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Does it really matter if children are overweight

71 replies

ivykaty44 · 08/05/2011 13:14

does it matter if other peoples children are over weight?

if your children are a healthy weight then why are people so concerned with other peoples dc weight, if they are over or under isn't it just best to mind your own business unless you are asked for help in the matter?

OP posts:

LadyWithNoManors · 08/05/2011 13:19

Of course it matters if children are overweight - it's unhealthy.
As far as people minding their own business, yes I kind of agree that people shouldn't interfere.
Parents are often in denial though and it may take someone else mentioning it to make them act.


aldiwhore · 08/05/2011 13:20

Its always wrong to assume. Dangerous territory. Best avoided. Health is important, but it doesn't begin or end with how much you weigh.


scottishmummy · 08/05/2011 13:20

individually maybe not and intrusive to say anything
BUT as society in which individuals pay tax to nhs then yes people will have opinion about health,and manifestation of health. weight and affect upon health puts strain on nhs

so i think its rude to say anything directly
but inevitable people will have they will on many other stuff

bit like bf,have an opinion but dont feel compelled to share it directly to mums


Yukana · 08/05/2011 13:20

I agree unless it looks like it's a massive problem (to which point there might be some underlying reason apart from them eating too much, their build, they might be about to have a growth spurt, low metabolism, or an eating disorder) they should keep their noses out of it.

I don't agree with schools weighing children (for instance those under the age of 13 especially) not only because it's ridiculous, but as one of those children who hated being weighed - even now as an adult, it would've hurt my confidence/feelings having to go through that.


jellyvodkas · 08/05/2011 13:24

I think it does matter. Of course it depends on how much over weight. Slightly chubby, or obese ?? Anything past slightly chubby is a no no. ..sorry!

What fun is it for them if they cant run fast in Sports day and football and school stuff. How sad is it if they cant fit into clothing , when they want to be normal like everyone else.
What fun is it to be teased. Kids are cruel dont forget.
..and growing, as a result, into fat adults......not healthy or attractive.


FranSanDisco · 08/05/2011 13:26

One person's 'overweight' is another's 'healthy'. Dd swims in a squad and the amount of different body shapes is amazing. These kids swim up to 5 hours a week so are taking regular exercise. There are kids who look like skeletons and who swim like otters and others who look a little 'too well fed' who bomb up and down the pool for 2 hours. Slim doesn't always equal fit just genetic luck (for now).


squeakytoy · 08/05/2011 13:26

I think it is right that schools play a part in a childs health. Some parents are pretty clueless and need the guidance from the school.


jellyvodkas · 08/05/2011 13:27

Of course schools should weigh children. they are doing it for the good of the child.. they are not doing it to ridicule or mock. Being badly overweight is a big issue.


squeakytoy · 08/05/2011 13:29

Weighing them isnt all about them being overweight either. An under nourished child is also possibly at risk.


colditz · 08/05/2011 13:29

I think it does matter. A mother's love may be blind but other children, mostly, are not. Everyonewho used to be a fat kid at school remembers it with displeasure. Not one person I know has said "I was 10 kilos over my ideal weight when I was 8, it was fantastic. I loved coming last in PE and getting changed in front of everyone else."

A bit of chub, in preparation for a growth spurt = normal and healthy. Far too much pork = unhealthy and above all unpleasant for the child.


GooGooMuck · 08/05/2011 13:29

It matters.

People are often in denial about their children's weight.

It is part of being a parent to give your child the food they need, not just what they want. If a child is very overweight, then they are not being fed right, are they?

I'm not going to say anything to anyone, but I would judge. I like a good judge of people i have no idea about their lives. It makes me feel better about myself. If I sit on a train watching someone with a complete inability to parent their child, judge judge judging, what does it matter?

although I think that does count as minding my own business. I'm not going to go over and wrestle the mars bars out of anyone's hand.


Birdsgottafly · 08/05/2011 13:32

I think what would be intresting is a survey on the change of eating habits from childhood to adulthood. I lived on rubbish as a child and had a very restricted diet but there isn't a fruit or veg that i now don't eat. Vise versa i know people who were feed 'properly' as children but now live on junk.

I think it is more about how food is used (reward, derserving a treat etc). Parents do set their childrens relationship with food, which is more important than content, i think. Amount also matters.

The human body can recover easily from a bad diet. Most people eat badly from an emotional need or self worth issue when it comes to clinical obesity, that needs examining.

The government also needs to keep a check on trans fats and other stuff being added to cheaper processed food, though.

I do think it is a form of neglect to ignore a childs diet, though.


