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To ask a delicate question the of parents of overweight children?

(114 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

JonesyAndTheSalad Sun 26-Mar-17 16:59:51

Firstly, I'm not a journalist. I am a theatre practitioner.

I would like to ask what it is that has made things tricky for you and your child or children when it comes to eating.

I know it's a highly complex subject and that's why I'm asking.

I'll be open about why I'm asking though. It's because I've been asked to consider creating a theatre in education production around the issues.

I can and do read of course and I will be meeting with some nutritionists to learn more.

But I wanted, if possible to find out where things went wrong for people on a personal level.

If I am BU then please don't be offended.

lasttimeround Sun 26-Mar-17 17:09:57

And why do you need to ask this?

MrsTwix Sun 26-Mar-17 17:13:21

They are asking so they can make a play about it.

user1482079332 Sun 26-Mar-17 17:14:30

I was an overweight child, I think it was due to money, time and Ignorance. Was one of four children, parents didn't cook from scratch it was oven/microwave convenience food. Coming from a poor family food was an easy cheap treat compared to say a day out. My mum was aware I was over weight her attempt to tackle it was to buy weight watchers branded food but a bag of crisps is a bag of crisps at end of the day. When she was with my dad who was a drug addict he would take house keeping money to buy drugs leaving nothing for food. It was a regular occurrence to get towards end of month and have no electricity or food. So when payday came their was excitement and relief, they'd buy high calorie junk food and takeaways to make up for it. Even after they separated I always felt anxious at having nothing, as an adult it's taken a lot to stop having massive binges like I would as a kid after having nothing for a few days. I always have a well stocked cupboard and will always buy homeless people food/drinks. This was in the 90s and sadly there are still kids going into school not having had a decent meal.

Imamouseduh Sun 26-Mar-17 17:14:36

Can you read, lasttime ?

Applebite Sun 26-Mar-17 17:16:05

I can tell you why I was an overweight child. And teenager and adult, to varying degrees.

Genetics. And an unbelievably healthy mother who never allowed us snacks or chocolate or sweets meant that the second I got the chance, I binged on everything that was bad for me. She thought she was doing the right thing but it just wasn't, or not for my personality type.

My DC will be taught that if they want to eat sweets, that's fine, but it has to be balanced with a calorie burning exercise.

Astoria7974 Sun 26-Mar-17 17:17:09

You'd get more luck contacting a dietician that specializes in childhood obesity. A lot of times kids become obese because parents can't say no/that's enough, or don't recognise that they're children have a problem.

JonesyAndTheSalad Sun 26-Mar-17 17:17:22

Thank you User..that sounds very difficult and it's one of the things I will find hard to tackle.

It's all very well me being asked to create something designed to help children learn about nutrition but for many, I know they have little say.

.to the other posters, I had thought I'd explained why but I perhaps wasn't very clear. I'm going to be creating a piece which will be toured around's to promote healthy eating and it's directly linked to the obesity crisis in the Australian state in which I live.

JonesyAndTheSalad Sun 26-Mar-17 17:18:59

Apple, so a completely different experience to User...this is why things are so tricky.

Astoria I will be speaking to nutritionists but I wanted to speak to people first hand too.

AntiQuitted Sun 26-Mar-17 17:19:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ScottishInSwitzerland Sun 26-Mar-17 17:20:16

My youngest became overweight when she was about 3.5 because I was unwell for a few months and it was easier to sit on the sofa, let her sit on the sofa. And feed her whenever she asked.

Her character is that she is naturally inclined to sit around if she gets away with it. And she also eats when bored. So as soon as I took my eye off the ball it happened.

She's now a healthy weight but going onwards my biggest problems keeping her there are that she would eat rubbish until she pops (unlike my eldest, who stops when full). And my husband keeps offering the children rubbish while I run around being kill joy mum

AntiQuitted Sun 26-Mar-17 17:20:27

Cross post. Your further explanation means I needn't have posted.

Dogblep Sun 26-Mar-17 17:21:09

I was an overweight child and for us it was that all my peers were eating mountains of junk food. They were mostly slim. This was 20 years ago but I just couldn't eat as much as others without piling on the weight. How do you restrict a child's intake when they see all their friends eating lots? It's very hard.

