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Overweight Children - Page 2

post #21 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
She looks adorable and very much like my 3 year old. Dd is almost 4 and 98% for height and 95% for weight. the WIC ladies keep going on about not feeding her junk or too much juice, I don't, she's a tall kid with boundless energy. wearing a size 5T clothes.
I have seen some of the overweight kids on shows like Maury, and the parents are stuffing them full of pizza and other high fat, high salt, high carb Junk. That does seem abusive, if they had healthy normal diets, I could see that there were other things going on in the chilsd health to cause such huge weight gain.
post #22 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by octobermom View Post
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.
Octobermom- I'm sorry if you feel attacked. You have been doing the best you could do for your family and that is all that anyone can do.

However there is a difference between having foodstamps or a small food budget and having zero money for food. If you go to a food bank it is not the same as going to a grocery store. At a food bank you must take what you can get but that is not what people are talking about. They are talking about actually going to the store with either an EBT card or a small sum of money.

On a tiny food budget (at one point my family of three was living on $25 a week for food) we still ate pretty healthy, brown rice is cheap, dry beans, frozen veggies, etc. A small bunch of bananas is almost always less than a dollar and a half in any season, and in season fresh produce is pretty dirt cheap (at least here it is, but I can get whole grain bread for 2.50 so there is obviously a difference in the cost of living here).

I think it's neglectful personally for people to allow their young children (not teenagers) to sit infront of the television or video game all day and allow them to eat empty calories. However, I realize there are many many factors in what leads to obesity.
post #23 of 125
Thread Starter 
I think that a lot of good points have been raised here. Of course, every situation is different and there are always exceptions but I was more talking about like extreme obesity in children and when parents are just feeding them not only junk but junk all the time whenever they want it. I do also think the chunky and obese are on completely different levels.
post #24 of 125
Quote:
Octobermom- I'm sorry if you feel attacked. You have been doing the best you could do for your family and that is all that anyone can do.
Thanks and sorry if I sounded like I felt attacked. Its more furstrations that builds up and occasionally spills out at innocent people. It's when all the factors come into place a poor budget having to choose between necessary medicine and good food a non working oven a child with special diet needs a DH who eats like every meal is his last it all adds up to lots of frustration.

Deanna
post #25 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by octobermom View Post
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.
Well, I suppose that in some places, you have cheap produce. Here in Rhode Island, there are only a few months out of the year that anything is "in season." Some produce can be fairly inexpensive in the mid-summer-to-early-fall portion of the year, but that's about it.

I suppose I should be grateful that my family has never had to eat, say, beans and rice for weeks at a stretch. We like variety and interesting dishes, and I really can't imagine eating barley and oats more than once or twice a week. You gotta do what you gotta do, but like I said in another thread, healthy food is only healthy if it gets eaten. If I tried to feed my kids oatmeal and beans when they were small, they would have refused and gone to bed hungry. They will eat those things now, but both had texture issues when they were little.
post #26 of 125
I think it's horrible when a child is overweight because their parents think it's ok to overfeed their children or just feed them junk...

However, I don't judge a parent based on their childs weight if I don't know the situation. There are people who eat health and without an excess of calories who are still overweight. I know someone who eats healthy, exercises, doesn't over do it on anything and she is still classified as "morbidly obese".
post #27 of 125
Thanks : She's so solid I cannot lift her without putting my back out, lol! DS is a few inches taller and about 15-20lbs lighter; same family, different body types. It just kind of hurts that many think that just because a child is very overweight, it is akin to child abuse. FTR, we're very low income and we don't have WIC/food stamps here, but I make healthy eating a priority.
post #28 of 125
Dismal nutrition (whether it results in an overweight child or not) is a form of child abuse IMO. I know preschoolers who have a mt dew for breakfast and all the twinkies they so desire. Is it just lack of education?

I have one of those naturally "obese" but eats very healthy kids. I hope people don't assume I feed him junk food just because he's chunky. I often wonder.
post #29 of 125
According to the BMI charts, my daughter is overweight -
http://c2.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/i...45819f9d55.jpg
Another picture taken the same week, you can see her better

We had a discussion about it everytime we went to a wic appointment (at one point they even recommended reducing her calorie intake!) Anyone looking at her can see that there is no way she is overweight. She is very "solid" (very strong legs and torso, but it's muscle, not fat)

Anyway, there are children who are overweight because of a bad diet, children who are overweight and eat healthy, children who are considered overweight by charts and bmi calculators yet have no extra fat, etc. You can't not assume just by looking at a child that they are overweight because of a horrible diet. My daughter eats very healthy foods, does not have a lot of extra fat, yet we get told she is overweight at every doctors appointment.
post #30 of 125
Thin kids eat crap too, only no one notices b/c they don't wear it on their body. And thin kids that sit in front of the tv all day are no better off than their heavier counterparts. Poor habits, are poor habits regardless of weight. I dislike singling people out based on weight as it leads to stereotypes and erroneous assumptions that weight always predicts health.

