or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Overweight children - is it parental neglect?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Overweight children - is it parental neglect? - Page 3

post #41 of 196

My 10 year old is about 110 pounds. She has a big belly. She gets bullied for it by some boys at school, but some of the boys have crushes on her and "talk sweet to her"(whatever that means!) One doctor once told her she needed to lay off the sodas and exercise more!! OMG My child rarely got sodas (if we eat at a restaurant or bday party she does) and SHE IS NEVER STILL. She constantly is running, rolling, flipping, crawling, all she does when awake is exercise. There is no walking with her, it's run back and forth and spin and look at this and that. She plays softball (and is one of the best on her team each year), has practice twice a week for at least 2 hours each, and has at least one game a week. We never saw that doctor again, thankfully. Her arms, legs and butt are rock hard. Her belly is what's big, and her face.

 

She does eat like crazy. She will eat a ton of carrots, a ton of broccoli, just as easily as anything else. She just eats. I never restricted food or made food an issue in my home. My older two kids are not built like this at all, despite their eating habits. I hate nonstop throughout my childhood/teenage years. I HAD to! lol

 

My MIL is like 300+ pounds and has dieted and done so many things, but the only way she ever lost any weight was those hcg injections. She does NOT eat junk and is as active as she can physically be. My neice was a "fat" kid until she hit puberty(and she was NOT an active child at all, and did eat only junk food/fast food bc she was picky). I am hoping my daughter will slim down also. It should be hitting soon. I wouldn't care otherwise, but kids and people are so mean :( She knows what she looks like. I know my daughter is extremely active and eats well. She's been tested for diabetes and had her thyroid tested also. You can never call "neglect" on someone without seeing their day-to-day life. Shame on any parent who would do that.

post #42 of 196

  I've spent the last couple of years working in obesity research; however, I have no real expertise in this field.  I've been to a few meetings and have heard what some sociologists have to say so I thought I'd chime in. 

 

Firstly, obesity is the #1 heath crisis in this country.  The rates of obesity have risen so dramatically since 1980 it is mind-blowing. In many states, 1 in 3 adults are obese.  The health issues associated with obesity are numerous, life-threatening, and it will cost a fortune to treat.  

 

Is genetics linked to size?  Absolutely, but in my opinion genetics dictates whether you are a natural size 4 or 14, with 14 being a healthy size.

 

Consumption of high fat/processed foods is unequivocally driving this crisis, with the cheap cost and convenience of acquiring of these products. 

 

 

Quote:

I'm obese and my kids are regular sized, about average. Little taller and little more weight than their peers, but never considered overweight.

The big difference between my kids and the average obese/overweight child is that my kids are home schooled, have more time to run around and less social pressure to eat junk. We do eat junk sometimes, but most of our diet is natural foods.

Their weight has very little to do with *me*.

I'd say that your kids' weight has absolutely everything to do with you (the choices you made for them).  

 

My DD is in kindergarten and the social pressure to eat junk is crazy!  She needs to bring a snack to school each day that they have around 10am.   I give her apple slices or some other type of fruit.   She complains a lot about this, saying that all the other kids are eating cookies and gummy snacks.  She also gets no dessert in her lunchbox and she isn't happy about that either.  When she gets home from school, if she's hungry it's fruit, or hummus and carrots,etc.   I figure if she's truly hungry she'll eat it.  After dinner and on weekends she can have desserts.   School is not a place for processed, high sugar, high fat foods.  Eating that stuff causes blood sugar/insulin spikes that alter alertness and therefore directly impact learning.   I feel in my town that I am definitely in the minority with this thinking and it's difficult to enforce as DD doesn't understand why she and she alone is eating this way.  

 

Also, since I got into this line of research I started comparing the size of shoppers in a grocery store with what is in their cart..and it's then blatantly obvious why the vast majority of obese people are in fact that size.  This coming from someone whom is not a perfect size 6 and loves junk food!  

 

So is it "neglect"?  Not necessarily- but it is our responsibility to establish healthy eating habits for our kids, and I do think doctors need to step in and inform/help parents with this process when needed.  

 

-Jen

 

 

 

post #43 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by dalia View Post


Yeah, if my son's doc said anything about his weight I would be all over him. None of his business as far as I'm concerned. I also think that the mainstream idea of what is obese is completely messed up. And that whole body mass thing really drives me nuts. Everyone's body is different!

 

Then why even take your kid to this doctor? You make it his business (literally and practically) when you bring your child in to be looked over by a particular doctor. 

post #44 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtiger View Post

Then why even take your kid to this doctor? You make it his business (literally and practically) when you bring your child in to be looked over by a particular doctor. 

