Log In Sign Up

Should children be told they're overweight/obese


Forum: Heated Debates

Notices

Welcome to the JustMommies Message Boards.

We pride ourselves on having the friendliest and most welcoming forums for moms and moms to be! Please take a moment and register for free so you can be a part of our growing community of mothers. If you have any problems registering please drop an email to [email protected].

Our community is moderated by our moderation team so you won't see spam or offensive messages posted on our forums. Each of our message boards is hosted by JustMommies hosts, whose names are listed at the top each board. We hope you find our message boards friendly, helpful, and fun to be on!

Reply Post New Topic
  Subscribe To Heated Debates LinkBack Topic Tools Search this Topic Display Modes
  #1  
July 10th, 2006, 11:35 PM
Sunflower_Mommy2003's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 1,779
CNN: HEALTH: Experts debate whether children should be called obese
Wednesday, July 5, 2006
CHICAGO, Illinois (AP) -- Is it OK for doctors and parents to tell children and teens they're fat?

Quote:
That seems to be at the heart of a debate over whether to replace the fuzzy language favored by the U.S. government with the painful truth -- if kids are obese or overweight, telling them.

Labeling a child obese might "run the risk of making them angry, making the family angry," but it addresses a serious issue head-on, said Dr. Reginald Washington, a Denver pediatrician and co-chair of an American Academy of Pediatrics obesity task force.

"If that same person came into your office and had cancer, or was anemic, or had an ear infection, would we be having the same conversation? There are a thousand reasons why this obesity epidemic is so out of control, and one of them is no one wants to talk about it."[/b]
What do you think?
__________________
<div align="center">

Click--->Questioning Circumcision?<---Click



Intact Care Board</div>
Reply With Quote
  #2  
July 10th, 2006, 11:45 PM
chlodoll
Guest
Posts: n/a
I think it depends on the age of the child. If they are still young and dont have any control over their food options then I dont think they need to be told, but the parents defintely do! If they are older and are in charge of buying thier lunches, choosing their snacks and such it might be important to tell them to help start them on making healthier choices.

I know what I was I think 8 years old I was a little overweight and I went to the doctor about it. I ate well and was pretty active so they wanted to see if there were any medical reasons. The nurse had wrote down my weight wrong and put it 20 pounds heavier then I was. The doctor said infront of me talking to himself that I was extremely overweight. Even though they had the wrong weight that stuck with me for a really long time and made me feel pretty crappy about myself.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
July 11th, 2006, 04:55 AM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 3,496
I agree with PP. In the case where the child is young the doctor could speak to them about what they eat at lunch at school and what snacks they have. They could also talk to them about what exercise they do. These topics would bring up the 2 major factors in weight: diet and exercise. The doctor should then have a more frank conversation with the parents.

For older children, the doctor should still be talking about diet and exercise routines but also consequences and a discussion of the child's current weight and its effects.
__________________
taking jm breaks if you don't see me around much
Reply With Quote
  #4  
July 11th, 2006, 05:11 AM
Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: *queen city* of North Carolina
Posts: 9,497
I don't think it'd be the wisest idea telling a young child they're overweight - as stated they may or may not have much control of their diet, or amount of exercise. It'd just lead to self esteem issues. But the subject, should be discussed with the parents at the very least. If the person in question is a teenager, or at an age where they have a more active role in their diet, etc then it should be discussed with them as well as the parents.

And there might be a medical reason why a child could be overweight. One of my brother's friend's siblings has diabetes, and she's peite, she's always been slightly overweight due to the diabete. Her mother is the same way.
__________________
Proud Mommy To My Princess (5)
Watching over us -- August 2005, March 2010, October 2010, July 2011
Reply With Quote
  #5  
July 11th, 2006, 05:16 AM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 3,496
I assume that your doctor would know if you had a medical reason for being overwight, so I would hope they wouldn't badger someone for it! God only knows though....weirder things have happened!