Also, there were so many adverts and SO MUCH FOOD. Everywhere you go there are so many items which have all been designed to taste very sweet and very full of flavour and of course we're programmed to want things like that. It's endless battle wanting them and trying not to eat them.

I now eat a low carb diet and eating no sugar has stopped my cravings. So I'm getting towards a healthy weight. But childhood obesity was very miserable and the worse you feel about yourself, the more you comfort eat.

JonesyAndTheSalad Sun 26-Mar-17 17:22:29

Anti why? Because it's in Australia or because your son has Autism? I don't know if all posters here are from the UK but they're not usually and I want to hear all experiences. It's such a broad issue..

ashtrayheart Sun 26-Mar-17 17:22:39

I've got 4 children and only one was ever overweight. The hardest thing is having to worry about sweets and portion sizes without making a big deal of it, when the others seem to maintain a healthy weight with no issue. Oh and the fact that it's very easy to judge the parent of the overweight child. We found out in her teens that she has a chromosome disorder, which may account for some of it.

FlyingCat Sun 26-Mar-17 17:22:47

We're not there yet but I can see how without the right intervention we could have been very easily...
I have a very picky eater (I now know she has some sort of sensory processing issues which leave her genuinely scared of trying new foods...) and when she refused to eat healthy foods for several days at a time. All while crying that she was hungry, I would relent and allow her to eat only the (very few) foods she considered safe - bland, processed high calorie rubbish mostly. I ended up allowing her those most of the time as at least she would eat. Happily we managed to get hold of a food play specialist who was able to break the cycle and get her to try new foods so with any luck we won't find her in the obese category within a couple of years as she will have added enough healthy foods to her 'safe foods' list until she is able to move past her sensitivities.

Universitychallenging Sun 26-Mar-17 17:24:11

Ah. I thought theatre practitioner meant operating theatre. I get it now.

AntiQuitted Sun 26-Mar-17 17:24:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

smilingsarahb Sun 26-Mar-17 17:25:08

I find it hard to know an appropriate portion size for a healthy active child.

Ihavefriends Sun 26-Mar-17 17:25:35

Don't speak to a "nutritionist", speak to a dietician.

MaximumVolume Sun 26-Mar-17 17:26:25

My eldest is in reception & got a letter. I then weighed him myself & he was a whole kilo lighter than the weight in the letter (I assume they weighed in shoes & dressed), which puts him toward the top of healthy, so i've decided to go carefully from here.

It's not easy as both sets of gps (kindly) love treats in different ways: my Mum loves making cakes & puddings. My MIL also bakes but buys a lot of sweets & chocolate for everyone.

Also, one thing I was thinking of just today is that when they're babies you get so praised for having a chunky baby (breastfed) & then how much food they were taking & there was never a point where anyone said "they are eating too much if... and if that happens you should..."

AvonCallingBarksdale Sun 26-Mar-17 17:29:42

I was overweight as a child - my dad used to buy me loads of sweets/chocolates and I would be told off for being rude if I refused them. My DM was worried about me injuring myself if I did any sport so that didn't help. Portion sizes were huge, which I hadn't fully appreciated until eating at friends houses. That's it in a nutshell really.

NotAPuffin Sun 26-Mar-17 17:30:14

My parents used food as an emotional tool. We were comforted with food when they fought, or deprived of dinner if we misbehaved. When I had more control of my own eating, I never stopped. They still give my children sweets if they fall and hurt themselves, which I'm trying to put a stop to, but they think I'm being ridiculous.

Alittlelife Sun 26-Mar-17 17:30:59

A parent I know has has a DD. At 5 she literally has the proportions of a barrel. No neck, waddles along and is unable to run.

The mother (no father around) is ignorant of healthy eating, recognises they have a shit life and makes it up to her daughter the only way she knows how...with cheap shit food. I've personally witnessed her giving her child an unopened 2 litre bottle of coke after school. A chocolate bar is a family sized bar. She comes into school eating a family sized bag of crisps/popcorn every day and needs them prying out of her hands.

It's very sad and makes me so angry. I personally think an overweight child to that degree is tantamount to abuse.

lasttimeround Sun 26-Mar-17 17:32:54

Doh -reason is actually in your op. Sorry.

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