To think health visitors have a large part to play in obesity in the uk

(133 Posts)
Superchop Sun 31-Aug-14 11:14:10

Yes I'm being unreasonable to do another health visitor thread
Yes I'm being unreasonable to group health visitors altogether I'm sure there are lovely proactive health visitors.
But...

I would argue there is a ridiculous emphasis on weight gains and loss for babies which causes mothers and fathers to obsess over milk and food intake. I think this pressure and concern from health visitors along with the graphs and centiles leads to over feeding and parents losing their basic instincts and common sense. I.e does my child look like they are healthy/ are they happy the majority of the time.

I'm willing to be told I am being unreasonable. I am not trying to be judgemental to those who use health visitors I personally ignored them and dc has only been weighed by the doctors and midwives at the check ups.
Interested to hear others opinions

MyFairyKing Sun 31-Aug-14 11:16:44

YABU, the obesity problem is far larger than this.

Snog Sun 31-Aug-14 11:18:17

Mine was lovely and weighed at least 20 stone

ArsenicyOldFace Sun 31-Aug-14 11:19:33

YABU, the obesity problem is far larger than this.

Ba-dom-tish grin

OP your thread title reads.... oddly. As though you want HVs to promote obesity. Or is just me? smile

If you ignored them then you're not really in a position to judge them. I don't think there is an obsession with feeding and charts, especially not beyond the first few weeks. It is such a short period of time I really can't see how it leads to a lifetime of obesity.

itiswhatitiswhatitis Sun 31-Aug-14 11:20:09

Yabu, I don't think there is that much obsession with HV's and charts and newborn milk intake has nothing to do with shovelling junk food and over sized portions down toddlers and children's necks.

I hate this culture of let's blame everyone else and take no responsibility as parents. A lot of people are uneducated about food but as adults we can choose to educate ourselves or plod along in ignorance.

MissBattleaxe Sun 31-Aug-14 11:21:52

YABU. Whilst you make a reasonable point, the Health Visitors are not autonomous and this comes from above them, so it's not actually their fault, but probably the fault of an NHS directive.

One idea that I have about obesity, and it may seem small and petty, is that there should be an abundance of attractive parks and play equipment for all ages. I know, I know, pipe dreams and all that, but if you make exercise something tempting that doesn't look like hard work, then a lot of calories get burned and moving becomes a habit.

When my youngest was 3 months old I started him on baby porridge in the mornings, he was a very hungry baby and more than ready for it. I mentioned this to my health visitor and she was absolutely shocked, said I was going to kill my son feeding him stuff like that at that age (the weaning rules to not wean before 4/6 months came in to effect just before he was born). I told her she was crazy, that I wasn't going to kill him and to get out the house because she was scaring my dd with her raised voice. She called the police social services on me, saying that i was putting my sons life at risk. they came out two hours later and listened to my side of the story.

I told them a) she was talking crap because my dd had been weaned at 3 months and was perfectly healthy, I had been weaned at 3 months and clearly wasn't dead, same as the rest of my siblings. B) she had raised her voice and made my daughter cry and I had found her intimidating and threatening. C) I did not want her back in my house.

The social worker and police man both said that there was nothing wrong with what I was doing, the social worker told me that he would probably enjoy shepherds pie (mince n mash for those who think it includes pastry) and to just not tell the health visitor what I was feeding him from then on. She gave me a booklet about child weaning and suitable foods, told me that ds and dd both looked very healthy and congratulated me on knowing what was best for my ds.

So yep, I completely agree that SOME health visitors are totally crap and cause bad food ideals and don't have a friggen clue what they're talking about. But I also think that some parents are to blame too if they feed their children nothing but crap and boycott anything remotely healthy.

divingoffthebalcony Sun 31-Aug-14 11:24:20

Nope, sorry, that's a ridiculous thing to say.

In my experience, there isn't a massive emphasis on babies gaining weight as far as HVs are concerned. No one HAS to take their baby to be weighed, as long as there are no concerns about a baby failing to thrive. HVs plot the weight on the centile chart because, frankly, they have sod all else to do during baby clinic.

People in this country are obese because they eat too much of the wrong thing and don't exercise. Children are obese because they are given too much of the wrong thing and don't get enough exercise. I can't imagine a single scenario where a parent would overfeed a child throughout their life because a HV frightened them so much at baby clinic they became obsessed with weight gain. That just would not happen.

ArsenicyOldFace Sun 31-Aug-14 11:24:25

I'm starting to feel so sorry for the HVs (never thought I'd say that)

What do you want them to do instead OP? How would you like it to work?

