never got plump before puberty so I naively expected DS2 to follow roughly the same pattern. DS1 went through very early puberty but DS2 at 13.5 shows no sign.

I had noticed him putting on weight but hesitated to do anything as I thought that any day he would shoot up in height and lose it. This summer it became obvious that he not only had an ample spare tyre but was acutely concious of it. He has grown steadily but not the overnight shooting up that I was expecting.
I had to talk to him which was very difficult but he took it very well.
We have upped the exercise a lot and cut out 90% of sweet stuff and cut down dramatically on fat intake. He has had to learn to make healthy food choices.
This is so hard because he has a bean pole of a brother who eats whatever he likes 24/7.
After 6 weeks he looks a little leaner but hasn't really lost weight.

ArfurBrain Thu 29-Sep-11 17:22:00

wow, I was coming to post really similar thread. he seemed to pile it on over the summer, he's always been really stringy and skinny but I put it down to a ridiculous excess of crap junk and fizzy drinks which his friends seem to live on and egg him on to buy with his pocket money. He is 5ft7in and 13.5 too. This is reassuring smile
I have persuaded him to walk home a couple of days a week, we swim and bike ride and he is an ardent scooter and skateboarder.
no sign of puberty but his shoulders are noticeable broader!

nogoodusernamesleft Thu 29-Sep-11 17:33:18

Am so glad to see this thread!grin

Both of mine are like this at the minute, DS1 is nearly 13 and DS2 is nearly 11 (but taller than his big brother already). They've both been looking a bit well padded around their middles the last few months, and I was at a bit of a loss considering they both play at least an hours football 5 days out of 7 and walk 2 miles a day to school and back.

It's reassuring to see people saying that they will probably shoot up all of a sudden, shall keep my fingers crossed for growth upward rather than outward! grin

CointreauVersial Thu 29-Sep-11 17:45:40

I think this is really common, particularly with boys. My nephew was a total chubber at 13 and is now a 17yo string bean.

I have my eye on DS1; he's nearly 12, and has always been fairly slim, and does lots of exercise, but he's not making particularly "sensible" food choices now he has started at secondary school. I'm watching carefully for the development of any excess baggage.

silver73 Thu 29-Sep-11 20:11:50

Happened with one of my DS. Put on weight in year 6 even though he had a good balanced diet but from year 7 in was shooting up in height and is now a stunning 6ft slim boy.

SecretSquirrels Thu 29-Sep-11 20:21:27

ArfurBrain - what a coincidence.He's 5'6" and just under 9 stone, so not obese but visibly chubby. What does your DS weigh?
DS2 was certainly eating a lot of rubbish, as well as good healthy meals. As a family we have always been used to being able to do that without putting on weight. I always thought, well, it doesn't matter if he eats junk as long as he gets a balanced varied diet as well.
Seems I may be wrong.
He was also a born again couch potato. Never found a sport he likes.
Bless him he's now working so hard to change. he goes running every day and has joined a couple of after school sports clubs. Plus long bike rides at the weekend.

basildonbond Thu 29-Sep-11 22:41:25

hmm I don't think you can just blame onset of puberty for weight gain ... ds (14) has started puberty (quite gradual - no visible body hair, steady growth rather than spurt but oh, the moods!) but he's very serious about his chosen sport (trains for 2-3 hours 6 days a week) and is pretty careful about what he eats (actually doesn't eat enough according to his coach) and has never had an ounce of spare fat on him ...

I suspect that most chubby boys are actually eating a lot more crap than their parents think and that they're just not burning it all off

cat64 Thu 29-Sep-11 23:03:13

Message withdrawn

HattiFattner Fri 30-Sep-11 08:59:23

hmmm - ds is a swimmer, and they train about 10-12 hours a week. You'd be amazed at how many chubby swimmers there are in their preteen/early teen age group. And yet none of the older ones are carrying any weight.

eaglewings Fri 30-Sep-11 09:06:22

There will always be those who go form being skinny kids to skinny men and those who put on a spare layer and become skinny men and those who always have a bit too much

It's not just food though, just look at families where one brother is always slim and the other goes through a chubby stage before shooting up

ggirl Sat 24-Jan-15 20:08:45

I realise this is a Zombie thread but interested cos ds is gong thru this atm...any of the original posters about to update??

