Weight loss center calls my child

Nurses General Nursing


A certain weight loss - fitness center called my teenager last night. They told her that she had been referred to "lose 10 pounds" and would she be interested in their program. My child is very athletic, and not overweight. I called the center and they told me that she was referred by a client, they do not know who. I asked them if it wouldn't be more appropriate to call and ask if any adults in the house would be interested in their services. They told me that they do not make a distinction between adults and minors when they call. They didn't see a problem.

So many teenagers have eating disorders in this country. I understand that they need to drum up business, but wouldn't it have been better to offer a fitness program and not tell her that she has been referred to lose ten pounds? What do you think? Last night she asked me "Do you think I am fat mom?. I told her I think she's perfect. And to tell you the truth I would still think she was perfect if she was 10 pounds overweight. She only picked at her dinner last night, and skipped breakfast this morning. "I'm not hungry" she said.

Thanks for letting me vent. I love this bb and the people on it.


1,961 Posts

Wow. Interesting.

Coming from my own experiences with eating disorders, I do think that this practice is wrong. Others might not think it's a big deal. But I will say, it is one comment from one person that plants the first seed of insecurity.

I would raise a stink and make the club be more responsible for having the person that does the referring make sure that the people they are referring aren't minors. I mean, it's only to their advantage. Would she be able to come and sign up for the club as a minor? Even if she did, aren't there laws making contracts signed by minors void? I would just think it would be in their interest to eliminate minors from their solicitations.

Good luck to you, I would persue this matter if it were me. But then again, that's probably just because I feel so passionately about the matter.


PennyLane, RN

1,193 Posts

That is upsetting to hear. I wonder who told the fitness center that it was 10 lbs that she supposedly needed to lose. I would certainly write a strongly-worded letter to the owner/manager of the club.

If your daughter is already athletic and active, why would she need to lose weight anyway?

sanakruz, ADN

735 Posts

What magazines does she subscribe to?

I'll bet $$$ to donuts her name was taken from a marketing list and not a real person at all.

I would be strident in telling that particular club you will not patronize them because of their marketing policies.

We have had 3 young female clients hospitalized at Stamford in the last year for serious cardiac arrythymias due to eating disorder(s)


814 Posts

Thanks Heather and Mel D for your responses. Some of my daughters' friends are size 2 and size 0. These kids are in high school so they have already reached puberty. I think they are very thin. She has commented in the past that she would like to be as thin as they are. I told her that being that thin is not normal for her. As for how she was referred, they would not say when I made my call. The manager acted like she did not want to be bothered. I requested to be put on a no call list. And Heather, I am sorry that you have suffered through an eating disorder. I do not want her to go through that type of pain. I hope all is well with you now. Your posts are very insightful and fun to read.

I think that is wrong! Minor or not. I know many adults who's self esteem would suffer from something like that! Sheesh!


391 Posts

Geez, that would hurt my feelings even though I could stand to lose 10 :(

No one needs to be calling your home telling anyone they need to lose weight! Especially not to tell a teen someone referred them to her. Very poor judgement on their part and if that's what they need to do to get new members, their business must stink.


814 Posts

oops, thanks sanacruz too.


1,326 Posts

I would certainly raise a stink about this. Either by writing a nasty letter or trying to contact the manager/owner, or even better - by writing a letter to the editor of the local newpaper. (I'm big on that).

First, NO ONE should be contacting a minor for ANYTYHING. I don't care if it's weight loss, make-up, whatever. They are a child and there are a lot of weirdos out there and they have no business calling a child especially when they don't know the person.

Second, what this weight loss center did was irresponsible. (Refer to the first point). I wouldn't doubt that Santa Cruz is right on about her name and number being sold for marketing purposes. Especially if they couldn't even tell you who the "refering" party is.

I would give them Heck if it was my child or little sister. It is wrong and needs to be stopped.


184 Posts

My first thought is some other (may be jealous) teen submitted their name to be mean :(

No matter i would be totally PO'd and would write a nice little letter to the editor about their practices - just like you said here about too many teenagers have eating disorders in this country. (SIL did something like that and got through to them!)


2,099 Posts

Specializes in Corrections, Psych, Med-Surg.

If your state has a consumers' affairs department, I would certainly get in touch with them. If not, I would certainly get in touch with your local state legislator. This smells strongly of "unlawful business practices."


772 Posts

l think it would be worth a few bucks to hire an attorney to write them a letter and scare the bejeeebers out of them....if this happened to me..that is what l would do....l believe they are liable if a minor aquires an eating disorder because of this practice......and as l see it, it poses a major risk.....please persue this...l think it is a disgusting buisness practice!....LR

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