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Overweight Children

post #1 of 125
Thread Starter 
Just wondering - I would have done a poll, but I don't know how lol. What do you all think about overweight children? I saw an episode of Dr. Phil the other day about this and I was so saddened by how these children are growing up unable to do things that the average child does, like run around outside, without getting out of breath. Really, it seems like child abuse to me. I grew up with such poor eating habits, I struggle with it all the time. I truly believe that food can be an addiction, and if you don't teach your children about proper nutrition from the start, they will form bad eating habits and it's just one more thing to make their lives harder as they get older. Anyhow, sorry for the rant, I just hate to see this.
post #2 of 125
I agree. I do believe that it is a form of child abuse. It isn't fair to the child to have a parent that feeds them garbage and a lot of it.
post #3 of 125
There are parents who feed their child healthy and they are still overweight. My poor DD has terrible genetics. She is an extremely healthy eater yet she nearly 70lbs at 4 (she is also just over 4 feet tall). She runs, plays and whatnot without getting out of breath, she's in dance classes, dancersize, ect... The doctor said not to worry about it since she eats very healthy and gets lots of exercise. I am not going to starve her or deprive her of the good healthy food she does eat (or stop her from nursing) so she will fit into a model that society thinks is normal.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_Q26qzzetkG...h/IMG_3101.JPG
post #4 of 125
Then there is the other side. Now I wont touch the extremes but the general 5-15% overweight we see a lot can also be dirrectly linked to poor diet but also low income. I now personally as a low income family we went through many times where great or even good nurtution was next to impossible when I relled on pasta and potatos to feed my family and frankly those pack on the lbs. I'm not talking cheetos and soda and twinkies. but when your relaying on a food pantry provisons so your finding your choices as Mac N cheese instant potatos tuna canned green beans corn and peas pasta (tons of pasta) and wic provisions.. you make do and sadly often the body rebells. I tink there are a lot of "bad" choices that can contrubute parents who are feeding a lot of junk and by choice kids stuck in front of the TV all day ect but I also feel that nothing is black and white.

Deanna
post #5 of 125
My son takes a medication (he has Autism) that slows his metabolism. He is not overweight, but a little on the husky side. However, we make sure he gets plenty of healthy foods, exercise, and his doctor monitors his weight.

(And please no flames about the meds, because I am simply not going to defend it or discuss it at this time. Thank you.)

However, my SIL's kids are not just a bit chunky, they are FAT. I mean, the 13 yr old daughter cannot walk without huffing and puffing. SIL had gastric bypass surgery and is gaining her weight back. Her son is getting taller, so he is not as fat as he was, but still. SIL and BIL are not ignorant people. It baffles me. And of course, no one says anything to SIL or BIL. (to clarify~I would never, ever say anything about those kids to anyone or in front of them ~ they are not to blame and are great kids)

I feel that not trying to help your kids maintain a decent weight, is child neglect.
post #6 of 125
:-)
post #7 of 125
Obesity is not caused by eating junk food. It's caused by consuming an excess of calories. Those calories can come from twinkies or spaghetti, potato chips or cubes of cheddar.

We cook fairly healthy most of the time. My kids are older and have their own money, go places without me, etc., so I can't control what they eat, and I know they drink a lot of soda and eat chips, candy and such when they're out or at friends' houses. They're both very slim, despite the 16yo's propensity towards sitting and playing video games all day. Because, while their diets do include garbage, they don't spend a lot of time eating.

While I think that we'd all be best served if junk food was eliminated from our diets, it's portion control that matters most for weight management. I think many overweight children have been trained to use food to occupy themselves. Lots of parents are like, "be quiet....here, have a cookie."

And of course, like the other poster mentioned....high calorie, "filler" foods are cheaper than better choices. Some people just don't have the money to feed their families whole grains and fresh fruit.
post #8 of 125
There is no one size fits all answer to this. There are so many factors that go into being overweight. Yes, there are some children that are overweight where it is clearly the "fault" of the parent. I would say that those cases are minimal. How can you call it abuse when the average person is trying to force candy, soda, and other psuedo-foods on little kids? How many threads have you seen where well meaning family members try to give your little ones candy or other junk ALL the time. If you speak out against it, then you are accused of depriving your child and being a bad parent. Don't you know, it's just a little taste? How can you blame the parent when kids are getting recess and PE taken away for not doing enough work in class or not getting enough AR points? I think the problem with overweight kids is a symptom of society and isn't something that can clearly be blamed on bad parenting.
post #9 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2xy View Post
And of course, like the other poster mentioned....high calorie, "filler" foods are cheaper than better choices. Some people just don't have the money to feed their families whole grains and fresh fruit.
I disagree. Dry whole grains (barley, oats) and beans are among the cheapest things in the grocery store! And fresh fruits and veggies, in season, are easily in the budget too.