One conversation with the parents could probably help the doctor in understanding if the parents are enablers in the situation if they asked the right questions and really fostered a conversation. From there, they could decide if it was absolutely necessary to talk to the child frankly. Doctors need those communication skills, mine as well make them get some practice!
__________________
taking jm breaks if you don't see me around much
Reply With Quote
  #6  
July 11th, 2006, 06:27 AM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 2,667
I don't think a doctor should tell an older child "You're a big fat slob," but I think that obesity and weight problems need to be addressed with everybody--meaning adults and children alike. I heard recently about a lady who sued her doctor because he told her she needed to lose some weight (I think he might have said some other things to her as well along those same lines, but the bottom line was he tried to tell her to lose weight). That's just wrong--that's what doctors are supposed to do, not wrongly inflate your self-esteem. If you want to feel all good about yourself, go to a therapist. If you can't get a straight story and good advice from your doctor, then you who else is going to tell you?
__________________




Reply With Quote
  #7  
July 11th, 2006, 04:32 PM
Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 6,149
The part of all this that bothers me most is, why would parents allow a child to become obese to begin with? Barring a medical condition (like disease or thyroid issues) being overweight is more often than not a diet/exercise issue. I have a real problem with parents who plop their kids in front of the tv with frozen pizza. Now...I'm all FOR frozen pizza, don't get me wrong. But I remember being a kid and playing OUTSIDE! Riding my bike, walking around the neighborhood etc. We didn't sit inside all day playing computer/video games. I think if it gets to a point where the child's general health is being affected...the parents should hear it, not the child. Kids have enough self-esteem problems growing up, why lay that on them too? Besides, chances are pretty good the other kids are telling them they're 'fat' anyhow.
__________________
~Amber~

Reply With Quote
  #8  
July 11th, 2006, 06:45 PM
CBMS
Guest
Posts: n/a
Obese is a medical term; if it is appropriate (ie: the child IS, in fact obese) why should a doctor not be able to use it? Women get told they're pregnant if they are; people who have strep go to the doctor for confirmation and medicine; people with high blood pressure don't have it 'hidden' to spare their feelings.

If someone (anyone--whether child or adult) is obese, why not have their doctor be honest before they are morbidly obese and put them on a diet so that they can prevent getting even bigger? Obesity kills. Isn't it even more important than finding out about an ear infection or something that yes, may hurt, but it won't take your life along with your hearing...
Reply With Quote
  #9  
August 19th, 2008, 04:17 PM
Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 6,468
I say no. Because I had a dr tell me I was GOING to be obese if I didn't stop gaining weight like i was. ( I was a sickly kid and at 12 years old barely weighed 60lbs. And I had been sick and lost about 10 lbs and gained it back rapidly). That was not true. And he knew about my medical problems. Telling a 12 year old girl that she will be obese is an eating disorder waiting to happen IMO. My mom was also told at a young age that she was fat.. and has a weight problem every since. She goes from eating too much to not eating at all and dropping 100lbs .
__________________


Reply With Quote
  #10  
August 19th, 2008, 04:26 PM
plan4fate's Avatar I may bend, but not break
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 27,101
You know what.. I actually agree with this.

I was a big kid. Always 20lbs heavier than all my friends. I was active, I was in great shape, but quick effective meals were killer on my body. I'd asked my doctor about it several times, and apparently my mother had asked that they not make me feel like I was over weight (my family is big), so I was told I was fine. I wasn't fine. 13 years old and 140lbs at 5' feet tall is not fine. No, I wasn't obese, and yes a lot of it was muscle, but a lot of it was fat. And now, 11 years later I'm still fighting to get that weight off. Because they told me the weight was fine, I figured an extra chocolate bar here or there wouldn't matter... sheesh. Now I have terrible eating habits that are proving nearly impossible to kick. (to prove a point, I went to the store to treat myself to a bottle of pop, and came home with a bag of junk food)

If my doctor feels my children are overweight, after talking about it with me (to see if it's my fault or if it's just bad genetics) I would want them to explain it all out to them. I will tell them myself!
__________________
1798 Days to Conceive our Miracle!
Baby Girl Due August 7th 2017!!


