To think it's awful the way some people try to justify their children being overweight

(252 Posts)
Tulahoob Tue 19-Feb-13 10:55:58

by saying they just "are tall and big boned" or that they "like their food". And by thinking it's almost a good thing that they're big!

I know two people with overweight children. Person 1 has 4 extremely overweight children. The parents are both tall and overweight, and the kids are all fairly tall, but the mum justifies them being big by saying 'They're just tall and they like their food'. It's clear they like their food, but they're not giants, and regardless of height they are all very overweight. The mum is almost proud of the fact that her children never stop eating. It's quite odd really; she's setting them up for a lifetime of having the piss taken out of them and a lifetime of bad eating habits and potentially bad health. Her eldest child even came came out as overweight on those weight/height ratio tests they do in reception year and she was proud of it because it meant he is tall and loves his food.

Person 2 has one son, who is again extremely overweight and is getting called names at school such as "Fatty". He is 7. She is up in arms about the mickey taking but insists he isn't fat, but that he just loves his food. Again, she is setting him up for the same problems that person one is setting their kids up for.

I know we are all blinkered where our kids are concerned. But surely over something like this some people can see that their children really are overweight?

fuzzpig Fri 22-Feb-13 21:12:06

Thanks for the links TSC. Will study it at length later, and show DH. He gives the DCs portions that are too big. I don't blame him as he was an abused and neglected child and was often starving. It's not hard to see why he associates food with love when he was deprived of both.

OTOH I think although we both have issues with food (I am a comfort/boredom eater) and we don't provide the healthiest diet due to too many snacks, I am fairly confident that at least the attitude we show the DCs is quite relaxed IYSWIM so hopefully we aren't making the DCs anxious about food. DD (5) has started saying things about certain foods being bad or good - from school I guess - and we have tried to encourage balance and moderation. However as I said we do need to provide healthier food overall. It's hard ATM as we are both unwell and struggling generally so I just want to make gradual changes.

Thoroughly agree with the not finishing your plate thing. I only started learning to leave food on my plate in the last few years - I'm 26! It really started in my second pregnancy - whopper DS who I mentioned upthread took up so much room in utero that I could barely eat towards the end. Since then I've started to confront the psychological feelings about leaving food and can now easily leave something that I don't have room for.

I tell myself that even though it seems a waste to leave food, it is just as much of a waste if I eat it and then regret it/feel too stuffed!

That's an interesting point curry remember that experiment they did with a journalist swapping her regular food for diet food? She gained three pounds as it didn't fill her up, give her the energy to go about her usual active life and she ate more as a result of seeking the satisfaction missing from the taste.

curryeater Fri 22-Feb-13 16:20:20

Kungfu, reduced fat anything becomes defacto high carb. If a person's body needs fat, they will find themselves hungrier eating this, and over time, eating more. I don't think everyone is the same, I think some people do fine on a low fat diet. for some it's just ballast, they feel hungry all the time, they eat, they put on weight.

DeafLeopard Fri 22-Feb-13 16:02:03

Like a previous poster I have DS who is prone to put on weight and DD that is underweight. DS is always hungry. They are fed a healthy diet - I cook from scratch and they get plenty of fruit and veg in their diet, they don't have fizzy drinks, they do regular sports etc.

Whilst I want to encourage them to have a healthy lifestyle, I am also aware that if I make too big a deal out of DS' weight, I will be setting him up to a life time of body issues.

LineRunner Fri 22-Feb-13 15:04:36

Just going back to the OP's actual original post - the OP uses the expression 'like/love their food' five times in a pretty negative way just in the one post.

It's easy to see why food is an emotional thing, even for the OP, even for all of us.

countrykitten Fri 22-Feb-13 15:02:27

Lots of people on here listing absolutely HUGE amounts of food that they feed their dcs on a daily basis. Amazed.

I live in Canada and the portions are HUGE. However, I live in a thin bit of Canada and here everyone gets half their dinner boxed up to take with them. No waste and 2-3 meals out of one. I love it. Why don't we do it more in the UK?

Kungfutea Fri 22-Feb-13 14:24:41

Why is reduced fat dairy carby bulk? I don't get it.

Thumbwitch Fri 22-Feb-13 13:58:35

And semi-skimmed milk is nearly always 2% fat, not 1% - so if you're using 1% fat milk, then that's not semi-skimmed and is even less suitable for growing children.

curryeater Fri 22-Feb-13 13:48:09

Yes Toby, but an 8oz steak, uncooked, to buy is still twice the size of the one I want to eat.

Semi skimmed milk might be ok according to the NHS, but IF you have a child who is prone to eating a lot AND prone to putting on weight, it MIGHT be the right thing to do to make sure all their food is as high as it can be in nutrients, including fat, and therefore leave out the stuff that is carby bulk, ie fat reduced dairy, to see if this decreases their appetite

MajaBiene Fri 22-Feb-13 13:30:18

Semi-skimmed milk is fine from 2 according to the NHS.

Thumbwitch Fri 22-Feb-13 13:23:59

Kungfu, I expect they can have low fat food from 2 onwards, but they're still growing! Still making new cells, hormones (derived from cholesterol). Unless they have a specific fat-related health problem, then there's no real reason for children to have low fat food.

Curry - Tobes is right - but you're right too, I've never seen a 4oz steak anywhere outside of a burger joint.

Fillyjonk75 Fri 22-Feb-13 13:15:30

My just 4 year old is in 5-6 clothes, but that's because she's the height of a 5-6 year old, she is the right weight for her height though.

