Obese children...my rant - page 2
Ok so child comes in with laceration to the hand. 12 years old, about 5'5'' and weighs 260lbs. Big boy. The MD who was suturing was not his PCP, just there to take care of the urgent task. As she... Read More
1Sep 14, '11 by AnisettesQuote from umcRNIn my old OR back in the states we used to get kids coming in for multiple dental extractions and having dental work done on baby teeth literally rotted to the gum line - and most of them were barely out of diapers, their secondary teeth not due to come in for a few years. I don't understand it. It's not just obesity, it's just general poor care overall (extending to discipline).And it makes me absoultely cringe when I see babies drinking fruit punch or toddlers with soda in their sippy cups
9Sep 14, '11 by nohikaI cringe when I read this - I was skinny until my Dad left and sank into a depression and have gained the weight and not lost it. I was active as a child and stopped due to depression.
My family has been obese on both sides for generations. Children model their parent's behaviors...I dunno, I work with parents who have a lot more to answer for than just obesity, so. I'm horribly embarrassed as it is about what I look like. I know obesity sucks and all, but instead of frying the parents, education is probably the best bet...for both parent and child.
It's actually the focus of what my PhD boss researches - childhood obesity and how to educate both the child and the parent.
It's so easy to talk about it and it is so not easy to do it. A lot of parents struggle to handle everything at once and it's so hard to throw new things in the mix. I've tried (while I'm not a parent) several times and right now I'm working 10-25 hours a week, taking 18 credits at school, and handling a massive research project, I just am struggling focusing on everything.
I do agree obesity in children needs to be eradicated. But I do believe it starts with education and not with condemning the parents for their behavior - because it's extremely likely that it's behaviors they have gleamed from /their/ parents. It's like domestic abuse - the destructive behaviors just cycle through generations. And trust me I see a lot of condemning of parents...most people want to throw the families I work with to leeches.
8Sep 14, '11 by planteaterJust want to give a positive story- my own. I was a thin child, until we moved- when I was 8. It was summer and I had no friends and became depressed. My parents like junk food a lot, so I gained weight quickly while spending most of my time in front of the TV. By the time I was 10 I weighed 160 lbs and had triglycerides of 400. My mom took me to a nutritionist and put me on sugar free everything (but not healthy food- just artificially sweetened stuff). My triglycerides came down some and I lost a little weight. I eventually got into the somewhat overweight category (so much teasing and humiliation though). By the time I reached high school I was very involved in music and my depression lifted quite a bit. I ended up reaching an almost normal weight of 145 (I'm 5'5"). Fast Forward to a really stressful job right out of college and the depression came back, with anxiety to boot. I gained quickly- back up to 170 within 1 1/2 years. No doctor during that time gave me any resources- just a "eat less and exercise more" flippant comment when I expressed displeasure with my weight gain. Well, that's not so easy when you do not address the emotional/mental issues. Then, I had two kids, went through 2 moves and 2 layoffs, struggled with more depression, and got up to 196. I finally started dealing with the emotional side of things and lost 20 lbs....then I started learning everything I could about the healthiest way of eating and adopted that...down another 10 lbs....had more energy to go work out and continue eating healthy. I am still 20 lbs away from where I need to be, but my diet is so healthy and I really have no real health problems. So, here is the thing- please remember to address the mental and emotional part of overeating. It is real and I believe that it, combined with the atrocious junk we call food in America, is a recipe for disaster. But, people who are hurting on the inside will kill themselves slowly because it gives them temporary moments of relief. When we stop judging people, we can start having compassion and connecting with them in a way that allows us to help them through their pain.
3Sep 14, '11 by MomRN0913My stepmothers niece is 7 and is obese. It's so sad. She doesn't even have a neck. It has nothing to do with a medical problem. Her parents feed her crap. I've seen her sit down with a bag of cheese doodles and eat the whole thing.
It's sad. and very unhealthy. Kudos to the ER doc who told him how it is. Pediatricians need to tell the child and parents very straigtforward how unhealthy and what the risks are if their child does not lose weight.
I watch my 4 year olds diet carefully. My pediatrician told me from the start to introduce whole grains and the such. She gets treats, Mc Donalds maybe once a week, other wise she prefers fruits over cakes, cookies and ice cream, believe or not. When she has chips, I put some in a bowl, I don't give her the bag.
Seeing obese children upsets me.
4Sep 14, '11 by DizzyLizzyNurseJust another perspective:
My mother took off on me after my parents' divorce. I was devastated. I had been a thin kid, and preferred veggies and fruits. (I used to finish my brother's broccoli lol). I gained weight quickly, mostly because I was so sad and depressed and food made me feel better. My mother had a drug/alcohol problem and I believe food became my addiction.
I wish my depression had been treated when I was still a child instead of me living for years that way. I think if it had been treated as a depression/emotional problem instead of a dieting problem I wouldn't have had the long term weight problems I'm trying to eradicate. You know, sent me to a therapist and maybe had me sign up for a sports team instead of taking me to weight watchers at 12.
