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"He's just big boned."

TravelingGal

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I've been thinking about parental denial for the last day because of what my friend told me. I think it's an interesting topic.

Her son just had his 3 year check up. He's 39.75 inches and over 40 and some change pounds. His doctor told my friend the child is overweight and to cut down unnecessary carbs. She told us this over lunch. My other friend said she doesn't think he's overweight. The mother nodded and said that her son just has big bones as she does (she's not fat at all, but she is still carrying preggo weight from her second kid). I don't think she's big boned either...she's an inch taller than me, a maybe half size to a size bigger and carrying a few more pounds than me - i.e. around the same range as I am and I am considered SMALL BONED.

Anyway, just led me to wonder how people get into denial over this stuff. Maybe it's because other kids are larger (which we've discussed here on PS). Or maybe denial comes from the fact that if you accept it, you have to accept that you've made some unwise choices when it comes to your kids diet (the kid didn't get big on lean proteins and veggies, trust me.) I had the kid's 2 year stats (we share since our kids' ages are so close) and he shot from 72 percentile on BMI to 91. He gained 6.5 pounds from year 2-3. I know some kids are just bigger...so I think it's the increase in percentage in BMI from year 2-3 that's raising the red flag. Basically not just the 3 year stats, but the overall progression and charting of the kid's stats that the doctor obviously has.

I didn't say anything, nor will I. Not my place and if she disregarded the doctor, she's certainly not going to listen to me...but I'm just sad about it. I just kept thinking...hm...I think the doctor with all his experience knows the difference between a big boned kid and one who is overweight. I just hope she was being nonchalant because she didn't want to make a big deal of it, and that she will actually take the advice to heart and cut down those cookies and potato chips!

Out of curiosity, even though my mind is made up, would any of you say anything in a situation like this? Would you give your opinion if asked?
 

ForteKitty

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Nope, Tgal. My uncle's sorry excuse of a wive is in denial about their son, and we've all given up. Her son is 14, 5'3, and 180lbs... and she thinks he's just big boned. Her son can also do no wrong, he's just misunderstood, and got kicked out of 5 (elementary and jr high) schools because his teachers had an "agenda".

We dont bother anymore. If she wants to let him eat 5 bowls of rice during lunch, it's their effin problem.
 

fieryred33143

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I read an article a long time ago that said that a small percentage of women were actually big-boned. The majority are not. And those that are big boned are actually a lot taller and a lot more muscular than the average woman (i.e. not fat).

I wouldn't say anything because it doesn't help and it usually only causes hurt feelings. Even if the friend says "yeah, you have a point" they'll most likely continue with the same behavior. If I were really concerned, I may follow up later on with something like "hey, how does [son] like the new diet the doc wanted him on?" or "is [son] adapting well to the new diet?" something like that. But even then I may not say anything at all.
 

Guilty Pleasure

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NO, do not say anything.


eta: If I had a friend who asked my opinion on her son's weight or diet, I would just tell her my own experience without giving advice about what she should do. I would tell her that while I think my mom was a great parent, I wish that she would have regulated my diet better as a child so that I would have grown up with healthy habits instead of having to fight the weight battle as an adult. When I have children, I will make it a priority to give them a better start than I had and a healthy relationship with food. I think it's important to condition children to healthy choices while they are young and don't know another choice even exists!
 

steph72276

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I would just try to lead by example, which you already do with A. My 6 year old (in 2 weeks) is 43 pounds and an average height, that poor 3 year old is for sure overweight! Hopefully she will let what the doctor said sink in and make some changes.
 

lizzyann

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no, I wouldn't say anything even though I know you probably feel like you would like to in order to get it off of your chest.

I also know a mom whose son is the same age as mine and he has always been on the very high end of the chart for weight. My son has always been tall and thin (70th percentile for height and 50th for weight, so not overly thin). My hubby was the same way growing up. But she constantly asks me questions like "Well, isn't your Dr. concerned that he is so thin. Are you feeding him enough?" And I really get so annoyed because I just want to say to her "Is your Dr. concerned with your kid being overweight? Are you feeding him too much?" But I would NEVER say that because that's just not me. But some people feel the need to try to make you feel like a bad parent in order to build themselves up. Or in your case, make excuses for their kid being overweight. Sorry little rant there...but it has been driving me nuts and I am at the point where I feel that I may need to drop her from being a friend because she constantly compares our kids ALL THE TIME! And she causes me anxiety.
 