I was on WIC for a time, and also food stamps, and had no problem at all feeding my family nutritiously - in fact, I would spend only 1/2 the food stamp allotment. And no, I don't have a college degree in nutrition - you don't need one and I got pretty annoyed by the well-meaners who assumed "poor" meant "too stupid to feed her family properly." The only people, rich or poor, who are having a hard time feeding their families nutritious meals are those who feel entitled to eat McDonald's. And they deserve the hypertension/obesity they get.

As for the kids, I wouldn't write off fat kids as having a life sentence to poor health and obesity. I come from bad genes, especially on one side (EVERYONE is >150# overweight) and my parents were the original couch potatoes. But I learned good nutrition (basic 4-food-groups commercials during Saturday cartoons!) and started long-distance running by myself in elementary school. Thirty years later, I'm still fit, and my sib and parents are still obese and in poor health. We all make our choices on how to live; I think we should give kids more credit for having the power to reassess and make their own decisions about health, LONG before they are adults.

So yeah, shame on the parents feeding their kids crap and not exercising, but kids can make their own healthy decisions pretty quickly in their lives. IMHO.
post #10 of 125
I disagree. Dry whole grains (barley, oats) and beans are among the cheapest things in the grocery store! And fresh fruits and veggies, in season, are easily in the budget too.

There only "cheep" when you have them as an option. We spent quite a bit of time going through loops getting approved through DES for food stamps despite having zero money for food so we rellied on food banks and there was no choose your whole grains and fresh fruits it was here is your big box of instant potatoes and cans of peas.
We've been on some form of food stamps for the past five years (I hate saying that) and depending on our ammount and the fact we haven't been elligable for WIC in a few years I can confidently say its is just about impossible to feed super healthy. Produce is not cheap not by a long shot not when even apples alone are $2.49lb on sale. Bread wit hout all the junk running at least $4 a loaf (and making isn't an option that requires an oven that works or money for a bread maker). And ect I've deffiently learned to do the best I can and i'll say despite the struggle we eat well and healthy but its not with out some huge struggles.

Deanna
post #11 of 125
Quote:
The only people, rich or poor, who are having a hard time feeding their families nutritious meals are those who feel entitled to eat McDonald's. And they deserve the hypertension/obesity they get.
Thats very harsh and just not true... Mc Donalds is soo far down on our list of expecations its not an option. Again don't assume to know everyones situation. I spent enough nights crying my self to sleep because I had to deal with my DD melting down because all I had to feed her was a big can of spaggettos provided my the community food bank and she'd would have rather had a darm bannana. Plenty of times where I refrained from feeding myself (as as a diabetic thats dangerous) so I could give what little fresh produce we had on DH DD plates. Times when yes I bought the big bag of pasta and the 15lb bag of potatos because at least it filled them up... No one here has an obesity issue BTW but food isn't always nearly as nutrutionally sound as I'd like.
DH starts his new job in January and our FS days will be in out past YEA! We wont forget though..

Deanna
post #12 of 125
Man, i try SO very hard not to judge. Because there are so sooo many factors that go into this topic. The only time i get upset is if a child is REALLY heavy, and as was mentioned, incapable of even playing because of so much excess weight. I was labeled overweight as a child, by pediatricians. Although my parents were diabetic health nuts and i KNOW i ate a lot of good foods and very little junk until i was old enough to make eating choices for myself. In which time i went a little nuts with it lol. I have ALWAYS struggled with my weight, as have both my parents. But i maintained a zaftig but reasonably healthy size/weight until i got pregnant. I dunno where i am going with this lol.

My daughter tends towards the 'chunky' side and i get warnings from the pediatricians to keep an eye on her . But, girlfriend is big and will be a gorgeous armful of woman someday... i try really hard to help her have a good body image . She did go thru a phase of calling herself 'plump' or 'chubby' because her best friend was one of those skinny minnie kids naturally . That made me sad, but she got over it. She's tall and healthy and full of life and just perfect .
post #13 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by bwylde View Post
There are parents who feed their child healthy and they are still overweight. My poor DD has terrible genetics. She is an extremely healthy eater yet she nearly 70lbs at 4 (she is also just over 4 feet tall). She runs, plays and whatnot without getting out of breath, she's in dance classes, dancersize, ect... The doctor said not to worry about it since she eats very healthy and gets lots of exercise. I am not going to starve her or deprive her of the good healthy food she does eat (or stop her from nursing) so she will fit into a model that society thinks is normal.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_Q26qzzetkG...h/IMG_3101.JPG
Your daughter is beautiful and looks normal to me. I don't see anything wrong with her weight at all.
post #14 of 125
It is possible to eat healthy on the cheap, assuming you have even a small amount of money for groceries. If you're relying on a food pantry that's a different story... but frankly most obese people are not relying on food pantries.