I don't make it his/her business. They make it their business. My son has a doctor that treats him when he is ill. I don't take my son in for "check ups". He is a great doctor. But if he ever said anything directly to my son about his weight that would be the last time we saw him. I don't think he would do that and that's why we see him. As far as him saying something to me, if my son is healthy and I know he is healthy then it's not really about my son, it's about a category that he's not fitting into.

I do know that obesity is a huge problem. Especially in my culture (Hispanic). I look at it as illness. Myself for example, I eat very healthy and exercise like mad. But I am constantly fighting off diabetes. There has got to be something about all this processed junk and chemicals that does something to our metabolism. I don't eat that stuff now but I did when I was a kid. Also, the societal ideal is INSANE and this creates eating disorders. I know because I had one and I sort of think I still do at times. I live with the tendency.
It's a tough battle. I think we need education and real research to solve the problem.
post #45 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snydley View Post

  I've spent the last couple of years working in obesity research; however, I have no real expertise in this field.  I've been to a few meetings and have heard what some sociologists have to say so I thought I'd chime in. 

 

Firstly, obesity is the #1 heath crisis in this country.  The rates of obesity have risen so dramatically since 1980 it is mind-blowing. In many states, 1 in 3 adults are obese.  The health issues associated with obesity are numerous, life-threatening, and it will cost a fortune to treat.  

 

Is genetics linked to size?  Absolutely, but in my opinion genetics dictates whether you are a natural size 4 or 14, with 14 being a healthy size.

 

Consumption of high fat/processed foods is unequivocally driving this crisis, with the cheap cost and convenience of acquiring of these products. 


Absolutely 100% agree. I think the larger obesity (you know 300+) is due to something being thrown off in our bodies and the bad 'food' being addictive. I don't think that is genetic.

 

We treat food the same way you do, it sounds like.

post #46 of 196

Case by case. I've seen a few cases that would definitely qualify as neglect (possibly even out and out abuse). But, you can't tell the whole story just by looking at a child.

I wasn't obese as a child (actually, I wasn't even really overweight, although I thought I was - I carry a lot of muscle, have short limbs and fairly large bones, which makes for a thick look. However, I had already developed sugar addiction and highly disordered eating. It had nothing whatsoever to do with my parents...and there's no way they could know I was taking my paper route money (including tips) and buying pastries at the bakery and candy at the corner store while doing my route.

 

DS1 had a teacher (one I really loved, in most ways) who gave the kids candies as little rewards. He didn't get candy at home, but he got it at school. Fortunately, he never really got hooked on sugar the way some kids do, but there are no guarantees.

 

I've raised all my kids the same way with respect to food. DS1 and dd1 have healthy eating habits and are slim. DS2 doesn't have healthy eating habits (aside from anything else, he eats when he's bored, and also uses "I'm hungry" and food as an avoidance tactic). He's not at an unhealthy weight, but he's near the edge, I think. Fortunately, he gets lots of exercise.

post #47 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by dalia View Post


I don't make it his/her business. They make it their business.

I do know that obesity is a huge problem. Especially in my culture (Hispanic). I look at it as illness. 

Dr.s are there to treat the whole person, IMO- it is their business- the whole body works together or it doesn't work properly hence the reason weight effects so many aspects of health.

 

Obesity most definitely is a HUGE problem (both medical and economically) - as a society we are as large as we have ever been and increasing! Genetic alone does not account for the increase of the population in the morbid obesity category. Obesity is an illness, that is how it is called into neglect when a parent does not treat it.

post #48 of 196
I think doctors have a responsibility to say something about unhealthy behavior. Some are more tactful than others though and I have found my dd's more experienced pediatrician does a great job of educating parents without putting guilt there.
post #49 of 196
If my son had diabetes or another weight related illness then that would be one thing. But he should talk directly to me, not my son.
post #50 of 196

In the interest of full disclosure, my degree is as a Health Educator, and I do social work in the field of children's mental health. winky.gif

 

No surprise - I think education is the key. I work with many families where Mom really doesn't know how to shop for or cook healthy, frugal food for the family. She buys prepared dinners, individually packaged "fruit" snacks (gummy candy that is advertised as healthy), individual bottles of Gatorade (seen as healthier than soda pop), all with good intentions. I share hints when I can, without coming off as too judgmental. Maybe a recipe for a pot of bean soup, or how to squeeze 2 or 3 dinners out of one small chicken. Our city has truly great tap water - no need to buy drinks at all! Which farmer's market offers double the value for SNAP funds. But my small scale education plan is nothing in the face of the advertising industry's ability to sell unnecessary products to the most vulnerable consumers.

