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to think these children ARE overweight?

(479 Posts)
OkMaybeNot Tue 12-Jun-18 16:00:56

The schools in my area have just sent out the results of the National Child Measurement Programme.

There are a number of acquaintances/friends on my social media who have posted their child's result online, along with a picture of their child and an angry rant about how their child is as skinny as a rake, not an ounce of fat on them, 'stocky' not 'fat', perfectly healthy etc etc.

But they are. Some of them are very overweight and plainly so. Others may be a little bit chubby and due for a growth spurt or something, but clearly not slim, either.

There are streams of comments underneath these posts agreeing and expressing their disgust and anger. And I'm wondering if everyone's lying, or they genuinely believe that these children are slim?


I know BMI is notoriously squiffy when it comes to kids, and I have seen genuine cases of it being so totally wrong it's laughable, especially when it comes to strong, athletic children. But that isn't the case for these children, at all.

AIBU to think that you owe it to your child to at least consider the results before going on the defensive?

ChameleonsInCarsGettingCoffee Tue 12-Jun-18 16:04:13

My child is overweight. I know he is. He was probably obese 6 months ago, but we've made efforts to keep his weight stable as he grows taller. I can see his tummy and his chubby cheeks. I don't know why other parents can't see it in their own children.


BalloonSlayer Tue 12-Jun-18 16:05:36

They probably will take it in and are just lashing out in a protective "how dare anyone insult my beautiful baby" kind of way. I know their DC won't know that they have been graded as overweight, but the parents must be feeling sad and want reassurance that their DC won't get called fay by others.

meditrina Tue 12-Jun-18 16:06:58

I don't think people are very good at assessing weight just by looking.

And yes, in a national measurement programme that has been running since the 1940s under various names, there will be DC who are only temporarily out of kilter in terms of weight height ratio. That's why a normal population does indeed have some percentage in the underweight and overweight categories.

It's not meant to be a definitive answer on whether a particular child is healthy, just an indication of how large they are compared to the population. BMI is a screening tool, not a diagnostic one.

Gretol Tue 12-Jun-18 16:07:00

Why on earth would they put pics online and discuss it? Poor kids.

ParentInCharge Tue 12-Jun-18 16:07:25

They're often the children who's parents say "they're really healthy eaters! Hardly every touch treats" while the kids are munching through a packet of crisps before they even line up to go into school in the morning.

However, I have seen some children who are most definitely not overweight being sent home with the letter from school saying that they are. It made no sense whatsoever and their parents were quite rightly up in arms about it.

JuicySwan Tue 12-Jun-18 16:08:31

Dunno..... sometimes it’s hard to be objective when you live with them and see them every day.

My 16yo DS lost about 4 stone last year and before that yes, I was aware he was overweight but if you’d asked me how much he needed to lose I’d probably have guessed at a stone or so.

MarthaArthur Tue 12-Jun-18 16:08:35

Yanbu at all op. I used to work as an agency ta in schools across the north west and so many kids are overweight now but their parents will tell you they arent. One woman even pushed her kid in a pushchair to nd from school and claimed he never ate sweets or unhealthy foods. They went on a tv show to "prove" he wasnt obese and dispite being under the hospital they filmed him. She wouldnt give him a tiny slither of cake from a classmates birthday as its unhealthy but then she would give him loads of weetabix and milk and then a massive dinner that even a grown man would struggle with.

FissionChips Tue 12-Jun-18 16:09:15

YANBU, a parent I know was shocked an upset to learn that her child is overweight, he has rolls of fat and moobs, how did she not know?confused
She is taking positive action now but it took her a while to get over the shock and defensiveness.

BillywigSting Tue 12-Jun-18 16:10:21


There are children in ds's class who are plainly carrying more than just a bit of puppy fat.

They come out of school and are immediately handed full sized chocolate bars or share bags of sweets whether they say they are hungry or not.

They have pot bellies and are already struggling to run. They are four years old. It's a bit tragic really.

Itchyknees Tue 12-Jun-18 16:10:33

I truly think some parents are deluded. My brother was so fat he had breasts and a double chin at 8. We found some old school photos recently and my mum said “gosh he’s massive, and yet I couldn’t see that at the time.”

Naty1 Tue 12-Jun-18 16:13:28

I think the height measurements are not too accurate. At 4 being measured at hospital my dd was down to 25th percentile for height so like 4cm shorter. I could see her feet werent to the back.

It's a balance my 3yo is still quite chubby. But it's actually true she doesnt have much (of anything) but will eat a lot of fruit.

ChameleonsInCarsGettingCoffee Tue 12-Jun-18 16:15:23

They come out of school and are immediately handed full sized chocolate bars

...and that describes my husband's childhood. He was massive all the way through school, topping 20st in university.

