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Karina Montes stood in a dress shop in a suburban Cincinnati strip mall and smiled in the mirror as her mother adjusted the laces up the back of a white-and-gold ball gown. For nearly three years, Karina, who is about to turn 15, has imagined what she would look like when it came time for her quinceañera. The Latin celebration, which includes rituals such as changing from flat shoes to high heels, symbolizes a girl's passage into womanhood. For Karina, coming of age has meant transforming from an overweight child to a healthy teenager. Her mom brought her to Cincinnati Children's when she was 12 to join HealthWorks!, a program that encourages families to make healthy lifestyle changes. It's working. This is the story she shared with dietitian Barb Lattin.
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