AIBU over sons weight?(28 Posts)
Ds1 is 13 (just). He's been bullied quite a bit recemtly, at school and home! All of this bullying seems to start the same way.. being called fat by other kids!
It's really getting to him, he has now stopped eating at school, as he finds it embarrassing eating in front of other kids now!
Now I have started to question myself ALOT, over wether he is or isn't over weight. I don't feel he is, but why do kids repetedy bully him for this?
So, he eats a healthy diet, 3 meals and 3 snacks most days, (except now he won't eat lunch at school). Has plenty of fresh foods in his diet, he has never liked squash, and I won't buy fizzy drink for home, (as one of my dds kept sneakily drinking it), so drinks mostly water unless we are out for a meal or something and has fizz as a treat. We have a take away once a month (pay day) and only go out to eat for special occasions.
He's 13, 5ft 6 and 9st 11lb. So overweight for a 13 year old but middle range weight for his height. He is also quite active.
So AIBU for worrying about his weight, and thinking about some kind of diet change or are these kids just cruel and using his above average size as an excuse to bully him.
Also any ideas of how I can help my son would be greatly appreciated.
It’s really hard to judge . If he is quite active is he muscular ? My Ds is 11 and 5st 3 so it does sound quite heavy to me but my Ds is a bean pole .
it just sounds like hes tall!! I was very tall at that age and got constantly bullied for being 'fat' ... I was overweight for my age but slap bang in the middle of healthy weight for my actual height... and the only time ive been overweight as an adult is just after a pregnancy
Some children hit puberty faster and get taller faster than others and sadly can then become the target of 'fat' bullying.
Reassure him that he is not actually overweight for his height... hes just developed faster than some other kids... in just a couple of years time his height and build will be considered a very good thing by others and particularly girls!!!
According to the NHS kids BMI, he's overweight, but only by a couple of lbs.
Focus on joint fitness with him maybe, tell him you want to start running/tennis/hiking and make him go with you.
You should stick with the three healthy meals and cut out snacks completely.
It has been proved that it is snacking that piles on the pounds.
Tell him to cut them out completely and he will naturally drop to his correct weight for his height and build.
Your other question was why are the other kids bullying him for being overweight but you don't think he is. Sorry but he is probably overweight!
Help him to sort it out, healthily.
Three snacks a day sounds like a lot - what are the snacks?
Have a look at the NHS BMI calculator as a starting point. I’ve just looked, obviously I don’t know your son’s date of birth which you need but it seems as though he’s borderline. If he is very nearly 14 he would be considered at the very top of the healthy weight range, if he is only just 13 he would be considered just in the overweight range.
Personally I wouldn’t be worried about his actual weight, I might keep an eye and encourage healthy eating and exercise as you are already doing. If it goes up then maybe more intervention is needed, but he could just as easily have a growth spurt and drop right back into the healthy range.
What I would be worried about is his refusal to eat in front of his friends and the bullying. I think I might be heading in to school to talk about that, and encouraging him to find new friendship groups. I’d probably try to do a lot of confidence building with him. Does he have hobbies or sport he enjoys? That’s good for building confidence.
That sounds really heavy to me too. NHS has it as 92nd centile for age and overweight, see image.
For comparison my 12 1/2 year old DS is 6st 11 (5'3") and a healthy weight. My nearly 14 year old DD is 7st 12 (5'3") and also a healthy weight. Your DS is taller, but BMI figures don't lie.
But really, that's irrelevant to the bullying. He shouldn't be being bullied and name called, so speaking to school and helping him boost his self-esteem to rise above it will help.
But there isn't any point burying your head in the sand about how healthy, or not, his weight is. He could loose anything up to 3 stone (to be 6st 11) and be a healthy weight. Even just losing a few pounds will get him healthy, but maybe half a stone extra would be useful to give him a buffer zone. No doubt he'll feel better about himself too.
At 13, 5 ft 6 (168cm) is between the 91st and the 98th centile. His weight 9 stone 11 (62 kg) is just under the 98th centile. His BMI (21.9) is on the 91st centile, and just into the overweight category. Unless, of course, he is particularly well muscled! He doesn't need to lose weight. He might want to consider trying to hold his weight steady whilst he grows a bit more, and he will slim down and drop his BMI naturally. But he is NOT obese.