I eat about 90-99% vegan and I do it very cheaply. Lots of carrots, celery, beans, peanuts (I splurge on more expensive nuts like cashews and almonds when I can), iceberg lettuce, romaine lettuce, dandelion greens (the latter are very cheap), citrus when it is on sale. Frozen greens are dirt cheap... 99 cents a package on sale. Quinoa (the goya brand is a fraction of the cost of the health food store stuff), whole wheat flour, brown rice. Assuming you have a working fridge/ freezer and oven, yes you can eat very healthy for not much money at all.

I don't mean any of this in a snarky way, but I eat healthy and cheap every day.

As far as obesity being child abuse, I think feeding your kids primarily junk (whether it makes them fat or not) is akin to abuse or neglect... my kids are all thin but they crave unhealthy thing and it's a real battle. You can lead a child to healthy food but you can't make them eat.
post #15 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by bwylde View Post
Your DD looks absolutely normal to me... I would never consider her to be obese if I saw her walk by.
post #16 of 125
Assuming you have a working fridge/ freezer and oven, yes you can eat very healthy for not much money at all.

YEa and there is a big problem here also many waht I'd love to have avaible her isn't. Doesn't mean I need or needed to go the other extreme but it did make it harder. Diffrent diatery needs also made it hard.

Deanna
post #17 of 125
there is definitely a difference between your weight and your health. you can be a bit overweight ( like has been mentioned, some kids are just built bigger, or have meds that make them put on fat) but still be basically physically fit..can run around, play, exercise, etc. and you can be thin and horribly unhealthy too.
I always look at physical fitness as more inmportant than weight..yes, they do start to correalte, but it certainly isn't OSFA, as someone already said. i know that I was in a lot better shape at 210 than at 180.....due to hormonal issues, i gained the weigth, btu at 220 i was going to exercise classes regularly, etc, and at 180 couldnt walk up a flight of stairs without nearly dying...
post #18 of 125
I do believe there is always the other side where some children may be more genetically incline to being overweight and some ethnicity are naturally thick. I have a few friends that are naturally thick and look sickly when they did loose weight(but they wasn't overly overweight).

But alot of the children and people I have meet or known has an eating problem. Alot has no problem admitting it. I have seen some start to get they life in order only for the other 'overweight person' to critize them about starving themselves and depriving themselves.

My sis. has a friend too that is overweight, this girl would get up all hours of night to eat. There is an increase in overweight children in America. When I was growing up there was rarely any overweight children in my school(not from the continient America, but is a US territory). I could have count on my one hand how many children was overweight from K-12.

I don't see being thick as a big problem. One side of my family is thick, which to me is there genes. I only get really sad when I see them that is clearly 'obese'/'overweight' where you can tell it is affecting them daily.

Also agree with pp that being too thin is not healthy eighter, there is other factors to look when it comes to health.
post #19 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by bwylde View Post
There are parents who feed their child healthy and they are still overweight. My poor DD has terrible genetics. She is an extremely healthy eater yet she nearly 70lbs at 4 (she is also just over 4 feet tall). She runs, plays and whatnot without getting out of breath, she's in dance classes, dancersize, ect... The doctor said not to worry about it since she eats very healthy and gets lots of exercise. I am not going to starve her or deprive her of the good healthy food she does eat (or stop her from nursing) so she will fit into a model that society thinks is normal.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_Q26qzzetkG...h/IMG_3101.JPG
I would not consider your child overweight, she just looks 'thick' which to me looks fine for her age, I would never consider that fat (And this is coming from a very thin person). I see nothing unhealthy about her weight.
post #20 of 125
I also think there is a huge emotional component to overweight; sil for example eats all healthy whole grains, etc. and is pretty big, and her daughter is going to be big too I think. But that is also genetics. There's so many factors, like pp said, emotional, food, exercise, also if they have asthma...most important people who are overweight should not be looked down on or made to feel bad about their weight! My MIL who is SIL mom recently passed away and she was naturally chunky but had an eating disorder which made her toooo think , and helped kill her in the end...we need to shift our attitudes etc.
And I have neighbors whose kids eat complete crap and are all skinny as twigs...it's just not simple...
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