Reply With Quote
  #11  
August 19th, 2008, 04:30 PM
I_Run_with_Scissors
Guest
Posts: n/a
I think that the childs parent(s)/Guardian(s) should be told flat out that their child is obese, has a weight problem ect so that they can help implement the appropriate changes in lie style to stop the child from gaining more weight, i agree that being overweight now has a lot to do with life style choices (yes i know there are medical conditions that make people overweight, hopefully a doctor would be aware of that and then address the problem differently) If i child is old enough to understand what being over weight/obese is then chances are they are probably aware if they are bigger than most or not, and in that case i think that they should be aware of it but not have it made to be the end of the world or anything, just being told that the whole family is making changes to live healthier and eat better

adding that i do think its ok for a doctor to discuss the importance of healthy life choices, eating well with kids and telling them why being overweight is bad for your health
Reply With Quote
  #12  
August 19th, 2008, 04:45 PM
$pryNinja's Avatar Zef Fre$ Mom
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Ontario Canada
Posts: 5,557
I think there is a way to discuss health with your children without making them feel like they have done anything wrong. If my DD was overweight at a young age and the doc said its time to make changes to her diet and lifestyle, I would try to explain to her that there are some things we will have to do together to make ourselves healthier and stronger. I wouldn't focus on the weight with her, I would focus more on how much more energy she would have and how better she would feel living with healthy and active habits. I wouldn't have a problem with the doctor telling me that she was obese or overweight though. But I don't want my daughter to think that having a bigger body than what is portrayed by most media is outlandish.
__________________

There is no greater power in the universe than the need for
freedom. Against that power, governments and tyrants and armies cannot
stand.

Reply With Quote
  #13  
August 19th, 2008, 04:57 PM
SugarNSpice's Avatar VBAC Mommy!!!
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: TN
Posts: 6,463
I haven't read the replies, but I agree with the article. I mean, I don't think a doctor should be like "Hey, kid....you're a fatty, quit eating cheeseburgers, mmkay?" But I do think that if the child is overweight, the doctor should say something about it. Definitely to the parents, but also to the child to make them aware of it, because honestly they just may not know unless they've been told before by someone else that they are overweight.

Really, no sense in sweeping it under the rug. Recognizing the problem is the first step to solving it. It doesn't have to be mean or cruel, but everyone is always so worried about hurting someone's feelings....but ya know, it's gonna hurt their feelings a lot worse when one of their peers calls them fat on the playground, dontcha think? Doctors might bite their tongues to spare their feelings, but kids won't.
__________________
Jamie, mommy to: Jillian 7/19/05 (c-section), Addison 6/4/07 (VBAC),
& Evan 10/16/10 (VBAC)





Reply With Quote
  #14  
August 21st, 2008, 10:21 AM
KarateMom's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 3,292
Quote:
Obese is a medical term; if it is appropriate (ie: the child IS, in fact obese) why should a doctor not be able to use it? Women get told they're pregnant if they are; people who have strep go to the doctor for confirmation and medicine; people with high blood pressure don't have it 'hidden' to spare their feelings.

If someone (anyone--whether child or adult) is obese, why not have their doctor be honest before they are morbidly obese and put them on a diet so that they can prevent getting even bigger? Obesity kills. Isn't it even more important than finding out about an ear infection or something that yes, may hurt, but it won't take your life along with your hearing...[/b]
I think this is very well put! While I wouldn't want a doctor calling my child Big Fat Fatty or anything like that, I think that there's a point where you have to stop tiptoeing around words and get to the heart of the issue. If a child is obese, they and their parents need to be educated about what to do about it.
__________________
-- Lisa --
Wife to my best friend Troy, mom to Reilly and Declan

You're never fully dressed without a SMILE!!

Reply With Quote
  #15  
August 21st, 2008, 08:09 PM
Mud235's Avatar Super Mom Extrodinaire
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Virginia
Posts: 1,331
I think that if they are old enough to understand, then yes, definatley.

My little cousin is 5yrs old and weighs 93lbs, she is 48inches tall. This kid has gained 30lbs in the last 18months. My aunt and uncle have put a lock on the fridge, but to no avail. She is ALWAYS hungry. They have done diets (she has lost 3 lbs so far), and they are about to test her for a pituatary or some type of endocrine problem.
__________________
Stefanie
(formerly HPGeek)
Reply With Quote
  #16  
August 21st, 2008, 08:58 PM
beck12's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Michigan
Posts: 12,330
Quote:
I think that if they are old enough to understand, then yes, definatley.