myotherusernameisbetter Sat 24-Jan-15 21:50:18

I'm not one of the original posters, but we have been through the same thing. The thing about it is being careful and realistic about the weight gain and not presume that its pre puberty and just keep an eye on it. Chances are if your child has always been slim and you are not an overweight family, that they will stretch out of it. DS1 was always a skinnyish boy, got quite porky at 12-13, now age 14 he has a 30-31 inch waist and 34 inch inside leg and is just under 6 foot tall smile

DS2 whilst not fat has always been a more solid build than DS1 - he started putting weight on at 10/11, it stuck around for a bit longer and at 13 he stretched out of too and was a 30 waist/32 leg. at 13.5 he has started to gain weight again (up to a 32 inch waist) - i'm convinced he is about to stretch again - he is 5'9.5 but according to the red chart he should be 6 foot tall by his birthday in August - if he hasn't stretched back out of it by then, we will be cutting down his portions a bit as I don't want him to get in the habit of being on the heavier side. He will never be skinny in the way that DS1 will be - he just has a different build - broader shoulders etc. DS1 takes after DH and will be on the gangly long legged side (predicted height 6'3 - 6'5 - long distance runner build) . Ds2 is more like my side of the family and is more a sprinter build but is predicted to be 6'4 to 6'6 so he needs to fuel that growth I think.

FriendlyLadybird Sat 24-Jan-15 22:09:17

Exactly the same here. My rather skinny but always relatively tall DS developed quite a tummy in Y6. He's 13 now and, as we went shopping for trousers today, noted that he'd been getting thinner and his school trousers were starting to fall down. He's 5'8" now, his voice is changing and he's got a cute little amount of bum fluff on his top lip. DH is 6', broad-shouldered, long-legged and lean -- and I can see that DS is going in that direction (not like the men on my side of the family, who are all built like tanks). DH remembers being short and fat, and then one day (it seemed to him) waking up tall and slim.

Behooven Sat 24-Jan-15 22:14:44

Mine too at 13/14. It's just 'puppy fat'. Now he is 16 and is an over 6ft string bean with hollow legs grin

SecretSquirrels Sun 25-Jan-15 10:10:54

Original poster here see above. A success story I think.
My chubby 13.5 year old is now almost 17. He has stuck more or less at the healthy eating routine we had set in place 3 years ago. His weight stabilised between 13 and 15. Then at almost 16 he had a huge growth spurt. he is now 6'3" and still growing. He weighs 11 stone and is slim. He is aware though that he would not be so slim if he ate what he wanted, which would be unlimited quantities of junk. He doesn't diet as such but has a few "rules" which he sticks to and really stood him in good stead. Hard when he has a brother who is underweight and trying hard to gain some.
Exercise was always difficult. He hates sport and loves computers so a tendency to being sedentary. He makes himself swim or go to gym a couple of times a week.

ggirl Sun 25-Jan-15 15:27:21

thanks for the update squirrels , good to know that ds isn't abnormal

MRSJWRTWR Thu 29-Jan-15 13:27:27


OP here! Gosh what a long time ago that was. DS1 now Y11 and can report he is now nearly 6' tall and has slimmed down a lot.

Only happened over last Summer though, so took a while. All his friends grew past him and now he's overtaken them again!

madeinkent Thu 29-Jan-15 13:41:46

I just found this! I'm glad for you, we had the same problem and realised that DS simply wasn't active enough. He was reasonably sporty but not in team sports, so was left hanging around while others better than him got picked for matches. Too far and out of the way from his school for either a walk to a bus stop or to be picked up by the school bus, so he was driven in and back every day.

So we had a big talk about calories, fats and sweets and junk food - I showed him how many calories were in burgers and stuff, and the whole family stopped eating dessert and cake (sob). Now 19 and tall and slim, and very careful about what he eats as he literally spends all day in front of a computer and his flat is only a 5 min walk from uni this year. This past xmas break has been spent trialling vegetable soups for him to make for lunches when he goes back, rather than ham and cheese sandwiches, crisps and fizzy drink. He's turned into a very good cook, and seems to live mostly on stir-fries when not at home. He even goes running in the summer. I was truly shocked when I discovered that! He allows himself one pizza a week on a Friday night. He says that most male students he knows buy one EVERY night! And that in the two flats/houses he has been in so far, out of six occupants there have never been more than two who know how to cook anything at all. How sad.

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