MustangGal

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My nephew actually has about the same stats. At 3 he was 40 pounds and 40 inches, now at four he's 41 pounds 42 inches. He was FAT as a baby! SIL would get so offended when people made comments about "he doesn't miss any meals, does he", etc. I never said anything, but was thinking it! Her second baby is on her way to fatness too, sad to see since she was born much smaller than #1, yet is catching up to him.

Since she's not interested in the doctor's opinion, it's not worth expressing yours or it'll probably just upset her and put a little strain in the relatonship. Maybe next year if he's still on the same trend the doctor will get more forcefull with her.
 

Jennifer W

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Nothing you can say, really. If hearing it from the Dr she is paying for an opinion isn't going to make her believe it, I suspect nothing much else will either.

Big boned people exist, but they also tend to be rather lean. I'm thinking of one of my friends as I type this. She's big, she has a large frame, but looks tall, lean and slender. I always envied her stature, it's a very distinctive look. You know it when you see it. Looks nothing like overweight, at any age. Is that how the kid looks? I'm guessing not, or you (and the Dr) wouldn't have given it a second thought.

I would only say something if it was impacting on my own kid - is his junk food around and available to her? If it was, I'd have to say that I didn't want that, because I don't want her to eat trans-fat, saturated fat and processed sugar. If pressed, I'd mention my motives were related to dental and general health. (I've had this conversation with a few parents in our village.)

It would just about kill me to keep quiet while watching him chow down on processed food, though... Good luck with that!

Jen
 

TravelingGal

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FK, 5 bowls of rice? You're exaggerating, right? I swear, rice is the reason why asians are prone to type II diabetes without any trace of obesity. Oh, that and their love for beer. :rolleyes:

Thanks all for your two cents. No, I'm not going to say anything, not even to get it off my chest. As you all noted (and as I know) that kind of stuff can't possibly go over well, nor would it change anything. It's really none of my business...except that I have to keep practicing my poker face in front of her, which is annoying because I don't think I'm that good at it.

Jenn, she's actually courteous and will try to put out healty stuff when Amelia and I used to go over there. If he does ask for junk food, she'll give it to him in front of Amelia and fortunately at this stage Amelia doesn't know what much of it is so she'll eat the healthier snacks that I bring over (I always bring my own stuff, with extra to share).

It amazes me how she can be so astute sometimes, and other times so hugely dense. When her kid was somewhere between 18 months and 2 years, she took him to a mommy and me class. Every week, moms took turns bringing snacks. On her week, she brought cookies and something else that wasn't healthy (I can't remember). Then she was taken a bit aback when none of the moms let their kids eat those snacks. I remember thinking...what would possess you to bring CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES for snacks for a bunch of 18 month olds? Even if some of those moms let their kids eat those things, wouldn't you just bring something a bit healthier and be done with it?
 

MichelleCarmen

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TravelingGal said:
It amazes me how she can be so astute sometimes, and other times so hugely dense. When her kid was somewhere between 18 months and 2 years, she took him to a mommy and me class. Every week, moms took turns bringing snacks. On her week, she brought cookies and something else that wasn't healthy (I can't remember). Then she was taken a bit aback when none of the moms let their kids eat those snacks. I remember thinking...what would possess you to bring CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES for snacks for a bunch of 18 month olds? Even if some of those moms let their kids eat those things, wouldn't you just bring something a bit healthier and be done with it?
Re: snacks. Wait till school starts and the kids are required to bring snacks to school. Some classes ask parents to contribute enough snacks for the entire class one time per month and others have the kids bring their own snacks every day. It must be bad because notes will come home requesting that students don't bring candy bars as snacks!

Oh, and sports/snacks after games. Even worse. Drinks with 25+ grams of sugar along with rice krispy treats, etc., for the team.

As far as that mom, nothing positive will come of talking with her. Oviously she knows. Maybe her kid throws a fit if she tries to feed him healthy foods so she's just decided it's easier to feed him cheetos!
 

swingirl

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People want to hide behind the "big boned" theory but back in the 50's when people ate home cooked meals and "snack" during school hours was unheard of we didn't have fat kids. Tall, short, soft, muscular, even "plump" which would be considered normal these days. But there were very few fat kids or big boned kids. We did NOT do a lot of sports. Not everyone walked 20 miles to school and P.E. was done in dresses. Where did the big boned kids hide?

Fact is, fat parents feed fat kids. and until the parents want to admit THEY have a problem it's unlikely that they'll even recongnize their kiddo does because it points to their their own bad eating habits.