His mum swears he was only a stone or so overweight (he's not 7 foot tall, so no MIL, wrong). She also can't see that her grandson is overweight and tries to feed him like it's a conveyor belt. Meal with pudding, then offered a snack within 10 minutes of finishing that, then another snack 20 minutes later. She just doesn't see the problem with either the volume of food or the weight of the child infront of her.

BalloonFlowers Tue 12-Jun-18 16:16:12

But on the other hand my average (varies between 25 and 50th centiles) child is called tiny, and we struggle to find trousers that dont fall straight off him. Wearing shorts 3 years below his actual age (smaller ones are too short!)
So the kids at the lower end of overweight probably dont look much bigger than their peer group, and fit the clothes labelled for them.

LotToLose Tue 12-Jun-18 16:18:08

I have a friend who has two fat daughters, she constantly feeds them junk snack food and enough meal time food as for an adult as she is worried they are not eating enough! When they visited I was agog at the volume of food they ate.

Now the eldest girl can’t do handstands or run for any distance and she’s blaming this on growing pains. It is horrible to see.

siwel123 Tue 12-Jun-18 16:20:01

Agreed. People are in denial about weight and feel upset that their kids are being judged.

But obesity is such a big issue now a days and it needs to be stopped

Mousefunky Tue 12-Jun-18 16:20:34

My youngest DD has the same diet as my other two DC and is definitely NOT overweight, if you look at her she is far from it yet these measurements said she is. I even received an ever so patronising booklet on how to feed her hmm. I’m not worried about her in the slightest, I would know if she was fat and feel ashamed.

crunchymint Tue 12-Jun-18 16:20:47

I think most parents are defensive about anything they see as a criticism of their child. This ranges from kids who are fat, kids who bully other kids, to kids that are rude and a pain. Most parents love their kids and struggle to see the parts of their kids that aren't perfect.

Smarshian Tue 12-Jun-18 16:21:34

I think this a lot and worry about my own and my friends dc becoming part of this statistic. A friends dc were all 'overweight' in those measures. She claims they clearly aren't but I can see that they have more weight on them than they should. They aren't fat but not skinny either.

starday Tue 12-Jun-18 16:23:18

My eldest (10) seems to look at ice creams and put on weight, but my husband and I recognise it and try and do less obvious things to help him maintain a healthy weight. (We never weigh him so this is based on visual assessment- chubby cheeks, tummy etc. So we take him out more to play football, cook healthier foods, limit weekend treats like going out for dinner to help him

But I'm aware of my weight and definitely want my children to have healthy diets and habits. I also seem to be on a permanent diet but I have explained to him that this is because I want to be healthy and unfortunately our family has a lot of diabetes which may, I hope, be avoided if I look after my weight

Glaciferous Tue 12-Jun-18 16:23:33

YANBU. I know parents like this. I can't understand it.

alwaysthepessimist Tue 12-Jun-18 16:24:12

YANBU - this happened last year with DD's class, several of the children had letters to say they were overweight & they were, maybe not a huge amount but they had a paunch and a spare tyre, now I get some kids are chubbier (I am over weight, DD isn't though) and I am not judging but the letters are just to advise, what I really despaired of were the FB posts about their children - I think it is awful that someone would publicly post that about their child being me that just makes them a target for bullies when they get older, it makes me very sad

OkMaybeNot Tue 12-Jun-18 16:24:59

I also know some parents who've opted out because they say they know what the result will be, and they disagree. Which I think is just bizarre logic, and won't benefit their children in the long-run.

MarthaArthur Tue 12-Jun-18 16:26:38

I think most parents are defensive about anything they see as a criticism of their child. This ranges from kids who are fat, kids who bully other kids, to kids that are rude and a pain. Most parents love their kids and struggle to see the parts of their kids that aren't perfect.

This is very true but bothers me a lot. I know a few overweight kids whose parents wont accept it at all and continue feeding them junk and massive meals.

When i was a kid the school pointed out i was both deaf and underweight. The weight thing was amready being dealt with by a paediatrician and the deaf thing my parents immediatly saught medical advice for. I cant imagine them being that ashamed or in denial they would refuse help. Its very sad watching overweight kids in the playground. They cant run and join in the games. Cant skip. They often sit alone on the bench watching their friends.

Slightlyperturbedowlagain Tue 12-Jun-18 16:27:08

I think we are so used to everyone being fatter that it’s difficult to get a good perspective on weight. In the 70s there was 1 boy and his sister in my primary school that everyone thought was ‘fat’ but looking back I don’t think anyone would think they were now.

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