Middle School Diets

  1. Today I had a 12 year old come into my office with a headache and stomach ache. No fever, no vomiting, no diarrhea. She asked to just rest for 15 minutes. When I asked if she gets headaches frequently at home she said "No but I just started a new lifestyle diet called Keto last week and now I have the Keto flu so I get a lot of headaches." I let her rest for a little bit and return to class. She says her parents know. I feel very uncomfortable. I'm not sure if my thinking is clear because all I can think of is my older sister who has spent the past 15 years struggling with eating disorders. I worry for this young girl starting an extreme diet and what her future relationship with food will be like. I'm all for kids eating healthy, skipping junk food and choosing fruits or vegetables instead, but I'm worried about a 12 year old starting a fad diet. I'll probably discuss with our school counselor later today, but what would you have done or what have you done when someone so young tells you they're on a potentially damaging diet?
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    About BiscuitRN, BSN, RN

    Joined: Dec '17; Posts: 208; Likes: 793

    13 Comments

  3. by   MHDNURSE
    That is so hard. I would do as you are doing- talk to guidance counselor and also give a call to her parents. Maybe she is saying they know but they do not actually know.
  4. by   LikeTheDeadSea
    I think a call home is definitely warranted. More so to encourage discussion with pediatrician and/or a registered dietitian if weight is a concern.
  5. by   Farawyn
    Call home. Without hesitation. There is no "Keto Flu." This is internet carp.
    The parents may be supporting it, don't be surprised if they are.
  6. by   JenTheSchoolRN
    Quote from Farawyn
    Call home. Without hesitation. There is no "Keto Flu." This is internet carp.
    The parents may be supporting it, don't be surprised if they are.
    Yep. I've had parents support fad diets and believe the myths.

    But on the flip side, I actually once had a student that was complaining of severe dizziness. She was overweight and then tells me she started a diet, which was basically she had stopping eating except for a very small amount at dinner. She was taking in maybe 200 calories a day! Her mom had NO idea (thought she was eating breakfast and lunch at school as usual) and I set her up with juice and crackers, which she wolfed down. She and I talked about healthy food choices and mom ended up getting a nutritionist appointment for student.

    The cause? Student read her physical where doctor had diagnosed her with obesity, yet told her nothing but that - her understanding - it was very bad and that she needed to lose a lot of weight, but didn't actually plan what that might look like in a healthy way.
  7. by   Flare
    Definitely, call home. The child should ideally have a chit chat with her primary to discuss healthy eating habits or even a nutritionist. Our local supermarket has a nutritionist on site who will gladly make appointments to speak with customers about food choices and diets. I even had her scheduled to come in fer an assembly once until we were snowed out. Perhaps there is a similar resource in your area. Even if there isn't a grocery store nutritionist, there may be one in the area who may be willing to come in and do an assembly aimed at your target age group.
  8. by   hurricanekat
    Keto flu sort of exists... when you cut out all sugars your body goes into shock just like caffeine withdrawal. There are symptoms that one experiences when entering a ketogenic state especially if you have been on a crap-food diet up to that point. In my opinion, NO child (or adult for that matter) should be on a keto diet unless medically supervised. I have extreme feelings about the keto diet and I hate it for everyone (including me). First of all let me preface this by saying that 1) I follow a keto diet and have for nearly 5 years now and 2) I am medically supervised by a PhD who specializes in keto as well as my Neurologist and I do this for medical reasons that do not include losing weight. I meet with my PhD weekly and neurologist at least quarterly. I don't want mashed potatoes for brains or bones as I age and I'm doing everything I can to prevent that.

    Before you attempt to speak with the parents - educate yourself so that you can reply to their misinformation with factual information. Personally I feel that the Charlie Foundation (Mayo Clinic) will provide you with the best source of information at this particular moment. They have recently updated their website to address what seems to be the general masses. I think they caved because previously they would only address children that needed care for seizures. Regardless - their site has appropriate information for your situation and will provide you with a solid foundation to speak to the parents.
    What is a Ketogenic Diet? Keto Diet Facts, Research, and Variations

    Keto flu isn't really a word that a kid is just going to throw around. That sounds like she is regurgitating something mom planted in her head. Its also a word from the garbage resources out there. Reputable sources do not refer to keto flu but will instead warn of the actual symptoms you may encounter.

    Also - laws of physics still apply. You cannot eat as much as you want because ultimately calories do matter. Science always wins. Anyone who does keto typically gains all the weight plus some back - because they don't learn to eat like they should forever. Keto is difficult to sustain longterm.
  9. by   Amethya
    My kids here don't eat because they hate the food here, but most of the time they eat junk food. Help me.
  10. by   AdobeRN
    Quote from Amethya
    My kids here don't eat because they hate the food here, but most of the time they eat junk food. Help me.
    Off topic Re: Junk food - I remember my high school days - a can of Pepsi and a bag of Munchos chips from the campus vending machine was my daily go-to lunch.
  11. by   JenTheSchoolRN
    Quote from AdobeRN
    Off topic Re: Junk food - I remember my high school days - a can of Pepsi and a bag of Munchos chips from the campus vending machine was my daily go-to lunch.
    A variation of this is still the go-to lunch in MS and HS.

    My school is next to Dunkin Donuts. So many kids have a Coolatta for breakfast. I LOVE sweet things, but I can barely finish a small Coolatta as a treat every once in a while, never mind a large one DAILY.
  12. by   Flare
    Quote from AdobeRN
    Off topic Re: Junk food - I remember my high school days - a can of Pepsi and a bag of Munchos chips from the campus vending machine was my daily go-to lunch.
    mmmm... munchos! now that brings back some memories! Do they still make those?
  13. by   AdobeRN
    Quote from Flare
    mmmm... munchos! now that brings back some memories! Do they still make those?
    LOL...yes - Our corner store gas station sells them. Gah....wouldn't be able to eat them now.
  14. by   BunnyBunnyBSNRN
    Hey, Biscut!

    Did ya call the parent? What was the outcome?
    ('cuz I know you have nothing better to do!)

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