Just the other day I saw a gramma taking 2 fatty girls to the ice cream shop. It was only about 65° and around 4pm. It made me sad. These little girls were so pretty and happy looking but in a few years it will not be the case. And once bad eating habits are established it is so difficult to change.

But there's not much you can do.
 

TravelingGal

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swingirl said:
People want to hide behind the "big boned" theory but back in the 50's when people ate home cooked meals and "snack" during school hours was unheard of we didn't have fat kids. Tall, short, soft, muscular, even "plump" which would be considered normal these days. But there were very few fat kids or big boned kids. We did NOT do a lot of sports. Not everyone walked 20 miles to school and P.E. was done in dresses. Where did the big boned kids hide?

Fact is, fat parents feed fat kids. and until the parents want to admit THEY have a problem it's unlikely that they'll even recongnize their kiddo does because it points to their their own bad eating habits.

Just the other day I saw a gramma taking 2 fatty girls to the ice cream shop. It was only about 65° and around 4pm. It made me sad. These little girls were so pretty and happy looking but in a few years it will not be the case. And once bad eating habits are established it is so difficult to change.

But there's not much you can do.
Not in my friend's case. Her husband is very slim. Again, she is average...only pudgy in the tummy because of preggo weight and is on her way back down the scale after #2. In her case, it's because, as MC said, it's easier to give him what he wants than deal with his tantrums, which are fierce! Before the food/tantrum relation was established, she told me she loved giving him good stuff because, I quote, "I love to see him happy." She doesn't like to get in the way of anyone's fun...either her husband or her son. She is also hugely non confrontational. This is why her son gets to eat what he wants. She does try to feed him good food...it's not like it's mickey d's every day (although she started him on that early too). But once he got a taste of heaven, he knew what he wanted and refuses to eat the good stuff unless he's bribed with the bad stuff. So a meals usually are every other bite good stuff, and every other bite tortilla chip. And the good stuff often has to do with white rice, which is sadly, very high in calories and sugar.
 

ForteKitty

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TravelingGal said:
FK, 5 bowls of rice? You're exaggerating, right? I swear, rice is the reason why asians are prone to type II diabetes without any trace of obesity. Oh, that and their love for beer. :rolleyes:
I'm not kidding.
 

Kaleigh

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I know you want to say something, anything.... BUT it's going to fall on deaf ears.

I know not what you want to hear, but would be giving you bad advice to tell you to speak your mind, have at it....

What they will show you?? Is the door, buh bye.... :wavey:

Sad but so true.


I like leaving little nibletts.... A wise word here, a wise word there..... :tongue:
 

JulieN

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Guilty Pleasure

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JulieN said:
http://www.theatlantic.com/food/archive/2010/10/our-toddlers-are-eating-junk-too/64938/

I'm a pro cook, so this is one of my pet peeves.

Eating healthy is too hard. Cooking real food at home is too hard. Change is too hard. This is what real food looks like: http://www.grist.org/article/food-2010-10-19-the-french-serve-up-one-helluva-school-lunch/

Changing a kid's eating habits is really the easiest thing. If there are no potato chips in the house, he can't have any, can he?

The person serving the food in the French school food picture is not wearing gloves. Typhoid Mary called and she wants her job back :devil:
 

Brown.Eyed.Girl

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ForteKitty said:
Nope, Tgal. My uncle's sorry excuse of a wive is in denial about their son, and we've all given up. Her son is 14, 5'3, and 180lbs... and she thinks he's just big boned. Her son can also do no wrong, he's just misunderstood, and got kicked out of 5 (elementary and jr high) schools because his teachers had an "agenda".

We dont bother anymore. If she wants to let him eat 5 bowls of rice during lunch, it's their effin problem.

Not a parent, but I just had to comment - doesn't this sound JUST like Dudley from Harry Potter?!
 

ForteKitty

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B.E.G. said:
ForteKitty said:
Nope, Tgal. My uncle's sorry excuse of a wive is in denial about their son, and we've all given up. Her son is 14, 5'3, and 180lbs... and she thinks he's just big boned. Her son can also do no wrong, he's just misunderstood, and got kicked out of 5 (elementary and jr high) schools because his teachers had an "agenda".

We dont bother anymore. If she wants to let him eat 5 bowls of rice during lunch, it's their effin problem.