Birdsgottafly · 08/05/2011 13:35

I would not keep my opinion (if asked) about other forms of neglect, so if i knew what the cause was, i would say so, if the conversation came up.


Punkatheart · 08/05/2011 13:36

It is hard not to worry to some extent about other people's children - even if you have no intention of interfering. If I see a child looking sad, I think about them. If I hear a baby crying - as a mother my instinct is to respond with an emotion.

The biggest problem with childhood obesity is diabetes, which has now become a major problem. Diabetes can be a difficult and traumatic condition to manage, particularly for a child.

I also have a social worker friend who considers that overfeeding a child is abuse. A lot of people may have seen the docu Fast Food Babies.

So no I do not interfere. But I cannot turn off worry.


Birdsgottafly · 08/05/2011 13:42

It has to be remembered that most of the children who have diabetes is not the type linked to poor diet and obesity.


wotnochocs · 08/05/2011 13:46

Being overweight is much less unhealthy than having an eating disorder


Punkatheart · 08/05/2011 13:55

Sorry Bird - that may have been the case twenty years ago but it no longer true:

'Until recently, the majority of cases of diabetes mellitus among children and adolescents were immune-mediated type 1a diabetes. Obesity has led to a dramatic increase in the incidence of type 2 diabetes (T2DM) among children and adolescents over the past 2 decades. Obesity is strongly associated with insulin resistance, which, when coupled with relative insulin deficiency, leads to the development of overt T2DM. Children and adolescents with T2DM may experience the microvascular and macrovascular complications of this disease at younger ages than individuals who develop diabetes in adulthood, including atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, stroke, myocardial infarction, and sudden death; renal insufficiency and chronic renal failure; limb-threatening neuropathy and vasculopathy; and retinopathy leading to blindness. Health care professionals are advised to perform the appropriate screening in children at risk for T2DM, diagnose the condition as early as possible, and provide rigorous management of the disease.'

(a medical journal about paediatrics - reinforced by the fact that there is an huge increase in diabetes' specialists)


Birdsgottafly · 08/05/2011 13:58

Wotchocs-that was my point, there should be an emphasis on how you tackle your childs relationship with food, also. Thinking that feeling down needs a cake to make you feel better is much harder to undo than a bit of overeating. Also thinking that it is gluttony to eat when you are hungry just because according to a chart somewhere you should have had enough. Or that it is ok to substitute food for drugs to stay slim.


Birdsgottafly · 08/05/2011 14:04

Punka-you have to make sure that a 'dramatic increase' isn't just an increase but actually dramatic and also applies to the UK. All i meant was that a know a mother whos child has diabetes and is now overweight because of his medical condition she gets alot of stick off people who read random pieces and thinks that it applies to all.

I am not saying that diet isn't important but overall health matters also. Being a bit overweight does not deserve the abuse that some posters on here thinks that it should get.


DarrellRivers · 08/05/2011 14:04

If you obese/overweight as a child, you are more likely to be obese/overweight as an adult

If you are obese as an adult you have more risk of poor health
4 times more risk cardiovascular disease
10 times more risk of Type 2 Diabetes

So, IMO, it matters


Birdsgottafly · 08/05/2011 14:06

Punka-you have to remember that there are sometimes medical reasons for obesity and this article is making sure that those children that are obese are being screened appropriatly.


ScousyFogarty · 08/05/2011 14:07



lubberlich · 08/05/2011 14:13

The focus on weight alone is bordering on obsessive.
There is a world of difference between being overweight and being obese.
Exercise is more important to general health than weight IMO. My ex was a stone overweight but he was a marathon runner and superfit.
I'd rather see an overweight active child who eats healthily and enjoys life than some skinny kid surviving on junk food who never gets off their backside.


Punkatheart · 08/05/2011 14:13

I do appreciate that diabetes is not always linked to obesity and it would be ignorant and unkind to judge any parent whose child has the condition. However, there is no denying the fact. There is a leap in diabetes diagnosis and there is an obesity problem. The two are correlated. I was having a very long conversation with a friends hubby, who specialises in children and diabetes. Believe me, the statistics were a lot worse than you think.


SeriousWispaHabit · 08/05/2011 14:14

I am a GP. I often see children who are clearly overweight, with no reason for it obvious from the medical records. They come in with their parent for an entirely unrelated reason - cough, sore throat etc and I am never sure how much to address the weight issue at the time. If they are under 5 I refer to the Health Visitor, but the few times I have addressed it I have been quite aggressively responded to, or I get told that they are just 'solidly built' or similar.

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