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to be a little wound up, hurt, pissed off and slightly embarrassed by HV'S letter (apologies for the very long thread)

(79 Posts)
Blurry29 Mon 04-Jul-11 14:14:06

Just to give you a little background..

DH and I have 1 DS who will turn 5 next week (eek)

He comes from a happy and stable family background. Has a solid friendship circle and does extremely well at school, although one of the youngest he is one of the brightest (teachers words not mine)

Very chatty, happy and confident. Very rarely poorly ( approx 3 days off in 5 years, I went back to work when he was 14 weeks)

Compliments always received from dentist, teachers, parents and strangers on how happy, friendly, polite and healthy he is.

He sleeps well, has great skin, no problems with toilet area, drinks plently and is generally a bright little boy

I recieved a letter on Sat from the health visitor following tests they did back in Feb. The letter stated that my DS falls into the severly overweight category.

It also stated that children that are overweight are more open to illness ( again DS is never ill) and more open to lack of confedence ( they've obiviously never met DS!!)

The letter went through all his stats etc then in a separate booklet there was areas to improve his lifgestyle:

1. Cut down on fizzt drinks: DS has NEVER (yes never) drank a fizzy drink in his life. He will only drink water or robinsons squash

2. 60 minutes activity a day: DS would be out from 8 am until bedtime if he was given the chance. He is active at school. comes home at 3pm, will be out the front by 315, playing footy, catch or riding bike. He will come in to eat tea and do homework before going back out again. He also plays footy and attends swimming once a week...how can this not be enough???

3. Eat more fruit and veg: I often receive compliments on how much fruit and veg my DS will eat a day, he gets no junk food in packed lunch but can eat a little bit of junk after school ( which DH and I are willing to address)

I could go on and on about the ''advice'' given in this booklet.

DH and I had a very long talk about this letter and both agreed that there are things we could change for the better... less junk after school and smaller portions etc but I still feel incredibly hurt that a letter can be sent out by just results on a page.

I still feel pissed off at DS being put in this group purely on figures from a HV, all the males on both sides of family are tall and broad ( not fat but stocky) and I thought DS was just taking after them.

I feel embarrassed that he is classed as severly overweight

I feel pissed off by the wording of the letter

I feel gutted, I don't want DS to be on a diet but also don't ever want him to be a victim of bullying later in life either

I feel wound up that they have almost judged DS on figures rather than it being on a personal level.

very mixed bag of emotions on this one...any advice would be greatly appreciated

M0naLisa Mon 04-Jul-11 14:16:48

You need to speak to the HV.

M0naLisa Mon 04-Jul-11 14:16:48

You need to speak to the HV.

cookcleanerchaufferetc Mon 04-Jul-11 14:17:09

How tall is your DS and how much does he weigh?

ddubsgirl Mon 04-Jul-11 14:17:55

it goes on the BMI i wouldnt worry too much,our wii fit said my ds2 is overweight yet not an ouch of fat on him,he is very very sporty and has muscles,sounds like you are giving a healthy diet,does he do any sports etc?

FetchezLaVache Mon 04-Jul-11 14:18:48

They have absolutely judged your DS on figures rather than it being on a personal level, but then again I really don't see that there's any other way they could possibly do it- they won't have the resources to take a detailed look at the background, activity levels and eating habits of each child who comes out as overweight on paper. He sounds fit and healthy. Be honest with yourself, is he just a bit sturdy, or is there a potential problem? If the latter, you sound sensible enough to address it; if the former, I wouldn't honestly be losing too much sleep over it.

DooinMeCleanin Mon 04-Jul-11 14:19:44

It's all bollocks based on those stupid, outdated graph things. Put his weight/height into one of those BMI checkers and I bet he'll come up normal. I think NHS Direct has one on their site.

Ignore the letter. I apparently have 1 underweight child and one overweight child hmm. They both walk for approx 5 miles a day with the dogs after school, where they are active and before playing out. They both eat a healthy, varied diet. I refuse to have them weighed now. They look healthy to me, that's all I need to know.

BumWiper Mon 04-Jul-11 14:19:52

Is DS overweight?

ddubsgirl Mon 04-Jul-11 14:20:11

ouch???ounce! doh!

QueenOfFeckingEverything Mon 04-Jul-11 14:20:24

Well, is he obese though?

How tall is he? what does he weigh? What age clothes is he wearing?

Lady1nTheRadiator Mon 04-Jul-11 14:20:33

Are you possibly overreacting? Was the booklet written for you? I assume not?

Do people really compliment you on how much F&V your son eats? That is really bizarre.

