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Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you have any serious medical concerns, we would urge you to consult your GP.

Is this really overweight? Or just big?

(24 Posts)
HolyDrinker Thu 07-Jan-16 16:11:45

DS is 4 and a half. Is on 98th centile for height and weight. Has been since birth. Now I've had a letter saying he is overweight. I'm a bit confused because up until school, HV always reassured me he was fine as totally in proportion. He doesn't look fat, but is big (big feet, big hands, broad shoulders and a huge headgrin)

He is in age 4-5 tops and 5-6 legs (for the length).

I'm confused. His diet is ok. He's a bit of a salad dodger but doesn't have stupid amounts of crap (apart from the daily dessert at school hmm), no huge portions and everything is home cooked.

lljkk Thu 07-Jan-16 16:15:00

If you disagree with the letter then just bin it.

Could see the GP to ask what they think... 98th percentile for both H+W suggests perfect proportion & 50th percentile for BMI, which makes me wonder if maybe one of your numbers isn't right. They are supposed to only redflag kids who are much higher W %tile than H %tile.

lljkk Thu 07-Jan-16 16:16:18

go on... give us the numbers (H & W).

dementedpixie Thu 07-Jan-16 16:17:17

Ds got that too but is in proportion - he has more of a rugby player build than a gymnast! P.s he plays both rugby and football so is not inactive

Wolfiefan Thu 07-Jan-16 16:19:42

Did they just weigh? If they didn't do height then that could explain it.

TinklyLittleLaugh Thu 07-Jan-16 16:27:52

How does he look to you honestly? Kids are not really meant to be chunky or have a bit of a tummy. Saying that, DS is 9 and wears age 10 or 11 clothes which fit perfectly for width and height. He is muscly and solid but you can see his ribs.

Dornan Thu 07-Jan-16 16:34:52

How does he look?

Both my DC are in clothes 1-2 years above their age but they are very slim. Flat tummies and ribs visible.

They have friends who are in smaller clothes but definitely look 'softer' even if they aren't 'fat' IYSWIM.

Make an appointment with the nurse/GP to discuss if you are concerned.

Dungandbother Thu 07-Jan-16 16:56:34

My DS is 5. One of his friends is 8 months older.

DS is 105cm tall. His friend is 140cm tall.
DS size 12 feet. Friend size 3.

Both are skinny. Both have a lower centile for weight than they do height.

DS height v weight is 25 centile apart. Friend is more like 10 apart.

Kids are all different.

Height less of an issue. More about weight.

JoMalones Thu 07-Jan-16 17:00:42

I got probably the same letter today. My son is big and wears ages 7-8 at 4.5 but he's always been big. Diet not an issue, just a rugby build and pot belly. He does not sit still for a second!

Letter got filed in the bin!

HolyDrinker Thu 07-Jan-16 17:12:17

He looks fine. You'd never describe him as overweight. He's very active and when naked you can just make out his ribs. (Not really obvious by any stretch but can definitely see them.) He isn't skinny though. Probably has a little tummy. I've been noticing that getting smaller though as he grows up, thought it was just him changing shape and getting leaner.

DH isn't worried and thinks it's balls. I'm going to make sure I'm extra careful about his intake though.

I'm finding it hard to fit in extra activity after school, as he is totally shattered at the end of the day. Any ideas?

I know I wouldn't have received the letter for no reason, so I will start being extra vigilant.

Dungandbother Thu 07-Jan-16 23:36:24

Glad you're taking action OP even if to be watchful.

Fwiw my family are all normal weight, even as adults. But we have all been and we have all got skinny children.

There are no pot bellies, no curves and no changes in weight. Not even on a growth spurt. Just bugger appetites to notice.

DC ribs are all clearly noticeable.

I only post because that's how we are as kids, that's how our kids are and none of us are overweight adults.

Sorry to sound patronising. I realise we have good genes too.

Dungandbother Thu 07-Jan-16 23:37:17

*bigger

dratsea Fri 08-Jan-16 08:17:00

blue chart

HolyDrinker Fri 08-Jan-16 10:58:01

See, on that chart he is 91st centile for both. But I found a who chart that put him on the 85th for height, which would explain it.

I feel like such a failure. Everyone discussing the letters at the school gate this morning and I was so ashamed. My poor boy.

I have a few issues around food so I'm terrified I'll go the other way now and start limiting him and making him go hungry. I'm really trying to be objective and sensible though. His diet is ok, we are really strict on sweets etc. But maybe his portions are too big, so I'll start giving less and seeing if he is still hungry after. Will also need to have a word with the grandparents! wink

Another day, another worry. It's never ending.

mrsjskelton Fri 08-Jan-16 11:08:33

If you wore 10-12 clothes but your BMI was higher than "average" would you say you're overweight? They're about as clued up with child obesity as they are with adults! A friend went though the same thing with her 11 year old DS - he's around 5'8" and broad like his father, completely lean - school nurse said he was overweight and DS was really upset.