I know several size 2 women who have flabbier stomachs than mine and zero muscle. So I no longer look at weight at all. What I look for is exercise, fitness, and diet.

Also, calories and portion control are only an issue for the true couch potatoes. There's a whole subset of obesity that is due to metabolic/genetic issues and not lifestyle. I am one of those exceptions. Calories don't really matter so much as what I eat (which I assure you is never crap).

However, I worry about DD who is chunky at 13 months. I hope to help her avoid my weight issues. At least now I know how to eat and what diet will control my weight, information that was not available when I was a child. So she has a fighting chance.

V
post #31 of 125
There are thin kids who eat junk, watch TV all day, etc- and have a poor outlook for their future health. There are overweight children who eat healthy foods, and they just happen to be overweight. There are even obese children who are active and eat no junk food.

So much has to do with genetics- they even believe that certain cold viruses may contribute to obesity. There are also kids who have to use medications which cause obesity or have underlying medical conditions (diagnosed or not) that contribute to their weight.

It is easy to pass judgment. But blame rarely gets us anywhere.
post #32 of 125
This topic is so complicated that it's hard to know where to begin. Read Marion Nestle and Michael Pollan and Christiane Northrup and Eric Schlosser and many many others!

First, let's acknowledge the difference between a child being morbidly obese and being of a slightly heavier build than perhaps the average healthy child. I mean, there is a range of normal and we'd do very well in this country to accept the beauty of different body types. I'll add to all the other pp.s who commented on the photograph of the other pp's daughter: she looks perfect!

Let me remark, too, that I so often talk to or encounter interviews and such with women who have battled weight problems for so long and who went on to begin eating healthfully but who say things like, "Oh, when my kids are eating pizza, I now have the willpower to just have a salad!" Now, not that there's anything wrong with pizza now and then, but I often think how funny that women who clearly have had important epiphanies about their OWN relationship with food don't seem to make the connection to their kids and see the necessity of instill in their children healthy eating habits so that their KIDS might avoid the problems they themselves have faced all their lives. What can we do about that?

Now, the question of the relationship between poverty and obesity is a very tangly one. One pp mentioned that many healthy foods are actually CHEAPER than junk. As I understand it, that is true when considering the WEIGHT of each. But when it comes to calories, processed foods are cheaper. In other words, a pound of tomatoes IS CHEAPER than a pound of Cheetos. But 200 calories of tomato are MORE EXPENSIVE than 200 calories of Cheetos. This might seem like a trivial difference, but when you are truly poor and your children are truly hungry, you need to get as many calories as you can for your money. Cheetos (etc.) starts to look like a pretty viable option if want your kids to go to bed full instead of hungry. This gets into all sorts of questions of what the government can/should be doing to encourage or enable poor families to feed their children nutritious foods. It's a topic that's probably outside the scope of this thread.

I'd also like to mention that there is increasing evidence that not all calories are created equal. This is part of the issue of the so-called "French Paradox": that French people (and Italians and Greeks and many, many other traditional cultures) eat rich, fatty foods, but are thinner than their American counterparts (we, a people who are obsessed with weight and dieting). Many of you who know Weston Price know that in his research, he observed that wherever a modern, Western diet (full of refined sugars and processed foods) was introduced to a traditional one, rates of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, etc. soared. Another FASCINATING book that touches on this is Hungry Planet, which looks in a series of photographs and articles at a week's worth of food for people around the globe (read about the aborigine family in Melbourne, Australia, for instance). Or, to boil that all down to one sentence: you'd be better off eating spinach wilted in a pan of bacon and bacon fat than a twinkie! (Read: Fat: An Appreciation of a Misunderstood Ingredient, with Recipes by Jennifer McLagan.)

We have a pretty messed-up food culture here in America (read Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto, a follow-up to the Omnivore's Dilemma), and this fact prevents me from outright accusing parents of morbidly obese children of a form of child abuse (although they certainly deserve some of the responsibility). Advertising to children, fast food, eating in cars, the ubiquity of processed food, a lack of viable food culture, misleading health claims coming from food industry, exploding portion sizes, and ignorance about what healthy food actually IS all conspire to make people fat and unhealthy.