GeekCool Mon 04-Jul-11 14:20:33

I agree, if it's on BMI I'm not sure how helpful it is with children. Even some of the weight ranges on adults are quite ridiculous. It's a stock sounding letter.

Blurry29 Mon 04-Jul-11 14:20:57

just short of 4 foot, and he is just short of 4 stone

Don't get me wrong I am aware that this may seem big... however to look at DS he doesn't look HUGE

Broad yes but majorly fat no

Don't know if posting his vitals on here will open him up to critism, just after advice really

I wish I could post a picture of him so people can see what I am talking about

greycircles Mon 04-Jul-11 14:21:05

It sounds like he is fine. I would not change anything in your position UNLESS you think he is eating gigantic portions and his body has no idea when he is full. My DD is like a dustbin - she'll finish the food on her plate and if her brother does not finish, she will ask to eat his food as well. I don't let her do this, because she is already well built (not into overweight category) and I think she might be one off those children who don't really know when they're full.

GeekCool Mon 04-Jul-11 14:21:22

lady1 - we get comments too about DS and his love of fruit.

oohjarWhatsit Mon 04-Jul-11 14:21:36

probably a standard letter generated by the results of the test - dont take that bit personally

but look at him with fresh eyes. If he isnt really Roland style chunky and is happy and healthy, bin the letter and think no more of it

SKYTVADDICT Mon 04-Jul-11 14:22:11

I would be speaking to the HV I think although I am half expecting this when my DS1 starts reception in September. Can't remember what he weighs but in the red book I recently plotted him on the 97th centile for weight but also the 97th centile for height.

Bluebell99 Mon 04-Jul-11 14:22:55

I can understand you being upset but look upon it as an opportunity to change things for the better for your son. I think the thing about his health is actually looking at the long term effects of being overweight on his health in the future (risk of diabetes, heart disease etc) rather than days off school now. My neice started to get overweight when she was about eight, my sister never really tackled it and she is now very overweight as a teen and it has really affected her confidence. Find something he loves to do. My ds loves trampoline, and karate and my dd loves swimming. He sounds like a lovely boy btw.

Blurry29 Mon 04-Jul-11 14:22:56

poeple compliment me on the fruit he eats during school....a lot of parents are diner ladies...

If he has dinner at friends etc they always compliment on the veg he eats etc

Not that bizarre...

yes maybe over reacting which is why i agreed that there are things that we could change............. it just hurt thats all

GeekCool Mon 04-Jul-11 14:24:19

OP I put those figures into the direct gov bmi thing (used a random date of birth) and it said 84th centile of the healthy weight range.

Journey Mon 04-Jul-11 14:25:05

Your post reads as if your DS is perfect and how dare someone say he has an imperfection. Perhaps this is why you haven't noticed his weight issues.

If he is overweight you can do something about it. It doesn't affect your DS's character. I think you're getting overly emotional about the letter.

BumWiper Mon 04-Jul-11 14:25:48

Visualising then yes your DS is overweight.They dont have to be huge to be overweight.I read once that you should be able to see the outline of their ribs.

MiceHaveFeelingsToo Mon 04-Jul-11 14:27:12

I sympathise with you; having your child 'maligned' by anyone is a horrid feeling.

But:
These letters are sent out purely on the basis of the height and weight test which reception and Y6 children are given. Your own child's general health, diet, lifestyle, etc are certainly not being disputed. Only you can say honestly whether he is eating a sensible diet and having enough exercise. You must not worry that the school will be judging you either; the results are confidential to the health service.

The country's obesity issue and growing health problems with the obese mean that we have to do something proactive now. It's relatively simple and cheap to weigh and measure primary school children and dispense advice based purely on the results. Many parents feel that the letters they receive are harsh and unnecessary but you are not obliged to take any notice of them. If these tests meant that just one child every year started eating more healthily and taking more exercise, then it might mean one less medical problem in years to come. And that is a good thing.

The best thing to do would be to take your child to the GP or child clinic if you have one and talk about this letter. Further tests might prove that he is certainly not severely overweight, or maybe there is an undiagnosed medical issue which is making him unusually heavy. But if you are happy with him in all respects then please just ignore the letter and dont worry!

Blurry29 Mon 04-Jul-11 14:27:29

according to the letter his centile is well over 90... not quite sure how it stands but I think I may call the HV and have a one to one chat just incase ....

thank you all x

Lady1nTheRadiator Mon 04-Jul-11 14:27:32

So was the booklet tailored to you? Or are you suggesting that it should have been, maybe the HV could have gone through and crossed out cut down on fizzy drinks, just in your copy of course.

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