I very rarely watch daytime TV, but I just happened to turn on Maury Povich yesterday as I was sorting laundry. It was about obese children. There was a five year old on there that weighed 230 pounds, MORE THAN ME! I was so upset by this, I was crying.
My 6 year old is a little overweight, but nothing like the children they had on there ... Several of these mothers seemed to be in denial -- Most of the mothers were fat, too, though one or two of them seemed normal or close to it. Some of them said that they let their child eat what they wanted when they wanted it. Unfortunately they seem to allow them to eat a diet of sweets and french fries.
I guess it made me wonder if I'm in denial myself about my 6 yo. She refuses to eat vegetables at all, and no amount of dressing them up seems to help. She's only interested in a limited number of foods. I do limit her sweets, but I wonder if I should cut them down even more. Or should I keep hoping her height will catch up with her weight ... I try to encourage her to be active, like playing soccer and doing ballet, but on the day to day sometimes that's hard, too.
I don't know why I felt inclined to post about this ... those babies on that show just made me so sad ...
11-13-2002, 09:17 AM
Hmmm. Interesting and I think very important.
Before I began my post, I want to point out that I am not a Mother. Yes, I have helped raised my two younger sisters, but I am not a Mother and can only give my opinion knowing, "it's easier to say than do".
I've watched those shows, and I too felt the same way. I won't say all, but very close to it....9 out of 10 Mothers that stand up there with their 4 yr old who weighs over 200 lbs...has serious issues themselves. Before someone shoots me...let's have an open mind.
I sit and watch, and they will either have the attitude "I am not going to starve my child" or the "yes, they are big, but they are okay"
First of all, they are not okay. Not okay at all.
There is a huge difference between a chubby child with a few extra lbs of baby fat and a child who is seriously suffering and risking serious health problems.
Very fine line to walk on too. The parents who are so strict, that do not allow any sweets, that constantly remind their 5 yr old they aren't allowed to get fat..set up a child who will be so messed up about food. It will be their lil secret. Settin them up in the closet, shoving cookies in their mouth before Mommy finds them.
Or the parent who allows their child to eat a bag of chips for dinner because "hey, it's better then them starving" since they refuse to eat what is on the dinner plate.
I don't know. It's very very difficult. That's why it's so important from the start. When children begin to eat table food, that's when it all starts.
I've watched countless shows on obese children. And sadly, sometimes, I swear I would have called it child abuse.
That whole thing is a very touchy subject.
But as far as chubby children or kids with a few lbs to lose..better to catch it now then to wait. We all know how much weight plays a part in our lives and growing up. We need to teach our children the healthy way of looking at food. What food is to our bodies. I know, I know..much easier for me to say. I don't have to fight with a 5 yr old at the dinner table everynight to eat their veggies. I was made to eat veggies. I survived. I HATED peas. So, if peas were being served, my Grandma would make me some beans. It was a pain, but in her eyes, as long as I was eating a veggie.
Anyways....I will stop rambling. But...if you're child is picky, which all kids are...you just need to keep trying. Experiment with different foods. No, your child isn't going to be obese because they refuse to eat veggies. But you know what your kids eat. You can see the patterns. It's very important to do this now. A pain? Oh yeah. But not as painful as the weightloss **** that we all have gone through. It's up to us as adults to take responsibility.
whew..I'll shut up now.