MarkWrightsLonelyBraincell Sun 31-Aug-14 11:26:51

Are HVs the new punchbag on here at the moment?
Nurses have had their recent turn of being bashed, teachers too - though that will start up again now it's September, GP receptionists etc etc. the NHS/public sector bashing is tedious.

I like that the people who complain about HVs the most are the ones who loudly proclaim that they didn't actually engage with them and ignored them. I understand people have had bad experiences and are more inclined to share those than the positives.
If you don't need the service, fine. But quite a few families benefit from and value the role of their HV.

No I don't think they are the cause of nationwide obesity. Yes I am an NHS employee, lazy feckless biscuit muncher that I am. smile

MarkWrightsLonelyBraincell Sun 31-Aug-14 11:29:10

Haha Pretty good one. grin hmm

fatlazymummy Sun 31-Aug-14 11:32:12

There always was an obsession with weight gain. I was encouraged to take my baby to be weighed every week. Actually I think things used to be worse - chubby babies were seen as the ideal.
There is more obesity nowadays because there is more food easily available, of a variety that people enjoy eating. And people use less energy in their daily lives. Less walking, less carrying heavy bags of shopping, less scrubbing of floors, handwashing clothes. For children - less PE and swimming, less skipping, playing rounders or french cricket in the streets etc etc.
People who are older (like myself) can see this quite easily. Life has changed and obesity is one of the side effects.

allisgood1 Sun 31-Aug-14 11:34:03

YANBU. this is the exact reason I avoid them. First I was over feeding dd at a week old then a month later I was under feeding and better top up with formula shockconfused Nothing wrong with dd by the way, she's still tall and thin at age 5. If I ever have concerns about my kids I will bypass HV and go straight to gp or pead.

I like that the people who complain about HVs the most are the ones who loudly proclaim that they didn't actually engage with them and ignored them.

I don't loudly proclaim that I don't engage with them and ignore them, I still currently have a (different now) HV even though my children are no longer babies. She helps a lot in regards to my MH and I think she is an amazing woman, she single handedly fought tooth and nail to get me the help that I needed when no one else would listen. She supported me through the darkest time of my life and thanks to her my life is so much better and there is actually light in it now, something I didn't think would be possible when she first started working with me. I've nothing but praise for her and many other NHS and ss workers, and yes I do think they get the short straw way too much and it isn't fair on them. Many of them are amazing people.

But unfortunately I also think that there are some HVs and other medical professionals who talk through their arse and give bad advice

MissDuke Sun 31-Aug-14 11:34:35

Pretty pictures, I am not entirely convinced that is the whole story! The police came because you fed your baby porridge? Really? Are you sure it isn't because you were aggressive towards the hv?

Health visitors are vulnerable, going into people's homes, trying to do their job with people like you saying you know better than the years of extensive research carried out by experts. Hmmm.

Find something funny mark?

I don't think I was being aggressive, though it's possible that she felt I was when I stood up and told her to get out. But to be fair she was upsetting my dd and me, plus exhaustion and depression did make me overreact to a lot of things back then

ScarlettlovesRhett Sun 31-Aug-14 11:39:06

Is this "obesity crisis day" again on mn.

This is the umpteenth thread about it, it is boring.

Fanfeckintastic Sun 31-Aug-14 11:40:40

I would have thought weaning at 3 months would be absurd!

What's absurd about it? When I was a baby weaning at three months was normal and encouraged, there's nothing wrong with me now and my children are healthy and happy too. They got baby porridge for breakfast once a day and then at four months got baby porridge for breakfast and half a mashed banana around lunch time, all the while still being bf. They were never sick with it and never had any problems with it.

MarkWrightsLonelyBraincell Sun 31-Aug-14 11:45:59

The mince n mash just over egged it for me.

Snort at '*obesity crisis day*'. grin

WorraLiberty Sun 31-Aug-14 11:46:08

I weaned my eldest (now 22yrs old) on the advice of my HV.

WRT the obesity crisis, I think it's far more to do with over eating and not getting enough exercise.

When I was a kid, staying indoors was boring because we only had one TV with 3 channels on it...and no computers etc so we were always outdoors.

Unless you're assuming that once I started weaning they stopped being bf? Cause my daughter was bf until 18 months and my son until 9 months (when he started biting so much it became impossible to continue to feed him that way so was switched onto formula)

WorraLiberty Sun 31-Aug-14 11:46:41

Sorry, I meant I weaned him at 3 months.

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