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to be angry with those parents who have let down their overweight dc

(366 Posts)
frumplump Sun 28-Jun-09 01:21:23

Overweight parents who allow their own issues to destroy their own dc's good health, what are they thinking?

I overheard a heartbreaking conversation in a shop where an awkwardly fat teenage shop assistant was dispairing at how she was wasting the best years of her life because she had not learned to eat healthily from her parents.

She was saying she had low self esteem and wanted to lose weight desperately. Teenage girls have a difficult time at the best of times, it's just plain cruelty for her parents to have allowed her to become so unhealthily big. She found walking difficult ffs! They say parents will outlive their children. What's going on? How can parents be so cruel?

mrsruffallo Sun 28-Jun-09 01:23:36

I don't understand it either. Fair enough if you have a weight problem yourself but make things better for your kids

FAQinglovely Sun 28-Jun-09 01:24:19


If the parents are overweight then I think the issues almost certainly run a lot deeper than "cruel"..........

frumplump Sun 28-Jun-09 01:36:58

A whole generation condemned to poorer health and a lower life expectancy than the parent, omg. What is wrong with us? Of course it's cruel.

FAQinglovely Sun 28-Jun-09 01:39:33

but if the parents are also overweight surely that suggests there are issues with the parents - quite possibly feeling the same way that their children do! Labelling them as "cruel" is hardly a way to try and resolve the issues.

frumplump Sun 28-Jun-09 01:41:34

Are there any parents out there who don't see it's an issue? Or is it too sensitive a topic. Don't say it's fun to be fat because it might be to you but it certainly isn't to dc who never get picked for sports teams etc, and who find walking uncomfortable.

It's an epidemic and what of dc's dc?

MissSunny Sun 28-Jun-09 01:49:50

Message withdrawn

Scorpette Sun 28-Jun-09 01:51:33

On several occasions I've been in a supermarket and seen/overheard a chubby child or pre-teen asking their obese parent/s if they can get some fruit, juice, water, or some other healthy food, and their parents have snapped at them for wanting 'muck', etc. Just a few days ago in a queue to pay I saw an overweight little girl ask her (humungous) mum if they could have salad for tea, as she had eaten it at school and it was nice and her mother told her not to be so stupid, they were going to KFC "like always" after she'd bought her fags. Nice.

Yet I bet when these same kids are suffering obesity-related health problems in their teens, those parents will be saying to the doctors and specialists 'I don't know how they got like this'. Grrr, makes my blood boil.

Clwc Sun 28-Jun-09 01:55:29

I'm not a parent yet (working on it), but have seen this happen with my cousins. Both were happy, healthy toddlers, but because their mother was too lazy to get off her own fat backside, they both became very, very large in just a few years. It's not 'puppy fat', and it's not cute!

I'm overweight now*, but I was a healthy, quite thin child. It's not always a decision to start eating crap food, but some people just don't seem aware of what is healthy and what is not.

*I like chocolate grin

FAQinglovely Sun 28-Jun-09 02:09:04

ermmm who said it was fun. And I'm not sure who the "you might think it's fun" is aimed at??

How do you think the overweight parents got like that? Well I could write a very long post on the many issues which will led to the parents ending up overweight (much of it quite possibly stemming back to THEIR childhood) - but I need to sleep and haven't got an hour to write it.

FAQinglovely Sun 28-Jun-09 02:17:42

and I have to say I'm always amazed how much insight people (on MN) seem to have to a whole person's life based on a small snap shot of part of a conversation in the supermarket wink.

marenmj Sun 28-Jun-09 02:45:59

It's not always because of the food.

My sister was always overweight and my mother harped on it endlessly. Add that to my mother's own neurosis surrounding losing those persistent five pounds (I can't remember a time when my size-14 mother hasn't been on some sort of diet) and my sister ended up with a wholly unhealthy attitude towards her body and eating/food.

Not surprising then that when she moved off to Uni and wasn't being pestered the weight managed to come off on its own.

Not saying that parents should be giving kids crap, but endlessly obsessing about dieting is no way for a child to live.

**uses full-fat butter in all my cookies rather than the low fat applesauce substitute I grew up with, and had similar body/food issues until leaving home, but was gypped in the boob department and so was not a cause of maternal concern, unlike my curvier sister.

SomeGuy Sun 28-Jun-09 03:13:56

I've not noticed any fat kids at my son's private school, but saw several at the party we went to today that had quite a few people from a 'less well off background'. They turned their noses up at the (healthier and more varied) foreign food on offer and stuffed themselves with burgers instead.

It is difficult, the child will get bullied etc. at school essentially due to their parents.

But I suppose it's no different to many other aspects of bad parenting. Not all parents feed their children properly, not all parents read to their children, not all parents raise their children to learn the difference between right and wrong.

Each of them are culpable for the outcome, albeit that the parent's bad lifestyle choices are extremely well entrenched and difficult to shake, given that there's probably very little motivation to do so.

The government spends a lot of money trying to teach people that their kids need to eat properly and get some exercise, I'm not sure how effective it is to be honest. It's a whole way of life, it's not just eating too much and not taking exercise.

Tee2072 Sun 28-Jun-09 04:49:39

In this month's Diabetes UK magazine, there is an article about how a lot of parents don't even realize their kids are overweight, whether due to 'blinders' or ignorance is not clear. I am not sure where Mag is at the moment but I will find it and post more about what it says later.