Doesn't sound like that's what is happening here (at least on the surface). Just wanted to give another perspective. Thanks for caring about his weight though! And not being mean about it like some doctors can be.
14Sep 14, '11 by Horseshoe"It's so easy to talk about it and it is so not easy to do it."
Okay, please note that I'm not picking on you, I'm just focusing on this sentence, which I've heard many many times.
SO WHAT if it's not "easy." Who ever got the idea that raising kids properly would ever be "easy?" It's NOT easy to do the right thing, whether that means feeding our kids healthy food in the presence of tantrums, advertising, and ease of poor alternatives, or expecting kids to help with chores, do their homework, adhere to curfew, whatever. It's NOT easy to raise healthy, productive citizens, but no one ever promised us it would be easy. Let's not do what's EASY, let's do what is RIGHT and BEST for our kids, and I can promise you that feeding our kids CRAP and giving in to tantrums demanding junk food, sedentary lifestyles, and the power to make decisions for the family is NOT doing what is right for our kids.
Let's not go for easy, let's go for what's best for our kids-and trust me, whether they are 2 years old or ten, they do NOT know what's best for them. That's our job, and it is NOT "easy" to figure out and enforce. If we're not up to the job, fine, admit it, and just don't have kids. Being a parent is not for the faint of heart!
2Sep 14, '11 by irishmama721My son is 8 and is in the 75th percentile for weight (95th for height!). His pediatrician told me he could safely gain up to 10 pounds and still be perfectly fine. I have always believed in "everything in moderation." He gets fast food treats from time to time, or dessert, but he also eats a balanced diet as well. I have never catered to him when it comes to eating; he has to try at least one bite but if he doesn't like it, he just has an empty belly. Too many parents give in to what is easy or what keeps the kids from throwing a fit.
11Sep 14, '11 by JBudd, MSN GuideI told my kids they could have junk food, only if they first gave their bodies good stuff.
Had a fellow in last night, over 500 pounds. Couldn't scan him as he was over the weight limit for our machinery. His obese (and elderly) father, and mom (overweight, not obese) were the biggest enablers I've seen. He doesn't work, and dad described giving him massages for back pain but unable to lately. Leg falls off side of bed, mom has to lift it back up for him. When does love become abuse?
3Sep 14, '11 by sparklie.ladyIt's funny, my PHP and I had the conversation today about my weight and my motivation for fixing it. He pointed out that I should improve it as a good example for my 5 y/o.
If we ate like she did, we'd be the healthiest people on our block. (we also abide by the eat it or go to bed hungry philosophy, except for Wednesday night, when she gets baked chicken nuggets and fries and The Man and I get to eat something a little more exotic that I know she won't touch).
I just wish I could stop all of the binge-eating I do after she goes to bed. She busted me the other morning because I didn't throw away the Ben and jerry's container!
Anyway, it is hard to control the emotional issues behind eating. But, some of us really need to just do it, regardless. Very little about parenting is easy and teaching smart eating shouldn't be any different.
1Sep 14, '11 by palemoonHas anyone heard of the Fat Acceptance Movement? According to its Wikipedia article: "Some in the movement have argued that the health risks of fatness and obesity have been exaggerated or misrepresented, and used as cover for cultural and aesthetic prejudices against fat." They say that "people can be healthy at any size."
I'm all for social justice and reducing prejudice, but to me "healthy at any size," means having normal vital signs, normal cholesterol, normal blood sugars, and a normal amount of body fat versus muscle (the BMI can be unreliable here). Body size be damned if these categories are normal, but those who are overweight/obese seem to have trouble doing this. Not a coincidence. Not exagerrated. Cold fact.
1Sep 14, '11 by HorseshoeI have mixed feelings about the whole obesity is unhealthy thing. I DO know that there are heavy adults who can be healthy. BUT those are people who are heavy in spite of eating what is generally considered to be a healthy diet, are active, and don't engage in unhealthy behaviors such as smoking, alcohol abuse, and sedentary lifestyles. It might surprise you to know that many such individuals exist. Those people ARE the ones who will never be thin without starving themselves, and they have the blood work and other health markers to prove that their large size is genetic AND not necessarily harmful. They are NOT morbidly obese, but definitely overweight, and in SOME cases, due to muscle tissue, weigh in as obese even. Please note that Troy Aikman is categorized as obese due to his weight, even though he is 6' 4" of solid muscle.
HOWEVER, I think that children are naturally thin unless they are engaging in extremely unhealthy behaviors. Most morbidly obese children are eating ungodly amounts of junk food, fast food, sugar, soft drinks, etc., while sitting on the couch never running, playing, or engaging in any exercise whatsoever. They are eating amazing amounts of PROCESSED foods, not whole foods and this a huge distinction. A child should not have to diet-but if they are consuming large amounts of SUGAR, refined carbohydrates, fake foods which have been overprocessed, you will see a fat child who is destined for a lifetime of health problems.