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DEAR ABBY: Our daughter, "Gabi," is 15 -- almost 16. She's active and healthy, but for the past few years she has been putting on weight. She's 5-6, weighs more than 160 pounds and has a curvy, feminine body. Despite the fact that my wife and I are both thin, my wife will not encourage her to watch her weight. Actually, she's supportive of our daughter's increasing size. She told me, "Gabi can gain up to 25 more pounds and, combined with her height, be a pretty plus-size."

My wife has always been thin. As a teen she was late to develop her figure. She keeps buying Gabi new clothes as her weight goes up. The styles are too tight, overly revealing and draw attention to the rolls of fat.

I'm not trying to force my daughter into a model's size, but I am concerned about her health. This problem would be easier to manage now than attempting to lose the weight in the future. Please help me present the importance of being proactive with Gabi in this difficult time of maturity. -- CARING, SUPPORTIVE DAD

DEAR DAD: The most qualified person to do that would be your family physician, or Gabi's pediatrician if she has one. It's common knowledge that there is an obesity epidemic in this country, and if your daughter continues to pack on the pounds, she could be at risk for serious health problems. Your wife may be going to the opposite extreme in trying not to make your daughter self-conscious about her weight. I agree with you that this is a subject that is better addressed now than later, so schedule a consultation.

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