Ninkynork Sun 28-Jun-09 06:44:02

DH and I aren't overweight but our DD aged 9 is getting very "square". Six months ago we thought it was to do with eating too many treats at Christmas and that it would come off in the summer when she was running around playing games at school. That hasn't happened and I do wonder if it's a lack of exercise in general. She doesn't play out as we did as kids and has a medical condition which means she can't take part in many sports.

Or it could just be her age, but I've noticed she does tend to ask for food when she's bored, (and gets fruit, but my parents are inclined to sling crisps, cake and biscuits at her)

We're aware of it but also don't want to make an issue of it IYKWIM.

LadyOfWaffle Sun 28-Jun-09 06:57:11

Most of Dhs family are very overweight. From his very early pictures he was always overweight too which at 2/3 years old isn't his fault. One of his neices is very morbidly obese, and only at primary school. THe parents say they don't care about being slim etc., but it's not about image - it's health. I put on alot of weight when I met DH - takeaways became a weekly thing, not a rare treat. First time I had a kebab was with DH, and a dominoes pizza... I am on a diet now and going back to my old ways and am shocked when I go to his families houses and the kids get themselves crisps for breakfast while mum stays in bed, constant supply of biscuits and then pizza and chips for dinner. Last time they came here I had to go out for food for their DCs because they wouldn't eat normal stuff.

Pheebe Sun 28-Jun-09 07:25:10

Another thread showing judgemental mn at its best hmm

Instead of understanding and support lets throw accusations of intentional cruelty and blame. These holier than thou threads are quite nauseating really. God forbid we should offer understanding and support as a society or that we should accept that to live in a (relatively) free democractic society we have to accept that individuals will make choices that others will disagree with.

No ones denying obesity is a serious health issue but to propagate hate campaigns like this is on a parr to overt racism/religious hatred.

Pheebe Sun 28-Jun-09 07:26:54

Meant to add

YANBU to be concerned and to want to offer help/support/information

YABU to be angry and judgemental

frumplump Sun 28-Jun-09 07:32:01

So if it is easier to give a packet of crisps and bar of choc to a child for breakfast in front of the tv then that is a cultural decision shared by people who probably had similar parenting themselves and so the cycle goes on.
The image of obese mums giving slices of pizza to their dc and kfcs through the wire at school would strike many of us as horrendously bad parenting but to the parents in question it would be a sensible decision based on their own intellectual level/experience.

That cultural divide is going to get bigger and bigger of course. What to do then? Pretend it doesn't matter that dc cannot climb into a carseat unaided, cannot run? Are going to suffer ill health from the word go?

Imagine the future if that then becomes normal. It would be nice to get some parents of seriously obese dc on here as perhaps they have a better insight as to what can be don

If parents don't take responsibility for their dc health and welfare both emotionally and physically it will probably be the first time in the history of wo/mankind. Goodness what that bodes for the future of wo/man.

A snapshot of it may be the image of morbidly obese dc being dug out of their houses by diggers to get to the hospital with their parents handing them mcdonald snacks for the journey.

2rebecca Sun 28-Jun-09 07:38:28

I think it's sanctimonious to chide people for being judgemental. You, after all are judging people for being judgemental. A bit hypocritical don't you think?
I think the "Oh let them make their kids obese if they want, they don't know any better and it's their choice" brigade are very patronising.
Fair enough if adults want to make themselves obese, but I do think there's enough food and exercise info out there that a parent should know they are overfeeding/ underexercising their child if they become obese.
If that child is a young child then the obesity is the parents fault, as they are in complete control over the child's food intake and activity programme/ getting them to play out in park etc.
There is loads of healthy eating info out there. We are becoming an obese nation because we are becoming a lazy nation, not because we are becoming an underinformed one.

Pheebe Sun 28-Jun-09 07:39:06

You know frumplump I find your views deeply unpleasant and offensive. You appear to refuse to find any compassion/understanding and are approaching this from the pov of blame and criticism.

If you are passing those morals on to your dcs I could, if I were a judgemental person, easily find your parenting skills lacking by failing in your duty to ensure your dcs have a solid moral compass - something with all kids of consequences for their ability to integrate into society and for their own mental health.

Fostering hatred is no way to work towards resolving any social issue let alone one as endemic and complex as obesity.

Personally I applaud the governments long-term strategy and ongoing campaign to raise awareness of the benefits of a healthy lifestyle through information and education and in targeting schools and school children to enable them to make their own choices as they move to adulthood. Its a strategy in which your form of condemnation plays no part thankfully.

frumplump Sun 28-Jun-09 07:39:19

Pheebe the anger comes from seeing that poor overwight young woman so utterly bereft and miserable through no fault of her own

I definitely want to offer help/support/info but if others don't see it as an issue or problem then what to do?

It is not a holier than thou thread ffs it is a genuine concern seeing a whole generation who are going to be too unhealthy to even walk. It is an epidemic, it is getting worse and it's happening in every rich western nation.

Pheebe Sun 28-Jun-09 07:42:02

2rebecca perhaps you're missing the point of an AIBU thread - it is to have your views judged by other mnetters.

Frumplump has proffered a viewpoint for judging and I have offered my views on it.

Perhaps you also missed the point that I agree obesity is a serious health issue and that parents may well be failing their children by perpetuating this. My point is that fostering hatred and condemnation is simplistic, unhelpful and judgemental.

shithappens Sun 28-Jun-09 07:43:09

I am fat and it is probably due to self-esteem issues. Do you think judgemental threads like this help me at all? I just feel even worse now. Thanks.

bigchris Sun 28-Jun-09 07:44:29

this thread is about kids though not adults

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