I have a lot of sympathy for parents who can't control their weight and their habits get passed on to their children. I also think a lot of people become overweight or obese after they have children due to the lifestyle change. I am slightly overweight but love exercise, and have suffered stress and depression. DDs aren't overweight, but if someone relatively fortunate like me can mess up my diet, I can easily understand and empathise with others with more severe issues.

Kungfutea Fri 22-Feb-13 13:10:21

That's absolutely true for processed foods but not for lower fat milk and cheeses.

forevergreek Fri 22-Feb-13 13:06:23

The problem with low fat is its usually high on sugar to compensate

TobyLerone Fri 22-Feb-13 13:01:44

Steak is sold in restaurants as uncooked weight. Same as burgers. If you grill an 8oz steak and then weigh it, it'll weigh less than 8oz.

curryeater Fri 22-Feb-13 12:56:36

Yes Thumbwitch but an 8oz steak is half a pound! I have never seen a 4oz steak on a menu anywhere, which is the sort of thing I would cook for me at home. It doesn't matter if you can share, but dp is veggie.

Kungfutea Fri 22-Feb-13 12:36:42

Well, now I'm completely confused! She's not on a low fat diet per se (lots of fats in peanut butter and salad had olive oil on it and I make bread with ground flax seeds added) but we do tend to buy low fat dairy for the whole family. Do you think I should be buying full fat? I thought from about 2 kids can have low fat dairy.

Thumbwitch Fri 22-Feb-13 12:08:00

Used to be that you could order 6oz steaks, 8oz steaks or 12oz steaks iirc. Can't remember where though! But that seemed fairly normal back in my day (25 or so years ago, I guess - eep!)

I also wish that you could order sized portions, regardless of age. I hate waste, especially expensive waste - but the size of some meals out is ridiculous, so it can hardly be avoided! Australia seems to be following in the American pattern of massive portions, which is probably why there are so many obese people here too (I think it's even more than in the UK!) - that and the huge prevalence of drive-through junk fast food places.

DS1 doesn't have child meals in restaurants - I usually get him a starter from the main menu. Can't be doing with serving him processed crap (which is what it usually is) while we have decent food (DS2 will get the same when he's old enough to eat food)

curryeater Fri 22-Feb-13 11:59:44

Having read fedup's post, I think all restaurants should stop doing standard or aged servings altogether, so whatever your age you can order a tiny, medium, large or x-large pizza; or my personal thing, I would love it if you could order a small fillet steak. When I buy it to cook for myself I only get a tiny piece as it is so yummy and filling, and I would love to have it out as a treat, but never order it because the menu always boasts that it is HUGE and comes with a million chips.

DS1, (8) is tall for his age and slim (you can see his ribs). He is very active and can eat an adult portion of pasta (100g uncooked weight) or a pizza express adult pizza. This is more than I can eat (average height, size 10), but he seems to need it.

Where we seem to differ from a lot of others, is that snacks here are a rarity. Perhaps after football they might have a cereal bar or a banana, but generally it is 3 square meals a day, and that's the lot! Puddings are one of: yoghurt, fruit, toast, jelly, occasionally ice cream. They usually have something, but are more "savoury" minded. DS has never asked for a pud at PE after his pizza for eg.

curryeater Fri 22-Feb-13 11:49:18

Just to pick up on something - the link that TheSecondComing posted (thanks!) mentioned dessert as something that should only be served in single helpings. So if the booklet says elsewhere that food should not be limited, they are not suggesting that you allow the child to choose what to eat - I understand that to mean that you only offer a single serving of pudding but you don't offer nothing at all if the child is hungry (which is what everyone on where already knows, just saying for clarity because there is some confusion with people saying "you can't not limit because left to his own devices my child would eat junk all day")

I think that is the first time that I have actually seen serving sizes anywhere and it does tie in with my experience of small children. I think we should see more stuff about serving sizes because the focus on what sort of food to offer is pointless.
In pizza express (and I know that is eating out and that is different, but still), I cannot see how any child who is not almost a teenager could eat the meal deal: starter plus pizza or pasta (not that small) plus drink plus pudding. If I were to try to split that between two children we would still throw most of it away. When that is presented as the norm it is not surprising that parents encourage their kids to "eat up".

Thumbwitch Fri 22-Feb-13 10:47:32

I totally agree with Horizon - kungfu you don't need to be giving your 6yo low fat stuff! They need that fat for growth - cell membranes and nerve structures are made from fatty acids, they're important in a child's diet. Plus they help to increase satiety, and slow the absorption of carbs.

HorizonFocus Fri 22-Feb-13 08:13:42

kungfu It may seem counterintuitive, but I wonder if full fat foods would help fill your DD up more (e.g. with the cocoa, make with full fat milk and no sugar - that's what I have).

Sounds like you are doing brilliantly with balance otherwise - salmon and salad - nice work!

nooka Fri 22-Feb-13 04:44:02

I have two tall thin children who eat a lot. Mostly I suspect this is because they have tall, (relatively) thin parents who eat a lot. ds verges on being underweight. He is really very thin with very little body fat. He is also a bit of a couch potato but he is naturally very active (finds it hard to keep still and fiddles and jiggles all the time). His best buddy is really quite overweight, but is the sportiest child I know with serious activities going on every day. His parents are also active but over weight.

Although calories + activity has consistently been shown to be the determinants of weight genetics clearly play a part too. However just as it's easy not to accurately measure what you consume it is incredibly easy to be far more sedentary than you think too.

Oh and my dd has always been on a relatively high centile for her weight, and pretty much off the chart for height. It's the combination of the two that calculates BMI. dd has never come up overweight although she is heavier than many of her contemporaries, being tall can't be used to discount an overweight BMI as it is a key input.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now