Bothered by Her Grown Daughter’s Weight

By Amy Dickinson | October 6th, 2023

How can mom broach the issue?

overweight woman meditating at the beach by the water. By Mikhail Kokhanchikov. For article on a mother bothered by her grown daughter's weight

A mom continues to be concerned about her 40-year-old daughter’s weight and wonders how to bring up the issue. See what “Ask Amy” advises.

Dear Amy:

My daughter, who is in her 40s, has always had a bit of a weight problem, as have I. But having to work from home during Covid resulted in her gaining even more weight. I think she is around 80 pounds overweight.

We are very close, and I am sympathetic since I have struggled with weight issues since I was a teenager. But even though I could lose 10 pounds, I am at a healthy weight and am careful to get exercise and try to eat well.

I blame myself for my daughter’s weight gains, since when my kids were young, I baked a lot. My sons have never gained much weight, but sadly my daughter shares my love of all things sweet.
Any time I mention it, she tends to get annoyed; her response is always that she eats healthy and gets plenty of exercise.

I worry more about her health than about her appearance, and I value my relationship with her.

I have offered to pay for any good weight loss program, but she always says, “No thanks. I’m fine.” She did agree to have her thyroid tested, and that test was normal.

Is there any way to bring up the subject of weight with an adult child in a kind way?

– Concerned Mother

Dear Concerned:

You ask if there is any way to bring up the subject of your daughter’s weight kindly, and yet – you have brought this up, kindly and repeatedly.

“Is it your thyroid?” She had it tested. “Can I pay for a weight loss program?” No thank you.

She already knows she is overweight. There is literally no escaping this knowledge.

And now … you should stop. Just – stop. Love her wholeheartedly and without judgment, just as she is.

Want to get even more life tips from Amy? Read more of her advice columns here!

In the tradition of the great personal advice columnists, Chicago Tribune’s Amy Dickinson is a plainspoken straight shooter who relates to readers of all ages. She answers personal questions by addressing issues from both her head and her heart – ranging from a grown daughter’s weight to dark family secrets and DNA surprises. A solid reporter, Dickinson researches her topics to provide readers with informed opinions and answers. You can email Amy Dickinson at or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068.

©2023 by Amy Dickinson

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