Of course parents have a responsibility to feed their kids healthfully! But I would also argue that the government should not subsidize the corn and soy that appear in ALL our fatty, nutrition-free processed foods, nor should corporations be entitled to make fairly warrantless health claims about these processed junk foods, nor should schools have Coca-Cola vending machines and greasy processed foods for lunch...and the list goes on.

It's a complex and important problem, one that Alice Waters said was so vital that she couldn't vote for any candidate that didn't address it.

This is a subject that I am really passionate about, can you tell!
post #33 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by DianeAK View Post
Now, the question of the relationship between poverty and obesity is a very tangly one. One pp mentioned that many healthy foods are actually CHEAPER than junk. As I understand it, that is true when considering the WEIGHT of each. But when it comes to calories, processed foods are cheaper. In other words, a pound of tomatoes IS CHEAPER than a pound of Cheetos. But 200 calories of tomato are MORE EXPENSIVE than 200 calories of Cheetos. This might seem like a trivial difference, but when you are truly poor and your children are truly hungry, you need to get as many calories as you can for your money.
I can think of many calorie dense, inexpensive foods that are healthy. Flour, beans, potatoes (with skin), eggs (which are protein dense).

Tomatoes are very expensive by and large.
post #34 of 125
Flour and potatoes are calorie dense, but they're also foods that we fat people are often warned not to eat, or to eat in only very small amounts.
post #35 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 dd looks just fine to me, and very cute too btw!
post #36 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by octobermom View Post
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

just wanted to give you a huge and wish you and your family good luck
post #37 of 125
I just wanted to add that poor people are not all staying at home raising kids. Many of them work 2, 3, or 4 jobs (with two parents), which also contributes to poor nutrition for their kids. I only work one job, plus go to school part time, and I'm sure glad my husband does the cooking.

I just can't see someone working all day cleaning houses, and then coming home to bake a loaf of healthy, whole grain bread before she dashes out the door to get to work again. Often times, people aren't just looking for cheap; they're looking for cheap and convenient.
post #38 of 125
I feel very very very sorry for the children, and wonder what the reason is that they are like that.

First of all that beautiful 4 year old in the pic is not overweight at all, she looks sturdy and healthy. There is a difference between carrying a healthy layer of fat, and being overweight as a child. My older son to me looks slender and tall, but he carries a layer of fat that most of the kids around here do not have, at his age (3) most of them seem to have become very lean and hard already. My younger son is the chubbiest little thing ever.


I was a sturdy child, and athletic/active, but just before puberty hit I got fat.
"Healthy" food can be debated, I ate a lot of grains, pasta, bread, my parents could not afford twinkies, chips, fast food, those snacks that everyone else had at school. But for my particular body (and actually this goes for most of my family) grains, and carbohydrates in general above a relatively low amount created fat and ill health. It is absolutely horrible as a child/young teen to be fat, ridiculed and viewed with disgust, unable to freely move and play sports with the ease that should be our right as a human being. My next sister down, ate the same things as me but was always very very lean - like, carry a 6 pack all throughout her teens and 20s lean. I only ever become leaner and healthy looking and FEELING when I drastically changed my diet to something that suited my body. My parents were not to blame, pop, chips, junk food, fast food, those were all things that we rarely had and only as a special treat. They didn't know what I needed.
post #39 of 125
I was a fat child and am a fat adult, and now I have children who are on the chunky side, so when you talk about fat people deserving what they get and being child abusers, please keep in mind you are talking about people who share the site here with you. I would be interested in talking about sure-fire ways to get my children to eat healthy foods without basically telling them they have to go hungry when they hate the food I make. This happens almost on a daily basis, and I struggle with what to make for them, and they eat things that are less than optimal.
post #40 of 125
I went back and forth on replying. I think like so many pp said, there's just so much to it. It's not black and white. I am surprised though, that no one mentioned the "clean your plate club", or the "you have to eat "x" amount of bites". Although, I suppose that falls into the emotional category. It seems more often than not that children are not allowed to self-regulate their food intake which, imho is a huge factor into obesity. I agree eating crud and high calorie foods doesn't help, but when you mess with trying to determine what intake a child should be eating, you screw up their ability to regulate what they need on their own...beginning at infancy with trying to get your newborn to finish that 2oz...or 4oz, etc. Children are also so much more sedentary than they were before tv and video games.
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