 

Poverty and lack of availability of healthy foods contribute more to the problem than neglect. I meet few parents who don't care. They may not have the means or the knowledge to do better in the nutrition department.  I wish schools would teach the practical aspects of cooking and nutrition to every child. In an ideal world, this would be taught at home, but that doesn't seem to be working. But I think it would go far to combat the pervasive effects of advertising.

post #51 of 196

Mamarhu - I just wanted to say that it is solely the result of people being non judgmental and helping by example that we eat the way that we do. I had no idea  you could do so many things with beans, and lentils and how delicious fruit and veggies can be until about 5 years ago. I ALWAYS loved salad and fruit, but it was more of a 'treat' whereas the processed food was the day to day 'food'. You know, boxed noodles/meat/canned vegetable/canned fruit for dinner was typical.

Keep doing what you're doing, and even if you don't personally see the results - seeds do get planted!

 

I thank the heavens for all of my crunchy wholesome food eating friends. I would never have learned about all of this without them!

post #52 of 196

My daughter has always been round, but I've always been careful about what we eat and have in our house.  We get a lot of activity.  When she was nearly four, she developed a movement disorder and went from a typical, healthy, active kid to a an inability to walk - for months.  It was horrible.  Obviously, she put on weight.  I mean, duh.  Then she went through a few meds, most of which made her hungry and/or tired.  More weight.  She was chunky, but not Maury Povitch-ready.  We saw one neurologist who yanked up her shirt, grabbed her tummy and said, "Well THIS isn't doing her any good" - lady, eff you.  Seriously, eff right the hell off.

 

Fast forward three years and things are better.  She has grown taller without getting much heavier and the size gap between her and her peers is closing.  I send her lunch, I cook, we don't keep junk in the house and though she can't run, we bike, swim, etc.  I am room parent and I volunteer for everything so I control the snacks at school and activities, too (at this point, they get just as excited over rainbow fruit kebabs as cupcakes, don't know what I'll do if they ever start to wonder...hey,where are the cookies and cakes???).

 

I have discussed this with her pediatrician who says just wait it out.  Putting a child on a diet is just opening her up to misery.  She's somewhat overweight but not in a way that threatens her health, so we can wait. 

 

I am lucky.  My daughter likes fresh fruit and vegetables.  Though she enjoys sweets, she knows they have a time and place.  She likes being as active as she can manage.  My husband works from home and I'm a SAHM.  We have the funds to buy quality over convenience...and my child is still overweight.  I have lunch with her class often so I know that some of these kids are rail thin even though they eat snack cakes and Lunchables every day.  They won't drink water, ask for soda.  And still, they're skinny.  It's not always fair.

post #53 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by dalia View Post

If my son had diabetes or another weight related illness then that would be one thing. But he should talk directly to me, not my son.

 

I think a lot depends... If the doctor knows that there is a family history of obesity and/or diabetes, then it really is the responsible thing on his/her part to raise that issue. Depending on the child's age, I really don't think it's wrong to help the child develop responsibility for his/her body and its health by having these kinds of discussions with the child, as well as the parent. 

post #54 of 196

I agree mtiger

Quote:
Originally Posted by mtiger View Post

 

I think a lot depends... If the doctor knows that there is a family history of obesity and/or diabetes, then it really is the responsible thing on his/her part to raise that issue. Depending on the child's age, I really don't think it's wrong to help the child develop responsibility for his/her body and its health by having these kinds of discussions with the child, as well as the parent. 

 

 
If my son had diabetes or another weight related illness then that would be one thing. But he should talk directly to me, not my son.

 

I read this too and wondered about what it meant  - IMO it's my child's Dr (in our case a Ped) and we encourage our DS to talk to his Dr and his Dr does talk to him. We want our DS to have a rapport I don't get not wanting it???? Why even see a Dr if you don't want their help?

post #55 of 196

many of the peds i meet are awful. they tow the government line. they make judgements - the same kind this thread is talking about. they assume since your child is overweight they must be eating crap and does not exercise. and if they do exercise then perhaps they are not doing enough. it is one thing to ask questions to find out what the diet is like and what physical activity they do and then say something. but its quite another thing to look at the scale to come off and make statements without finding out anything about the family.

 

is there a solution in sight? 

 

no i dont think so. if there was there would be more regulation of the food industry from the government. but since the government IS the food industry - the blame is going to be on the parents. 