Wolfiefan Fri 08-Jan-16 11:12:23

Please don't obsess. If you can see his ribs a bit he's really not obese!
Don't limit his intake. Keep his diet healthy. Sweets, chocolate, biscuits and chips etc on occasion. Not daily.
Try and ensure he ends up with healthy habits.
If it helps my DS would develop a real tummy then suddenly shoot up in height. He would then look skinny.

wonkylegs Fri 08-Jan-16 11:36:03

I got one of these letters for DS, I mentioned it to my GP in passing at my next appointment and she nearly fell off her chair laughing. DS is as skinny as they come I struggle to buy trousers to fit his tiny waist and his ribs are really clear, he's now 7 but still wears size 4-5 pants or they fall down.... He is heavy though just none of it is excess fat (I personally think his head is made of concrete so it may be that)
She just said you have to take these letters with a bit of Common sense. If you get one and your kid is eating crap and sitting in front of the telly all day then treat it as a wake up call, if they eat healthy and get loads of exercise and you and everyone you know are completely puzzled by the letter... File it in the bin.

HolyDrinker Fri 08-Jan-16 11:40:52

Thank you. I was looking at him in the bath yesterday and his ribs are visible and though his tummy definitely isn't concave, I wouldn't even describe it as a pot belly. He is solid though. Men in my family are all 6'2" plus and very broad and strong. Think he must take after them.

I think he has shot up since he was measured though, as I remember looking at him in his christmas show and thinking he was a good few inches taller than most of his chums, which I hadn't noticed before. So maybe I should weigh and measure him now. Except that way madness lies and is exactly why I threw my scales out [obsessive].

I am going to be extra careful with 'treats' though just to err on side of caution.

wonkylegs Fri 08-Jan-16 11:41:40

Most of the 'healthy' eating alternatives in the leaflet that accompanied the letter would have significantly worsened our sons diet. I have a weird child that loves fruit and veg (I take no credit for this) and will not eat chips, burgers, ice cream, ketchup, many types of sweets or cake, pudding generally or fizzy drinks (yes he's really weird) he does like pizza though.

HolyDrinker Fri 08-Jan-16 11:44:32

Yes that leaflet was absurd. Binned that!

Thanks wonkylegs. It's useful to hear the gp's stance. DH wouldn't even talk about it he thought it was so ridiculous. He was just angry it had made me worry and is in danger of triggering off my anxiety/issues. We do so much exercise as a family. Always out and about on bikes, at the park or walking places.

(I also think DS's head is to blame! It's enormous. We recently had to buy him an adult size cycling helmet!)

TurnOffTheTv Fri 08-Jan-16 11:48:04

I'm sure some kids are just 'solid' my friends 20 month old son weighs the same as my 4yo daughter. He doesn't look fat but is just like lead when you pick him up 😃

BabyGanoush Fri 08-Jan-16 12:19:45

I would just continue as you are, and keep an eye on his eating (esp junk food) over the next few years.

AT age 4 my DS was in same bracket (though 95th for height) and he was a chubby toddler (in a lovely way, he was fit and well), and I opted out of having him weighed in Year R as I did not want a lifetime of patronising letters from the NHS.

He is now in Y6, and 45th for weight (and 98th for height), just like a puppy with big paws he is just destined to be very tall (as well as having big bones, he is a rugby player). His estimated adult height is 6ft5. He is 10 and has size 8 feet shock.

I have kept an eye on his food and not given in to his love of sugary drinks and biscuits (we have them, but not daily) but continued feeding him home cooked food and taking him to all his sports (rugby, judo, football)

He is now a fine BMI, and I am glad I spared him getting self conscious about his weight.

Get your DS into sport

HolyDrinker Fri 08-Jan-16 12:26:13

I wish I had opted out too. Very wise.

BabyGanoush Fri 08-Jan-16 12:32:53

you have to trust yourself as a parent.

You mention anxiety, and I have a background with PNT and anxiety (panic attacks) and have had to learn to trust myself, as a mum, as a person.

You KNOW if you are doing the best for your children, and that does not mean perfection, it means the best you can do given the circumstances. I don't fret if my DS has a day of junk food/sweets (birthday party, or just one of those days where I think:"fuck it, chicken nuggets and chips will have to do for tea tonight"). One day here and there of loosening the reins is fine.

So don't set yourself impossible standards, and be kind to yourself and trust yourself.

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