11-13-2002, 10:15 AM
I had a cousin who was obese as a child, and it scared my mother to death. I remember being put on a "diet" when I was 9 years old. Now, remember, I was a normal 9 year old...all gangly legs and skinny, but my mother was "afraid" I would be fat like my cousin. She wouldn't let me eat the things I liked and made me eat things I didn't like. Of course, I began to be a sneaky eater. She basically planted a seed for an eating disorder in me, by not accepting me as I really was. From that day forward, I never felt like I was OK in her eyes. At the same time, my father was an authoritarian who would force me to stay at the table until I finished whatever it was that HE or my mother put on my plate (with no regard for the amount of food my stomach would hold). To the point that I was sometimes made to eat what I didn't eat at one meal at the next meal. I do have kids and grandkids that I babysit 2-3 days a week, and the one thing I never do is forbid them to eat or force them to eat. I DO however try to keep healthy foods around for them to snack on. Lots of fruit, veggies, low fat cheeses and lunchmeats. At mealtime, we always have one meal and if they don't like what's being served, they don't have to eat. But I DO NOT fix different meals for different kids. I do try to incorporate the things they like into the meals, but you can't please all the people all the time. There are occasionally sweets around for them, but I try to buy things that are portion controlled, like ice cream in the little cups. That limits my servings of problem foods too. And it's the only thing I mother-in-law my kids about, their harping at their kids about eating. I just very quietly say, "do you want them to be like me?" And when my grands are at my house, the t.v. and the computer are off when it's light outside. They play outside, we sometimes take walks together, we shoot baskets, sometimes we just sit out and enjoy the sunshine. They are good for me, and I think I am good for them. I think the most important thing we can do for our kids, obese or whatever, is to make them know we love them and accept them however they are. I used to talk with my cousin that was obese as a child (unfortunately she died last year) about what went on with her as a child, and she'd tell me over and over that if she had ever felt loved and accepted by her parents, even tho she was overweight, she felt that her life and her weight would have been totally different. She always knew how distressed her family was about her size, and she used it as a weapon against them. It was the only control she felt like she had in her life. And I too felt the same way. I knew I could get back at them for not accepting me by getting fat at them. So I guess I'm saying "yes, it is dangerous for a child to be overweight" but before you do anything else, you have to look inside yourself for what you may be doing, and then look inside the child. It's almost never about weight with very young children who are obese, it's about something going on in their lives or their heads. And I'm pretty sure we can ALL agree that when a person (of whatever age) is eating over emotional problems, diets just won't work. I feel we must be so gentle with kids who have serious weight problems, just like I wish someone would be gentle with me now, and let me know that I am acceptable to them, no matter what the size of my body is. Sorry...end of rant. This subject is so close to me, I get carried away sometimes.
11-13-2002, 11:00 AM
I look at these obese children and think about where their doctors are. I mean, my children are far from obese, but when my 5 year old wasn't gaining enough weight, my doc was there telling me to help him gain. That did not mean adding more sweets and junk food, but more protein and vegetables. I'm sure that these women are being told by the child's pediatrician that their weight is unhealthy. So, unless your doc is telling you that your 6 yo is obese, I don't think that you are in denial.
I guess that I am lucky. My boys love vegetables and I really don't have too big of a problem with them eating what I give them. I do always try to put the vegetables that they are into on the table, it may mean eating corn or peas five times in a week, but I would rather eat a veggie multiple times, than not eat any at all. Also, personally, I do not like my kids eating a lot of sweets. I limit the amount to 1 or 2 a week (except right now when I'm getting rid of the Halloween candy and they can have 1 piece after dinner). But I think that if you are limiting what your kids eat, and not giving into the begging and offering healthy foods as an alternative, you are doing the right thing.
11-13-2002, 10:43 PM
What's scary? My beautiful, sweet, boy-crazy, intelligent, daughter, who is a cracker-jack flute player and a budding creative writer, is beginning to show the same food obsessions that I did when I was a child. She is going to struggle with this the rest of her life, and it is MY fault.
11-16-2002, 06:56 PM
I saw the same show (or part of it) on my break at work. I was telling my coworkers about the 5 year old girl who was 230 and they couldnt believe it. Rolls and rolls of fat everywhere. Hardly able to walk or move around..pitiful.
I have to admit I am worried about my son. He is 7 1/2 years old. He is 49 inches tall (average height) and weighs 58 pounds. This puts him in the 75% group for weight. He doesnt look fat at all. No rolls or anything. He is active and is kinda picky but will try foods (one bite) and if he doesnt like it I dont force it. He can have one junk food snack a day (his pick) the others are cheese sticks, etc... he probably would weigh more because actually he hasnt gained a pound in the past year but is growing (about two inches in the past year). He has ADHD and the medication also acts as an appetite depressant. His doc said dont worry unless he loses weight or maintains it so long that he goes below normal weight for his height.
If he says things about his size I always tell him he is the perfect weight for his age and he seems happy with that. I dont want to set up any food issues for him! No secret eating. Thats why he gets to pick the junk food snack each day he wants so there is no secret allure for it!!