 

processed food today is not food but a drug. the most insidious drug we have. there is no industry limit to the amount of sugar, salt or fat in food. most of america eats what i myself dont call food. 

 

it takes an incredible amount of effort to learn about nutrition and cooking. and it isnt a social class issue either. i've seen the rich - moderately as well as REALLY rich eat pretty nasty stuff themselves. 

 

look at breakfast itself. its sugar and grain or high fat. 

 

we have an epidemic here. we complain if we see a small portion on our platter. every aspect of our eating has become tainted. food/eating today is seen as unimportant. something to hurry up and do. 

post #56 of 196

The big belly thing could be a sign of gluten intolerance. Otherwise she sounds very healthy.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by purplerose View Post

My 10 year old is about 110 pounds. She has a big belly. She gets bullied for it by some boys at school, but some of the boys have crushes on her and "talk sweet to her"(whatever that means!)  

post #57 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by serenbat View Post

I read this too and wondered about what it meant  - IMO it's my child's Dr (in our case a Ped) and we encourage our DS to talk to his Dr and his Dr does talk to him. We want our DS to have a rapport I don't get not wanting it???? Why even see a Dr if you don't want their help?

Physical exams are required by law at times... I don't know if schools require annual check-ups, but to homeschool in my state, one is required at the start of the home education program and in 6th grade. They are required for joining sports teams as well. My ds was required to have a physical before getting dental work done under general anaesthesia. It could also be that a parent would want to take their child in for regular exams because they were nervous of being accused of being neglectful, if they were worried about CPS because they didn't have a mainstream lifestyle. So, there are many reasons that a parent might take a child to the doctor and not really be looking for much input from the doctor.

 

I certainly haven't been told anything useful at exams though I appreciate having ds's good health confirmed. And I really appreciate that we got a different doctor in the practice, this time, and I didn't have to explain yet again why we don't vax and that I didn't have to listen to him give me a BMI lecture. I'm quite aware ds is "at risk for obesity" according to the charts. But since he doesn't drink soda or juice or eat fast food, and we do a daily 2 mile walk/jog, the typical lecture is simplistic and unhelpful. I just take ds in when required by law. He isn't going to develop a rapport when he is seen by a different person each time, anyway.  

post #58 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by meemee View Post

many of the peds i meet are awful. they tow the government line. they make judgements - the same kind this thread is talking about. they assume since your child is overweight they must be eating crap and does not exercise.  

I took ds to one dentist who simply did. not. believe me when I told him ds didn't have a high sugar diet. Some doctors and dentists really just feel mothers are ignorant and don't even know what they are feeding their children. And some are. But it's damn annoying when they think you are filling your baby's bottle with soda and just lying about it. It's great if you get a good one but there are a lot of bad ones out there, too. And being able to actually choose a pediatrician rather than being assigned one or being limited by transportation options is a luxury for many.

post #59 of 196

I think there's a huge difference between a healthy active kid who is a little higher on the BMI curve and a child who can't walk half a block without gasping for breath and who wears adult XXL gym shorts year-round because they're the only garments that go around the middle and don't drag on the ground.  I volunteer with at-risk kids and I've seen quite a few of the latter.  I'm not sure I'd call it neglect, but I also don't think it's inappropriate for doctors and social workers to address the issues.

post #60 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4evermom View Post

Physical exams are required by law at times... I don't know if schools require annual check-ups, but to homeschool in my state, one is required at the start of the home education program and in 6th grade. They are required for joining sports teams as well. My ds was required to have a physical before getting dental work done under general anaesthesia. It could also be that a parent would want to take their child in for regular exams because they were nervous of being accused of being neglectful, if they were worried about CPS because they didn't have a mainstream lifestyle. So, there are many reasons that a parent might take a child to the doctor and not really be looking for much input from the doctor.

 

I certainly haven't been told anything useful at exams though I appreciate having ds's good health confirmed. And I really appreciate that we got a different doctor in the practice, this time, and I didn't have to explain yet again why we don't vax and that I didn't have to listen to him give me a BMI lecture. I'm quite aware ds is "at risk for obesity" according to the charts. But since he doesn't drink soda or juice or eat fast food, and we do a daily 2 mile walk/jog, the typical lecture is simplistic and unhelpful. I just take ds in when required by law. He isn't going to develop a rapport when he is seen by a different person each time, anyway.  

I was responding to talking to the child But he should talk directly to me, not my son.

 

 

how do you tell a Dr not to talk to your 6th grader? and why shouldn't they not know at that age, they are at risk for obesity?

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Parenting
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Overweight children - is it parental neglect?