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Old Jul 15, '12, 9:33 pm
TigerKitty TigerKitty is offline
Regular Member
Join Date: December 29, 2007
Posts: 573
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: How to help obese 7 year old?

Thank you everyone for your thoughtful input and suggestions. It sounds like some registered dieticians chimed in, and I am grateful for the information.

Truly it is a difficult situation, and there are many factors interwoven. The boy's father works for the county as a counselor for "at risk" children, and I cannot fathom how things have gotten the way they are. If I did call authorities, he would be the authority! Ah, well, it's a long, multifacted backstory.......

I can't wait to have my nephew come and stay with me at my house for a few days. All I need is a reason for him to come visit.

On the plus side, I made some progress with my dad (and I will lay off him). He admitted to me that he also played a role in his weight problem and has vowed to no longer. Also found a good powerpoint presentation on the web (a researcher at Yale), and I'm going to send the link to my dad. I think he'll be open to the information there, now.

I'm going to bring up the subject to my sister that she take him to a specialist. He is a smart, kind boy. He is so sweet to my little toddler girl. I want him to have a healthy and good life.

Thank you, again. Please pray for my nephew and his family.
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Old Jul 17, '12, 6:19 am
twk001 twk001 is offline
Regular Member
Prayer Warrior
Join Date: May 10, 2007
Posts: 723
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: How to help obese 7 year old?

the answer really is pretty simple- the child isn't going to change until the parents change, and they aren't going to change until they're ready. take it from somebody who has 40 lbs to lose...they WILL NOT do it until they're ready. and you can't expect a 7 yr old to follow nutrition and exercise guidelines when he's living under their roof if they aren't following those same guidelines.

i don't mean to sound terrible here, but taking him to doctors, modeling behavior etc is all excellent suggestions...until he goes back home where all the junk food is, where mom probably isn't cooking a 1500 cal menu, and there is no model for him to follow there.

change the parents=help the child.
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Old Jul 17, '12, 11:49 pm
Et Cetera Et Cetera is offline
Regular Member
Join Date: April 26, 2008
Posts: 1,493
Religion: Agnostic
Default Re: How to help obese 7 year old?

Tell your sister that it's abusive to allow her son's health to be in jeopardy. One hundred and ten is ridiculous for a child, and you can rest assured that it is already having negative effects on his health. He'll get bullied, be unable to run around with friends and play sports, his heart will be strained. At least you care enough to take some action. This sounds like a diet and exercise issue, rather than a glandular one. Tell the parents to get him to a dietician and also to improve their own eating habits because the old "do as I say and not as I do" adage doesn't really work. The whole family will need a lifestyle change.
Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.
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Old Jul 18, '12, 8:35 am
knotanes knotanes is offline
Join Date: July 26, 2011
Posts: 723
Default Re: How to help obese 7 year old?

I have four children. Three of them are normal-weight or under-weight. My middle son (about 8) is overweight. He eats the same food as the rest of the kids, is limited on junk food, goes to gymnastics, and runs around like a madman every afternoon with the kids in the neighborhood (jumping on our trampoline, swimming in the neighbor's pool, riding scooters/bikes).

Some people just carry more weight. At one point, my eldest started to tip the scale a little, and then he shot up, seemingly overnight, and has remained very thin, since.

I would recommend to the mom (only if she asked!!!) :

1) Make sure he's getting at least 1-2+ hours of active playtime/exercise every day.
2) Get him involved in sports.
3) Limit sugary drinks, including juice, to 1-2 per day and drink mostly water/decaf tea/unsweetened drinks.
4) Keep fruits and veggie snacks available
5) Eat well-balanced meals (with dessert limited to 1-2 meals in a week)
6) Make sure he's getting enough rest.

If she doesn't ask, I'd invite him along to do active things and try to help him develop a love of activity.

I can tell you though, my middle son gets probably a solid 3+ hours of high intensity exercise every day and he's still "husky" at the moment. And we do all 6 of the things I listed above. Our doctor isn't worried, because he knows he's very active. He may be 95th percentile for weight, but he's also 95th percentile for height.

Try not to judge, some kids/people are naturally chubby, and some kids just have this as part of their growth pattern.

Our insurance company sends us letters telling us how to eat healthy and get our son to lose weight. My eldest saw that and said, "You'd think they could look at the rest of us (kids) and know we don't have a problem with that!"

And the doctor, whom I've asked many times, isn't worried either.

Again, there are a lot of body types out there. More important than looks are healthy habits including good diet and exercise
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Old Jul 18, '12, 9:07 am
knotanes knotanes is offline
Join Date: July 26, 2011
Posts: 723
Default Re: How to help obese 7 year old?

I want to add:

2 year old son 2'9" and 27#, ~5yr Old is 3'11" and 47#, ~8 yr old son is 4'9" 96#, 12 year old son 5'5" 115#

My older boy got a bit chubby (despite sports, swimming, gymnastics, etc) between the ages of 9-11. Prior to now, my middle guy and my eldest have had a really similar growth pattern. I expect within the next few years he will "thin out" again. The main thing we're focusing on is keeping healthy diet/habits. If that doesn't work, we'll try something else, but I've seen it before.

I really do take issue with people who feel all heavier children are "abused"

If Mom & Dad are feeding the child a steady diet of hohos and twinkies and plopping them in front of video games all the time, yes. But that's not the case for every child that's carrying some extra weight. This really is something between the parents and the child's doctor.


I also wanted to add, we only have one measure of health for the child, weight. Not height and not healthy history and other metrics. My son sometimes (usually when there's a pollution advisory) has trouble when running, but he also has asthma that's gotten pretty bad. We're getting it back under control, which is helping him a lot. Other times, he can run like crazy and not be winded at all.

Lots of things factor into a child's health. We need to be kinder to other parents and not assume they are neglecting their child's needs.
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