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How do I know if 5 yo DD is going to end up with weight problems or if she'll slim down in a couple of years?

(7 Posts)
MummyToPlumpChild Sat 04-Oct-08 23:55:25

DD is a sturdy, tall child who according to a body mass index website for children is borderline over-weight. She eats a varied, healthy diet (very little sugar, sweets or refined products, virtually no cake, buns etc), runs about as much as any other 5 yo and walks to school and back every day, a 45 min round trip with about half of it uphill.
She doesn't do any sport or specific exercise apart from that.
I am worried that by not restricting her food intake I may be laying the basis for weight problems later in life, tho' I read somewhere that diet only contributes to weight 25%, the rest is genes. She has been chunky and well-covered since she was born, always had a good bum and thighs on her!
There is no obesity on my side of the family tho my mum and her dad are strongly built in terms of bone structure. On DP's side there is one brother who is fairly overweight but the men in his family are all quite tall. I am underweight if anything.

What can I, should I, do?

avenanap Sun 05-Oct-08 02:21:33

I would look at portion size if everything else is OK. A five year old needs a smaller portion than an adult, I've seen alot of parents forget about this, I've done it myself.

ghosty Sun 05-Oct-08 04:25:38

I think that by restricting her food intake she will be more likely to have food issues as she is older.
My friend was put on a diet at the age of 7 as her mother thought she was overweight and she has battled bulimia all her life as a result sad
If your DD eats a varied diet like you say and walks 45 minutes a day then she sounds very healthy. If you are worried book her in to a sport of some kind (Tennis maybe?) once a week and go for bike rides/walks at the weekend but don't worry about this now, please. She is too young for this to be an issue.

My DD is nearly 5 and like yours, has been 'chunky and well covered' since birth. She is a picky eater and does have a sweet tooth but she is learning about healthy food choices (she understands that some foods are 'occasional' and other foods are every day, for example). I too worry a bit about if she will be chunky all her life but I am mindful of my friend so I will always be careful of how we 'do food messages' with DD ... iyswim?

ghosty Sun 05-Oct-08 04:27:42

If you were worried about her weight and health and telling us you were having take aways every night and she loved a mars bar every day and never ate fruit etc then you would need to make changes but if what you say is true then don't worry about it ...

newforold Sun 05-Oct-08 10:16:51

as a child i was always"well-covered" and could never be described as thin.
We had a really healthy diet, mum always cooked everything home made, no bought sauces or regular sweets and cakes etc. I loved exercise as well.
When i hit my late teens all of a sudden all of the chubbyness disappeared and i became what i am now. A size 10-12 and healthy also.

My dd is 8 and is also "well-covered". A few people have made silly comments, you know such as "well she'll never starve will she".
However, dd goes swimming twice a week, plays on the wii fit most days, runs around like a complete nutter after school and at weekends, loves going for long walks etc.
Also, she has a really healthy diet full of fruit and veg and sweets etc are an occasional treat.

I think that she will follow the same pattern as me. And i think that is true for a lot of kids, dsd is also 8 and underweight but is fed on all sorts of crap. I think that genetics determine most of your body size as a kid and as an adult too as long as she is eating a healthy diet and enjoying regular exercise there is nothing to worry about.

MummyToPlumpChild Sun 05-Oct-08 11:34:58

Thanks a lot everyone!

Am feeling reassured. Good reminder about portion sizes - since she always eats well, always has she probably needs much less at supper-time. Am also super-aware of trying to avoid making her 'eat up' or finish everything, let her be the judge of whether she is full. It's hard as we are primed to nurture and feed them from birth!

I know she should really be doing some kind of organised sport each week and she has a bad example in me as I never do any! We don't have a car and the nearest place to go swimmiing etc is a good bus ride away. They dont finish school till 4pm so it leaves little time to do anything extra. Next year we are moving and I'm going to sign her up for tap dancing and swimming...she learnt to swim earlier this year and loves it.

MummyToPlumpChild Sun 05-Oct-08 11:38:35

ghosty - am also wary of giving her the wrong messages about body image and food. It's a mine-field.
Also her fussy eater sister is a skinny 2 yo so I can't help but compare them {slaps own hand}

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