NB All centiles based on the WHO centile charts available for free on the RCPCH website.
I don't think the issue is his weight but the bullying. The school should be tackling this. Yes, he's slightly heavier than he might be but not to the point where it would affect his health. However the bullying can easily affect his health and also his experience of education. In terms of what you can do, get the school to agree a strategy and also bolster this at home with talking about how to foster healthy friendships. Adolescence is a tough time and he needs people around him who are on his side.
Oh and given that he's already showing disordered behaviour around food ie not eating in front of people, I wouldn't give any importance to the question of his weight at all, to his face. Have plenty of healthy snacks in and keep an eye on it by all means, but do your best to reassure him that he isn't wrong or bad and shouldn't be ashamed of his developing body, that everyone eats, and that eating is fine.
Genuinely here’s no point asking on MN if someone is overweight. The majority of posters have no idea what a normal weight is and seem to normalise being overweight (I’ve read enough posts telling women who are 5’4” that 10 stone isn’t overweight to realise this)
I’m not sure how easy it is to be objective with your own children.
I’d get him exercising more, cut out snacks and watch portion size. It’s all very well saying he eats three meals a day but the main problem is portion size. I usually have my dinner on the side plates as my portions look pathetic on dinner plates that you get nowadays.
But it doesn't matter whether he's overweight or not - he could be morbidly obese (he isn't) and still it wouldn't be ok for his peers to bully him
Thanks for the advice. Iv not actually looked were he was on the centile chart thing, just at height/weight comparison charts. So thanks.
He is quite fussy and tends to stick to eating the same foods for breakfast and snacks.
I should also mention that I have 2 dcs with different and 1 serious food allergie, so all dinners and most lunches and breakfast are all home made and mostly fresh meat, veg, salad, fruit ECT so the whole family can eat the same meals.
Bullies are very good at finding a weakness. Whether he's overweight or not, your son is clearly quite big and solid so someone's tried "fat" as an insult, seen it hurts and just kept going. I'd work on fitness with your ds to build his confidence in his physique but I'd also tackle the not eating at school thing asap. Last thing you want is for him to develop disordered eating.
I think regardless of whether he's overweight or not you should definitely separate the bullying from any diet change. If he changes his diet it should be for health reasons not on the bidding of some twats at his school.
Err 10 stone at 5ft 4 isn’t overweight - although it is in the upper end of the normal BMI. I do admittedly look a bit chubby approaching that weight and definitely rein in what I eat but it’s still officially healthy.
Your lad is probably a wee bit husky - probably more so than his peers - but doesn't sound worryingly so, and from what you've said about his diet, all sounds okay (unless he is stuffing himself with junk elsewhere).
Could you work on his confidence, perhaps get him involved with a sport such as rugby where his build will be of an advantage? If he's not sporty, maybe public speaking, or drama? I actually heard of a theatre somewhere that was doing stand-up comedy workshops for teens, which sounded great!
If he has the tools to respond to bullies, then perhaps it will help him to feel more empowered?
OP he sounds very tall but probably pretty much in proportion. My dd is almost 14 and weighs 6 stone but is only 5 foot tall and very slim. It obviously is impossible to compare as they are clearly different heights and builds but that does't mean he s overweight.
Your poor ds must be so upset I agree with others that changing his diet now in response to the bullies mightn't be a great idea but what about taking up a new sport?
@thistleAmore oh what a good idea with the stand up comedy, he's a very funny boy as it is so I bet he would love that.
He already does football on a Wednesday and saturday. He tried rugby a few years back but swapped to football as he enjoyed it more. He also goes on a bike ride with his dad on a Sunday morning too, it's been there man time for quite a while now, a welcome break for him from a house full of girls
@TooGood2BeFalse I mean by kids at home, like when he goes out to play after school, also had a kid at football practice keep calling him 'fatty bum bum' but the coach put a stop to that pretty quickly.
He is at least a head higher than alot of his peers, he's 3 inches taller than me already. I kept thinking kids were just doing this as he is generally bigger than them. But it is worrying me now.
@Damnivy I'll see if I can find the link - might not be your part of the country, but perhaps worth seeing if there's anything similar nearby.
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