My little cousin is 5yrs old and weighs 93lbs, she is 48inches tall. This kid has gained 30lbs in the last 18months. My aunt and uncle have put a lock on the fridge, but to no avail. She is ALWAYS hungry. They have done diets (she has lost 3 lbs so far), and they are about to test her for a pituatary or some type of endocrine problem.[/b]
There very well could be an issue. A friend of ours was being raked over the coals by her Dr about her 5 yr old DD's weight. The Dr assumed that because mom was heavy it was bad parenting - regardless of what she was telling the Dr about her DD's lack of energy & good eating habits..etc. She insisted the Dr run tests - all of which he said came back normal and it was poor eating, lack of exercise... She finally got so fed up (her DD was gaining nearly 5-10 lbs a month at this point) that she got a new Pedi. Her records arrived at the office before her appt & the Dr called her in for an emergency appt....saying her daughter was severely diabetic according to the tests in her file & her thyroid levels were so off he wasn't sure how she was still functioning & admitted her that day to the hospital. She is now a little heavy - but VERY normal & active 9 yr old. Had she let that Dr continue to brow beat her because he though heavy mom=bad eating habits, her DD could have been dead by now - literally.

I don't know what I think about what should be said to a child, I have to think about it as I think it really depends on the child likely. Many children that are overweight already know it all too well.... I guess I would rather see an approach that tells children they are not at their healthiest & go from that perspective than focus on terms & labels.
__________________
B - Crazy momma to my two boys
We've begun to raise daughters more like sons... but few have the courage to raise our sons more like our daughters. ~Gloria Steinem

If a man has been his mother's undisputed darling he retains throughout life the triumphant feeling, the confidence in success, which not seldom brings actual success along with it. ~Sigmund Freud
My mom is a neverending song in my heart of comfort, happiness, and being. I may sometimes forget the words but I always remember the tune. ~Graycie Harmon
Don't wait to make your son a great man - make him a great boy. ~Author Unknown
You don't raise heroes, you raise sons. And if you treat them like sons, they'll turn out to be heroes, even if it's just in your own eyes. ~Walter M. Schirra, Sr.
A man loves his sweetheart the most, his wife the best, but his mother the longest. ~Irish Proverb
Mother's love is peace. It need not be acquired, it need not be deserved. ~Erich Fromm
Children need love, especially when they do not deserve it. - Harold Hulbert
Mother is the name for God in the lips and hearts of little children. ~William Makepeace Thackeray
God could not be everywhere, so he created mothers. ~Jewish Proverb
The best conversations with mothers always take place in silence, when only the heart speaks. ~Carrie Latet




Reply With Quote
  #17  
August 22nd, 2008, 01:27 PM
Joni927's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 3,912
I don't have any experience with this topic but I would assume telling a child something like that would hurt their feelings enough to possibly make the problem worse. Don't some kids/people eat for comfort? I think the doctor should be very straightforward with the parents about it, but not necessarily with the child.
__________________
<div align="center">


Thank you so much, Jessica "dettmer26", for the beautiful siggie!

</div>
Reply With Quote
  #18  
August 25th, 2008, 01:35 PM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Michigan
Posts: 2,596
I think if the child is old enough to understand, he/she should be told.
It is so sad so see obviously overweight children. We went to a garage sale recently and saw a little boy, prolly 6 yrs old. He went to walk up to his front door (3 small steps) and had to pull himself up with the railing, and was so out of breath.

I think it should be told to the child point blank (nicely of course) that the eating habits is dangerous, then the doctor should help the parent teach the child how to eat healthy.
__________________
<div align="center">


</div><div align="center"></div>
Reply With Quote
  #19  
August 29th, 2008, 05:57 PM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 1,240
I do not think they should be calling anyone fat but there is a way to tell a child and teen to cut back and loose weight, better yet, advise them on a healthier lifestyle. This is less confrontational and less of a blow to their confidence.

I think that obese teens and children need to do something because sometimes you have parents that are in some kind of fog or denial and these poor kids are tipping the scales at an alarming rate.

I think the focus should be on healthy snacking, more activity and a healthier lifestyle. Telling a child this over 'you are fat/obese' seems to me a better choice of words.
__________________
Finally mom to 3 girls....welcome home Samantha Star...born Tues Feb 3rd!


Formally Known as Babies but I lost my old password!
Reply With Quote
Reply

Topic Tools Search this Topic
Search this Topic:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:43 PM.