Not a parent, but I just had to comment - doesn't this sound JUST like Dudley from Harry Potter?!
OMG you are sooo right. but my aunt is much nastier and a conniving b*itch. And Dudley is more... human?.. than my cousin. My cousin is void of emotions. My uncle is only a wallet to him, and he would probably trade him in for a new video game.
 

swingirl

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Usually slim people don't buy or enjoy junk food. If these slim parents fed their son what they eat they wouldn't even have junk food in the house. Why did they get him started on fast food, cookies and chips? Their bodies might be slim but their mentality about food is fat. Healthy people would want to give their kids healthful nutrition, right? And if a kid never had junk food he wouldn't fight over it. It's only because his parents introduced him to it and told him it was yummy and special. Now he's got ammo! But I am guessing his issues go beyond food.
 

Brown.Eyed.Girl

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ForteKitty said:
B.E.G. said:
ForteKitty said:
Nope, Tgal. My uncle's sorry excuse of a wive is in denial about their son, and we've all given up. Her son is 14, 5'3, and 180lbs... and she thinks he's just big boned. Her son can also do no wrong, he's just misunderstood, and got kicked out of 5 (elementary and jr high) schools because his teachers had an "agenda".

We dont bother anymore. If she wants to let him eat 5 bowls of rice during lunch, it's their effin problem.

Not a parent, but I just had to comment - doesn't this sound JUST like Dudley from Harry Potter?!
OMG you are sooo right. but my aunt is much nastier and a conniving b*itch. And Dudley is more... human?.. than my cousin. My cousin is void of emotions. My uncle is only a wallet to him, and he would probably trade him in for a new video game.
LOL still sounds like the Dursleys! But maybe your cousin will have the bajeezus scared out of him by a dementor, be saved by his skinny wizard cousin, and develop a human personality? Unfortunately, if we follow the HP parallel, there's no hope for your aunt and uncle :lol:
 

KimberlyH

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Whether I'd say something or not would depend on the friend. I have several friends with kids, a few want to hear my thoughts because of my educational background and job, others just want an ear, so I respond accordingly. With my nephew I try to give input indirectly, using examples from work experience in general conversation about topics which apply to him as my sister and mom, who is very involved in raising him, are extremely protective and defensive of him.

In this case I'd likely just smile and nod, as much as I'd want to say something, then I'd use the tactic I do with my nephew.
 

ForteKitty

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Sorry TG about the threadjack.

BEG, honestly, i wish my uncle would just divorce his wife, as she contributes nothing to that relationship. He only has to pay 4 years of child support, then he'd be free. if she keeps this up, he will end up in an early grave. He and the wife sleeps in separate rooms, and she lets her son sleep in her bed because he's afraid of the dark. She will cook dinner for herself and her son, and tell my uncle to cook his own food. :angryfire:
 

pancake

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I would only give my opinion if it were solicited (and I'm a paediatrician - still wouldn't give my opinion to a friend unless they sought it out or if it were in the context of a discussion about the topic).

Otherwise what do you stand to achieve? If your friend won't listen to a health professional whose job it is to advise on her son's health, then she is not going to listen to you - and it may cause strain on the relationship.
 

pennquaker09

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ForteKitty said:
Nope, Tgal. My uncle's sorry excuse of a wive is in denial about their son, and we've all given up. Her son is 14, 5'3, and 180lbs... and she thinks he's just big boned. Her son can also do no wrong, he's just misunderstood, and got kicked out of 5 (elementary and jr high) schools because his teachers had an "agenda".

We dont bother anymore. If she wants to let him eat 5 bowls of rice during lunch, it's their effin problem.

Ohh my, I'm 26 and it's a good day if I weigh 145. At 180, he has the weight of a 5'10" full grown male.

I realize some are predisposed to being bigger, but I've never actually understood that whole big boned thing.
 

AGSHF

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It's a real shame when parents are in denial about something that will affect their children's long-term health. Earlier this year, I remember reading a news article that said parents often underestimate their children's weight and often fail to recognize that their children are overweight or becoming obese. It's especially unfortunate then when parents contradict their pediatricians' evaluations with excuses. Height and weight are easily used to calcuate BMI. Also, height and weight percentiles on growth charts don't lie.

Here's an article about the study:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100615141747.htm
 

TravelingGal

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I hung out with her and her son the other day. I guess looking at him with clothes on, I can understand why she thinks he's big boned. He wears slightly baggier clothes and he honestly doesn't look like a fat kid, or even a really chubby one. He just looks solid. All the fat is around his thighs, butt and belly which are harder to hide.

I think if they just cut the juice, he'd be fine. She says they did (she only makes him "healthy" smoothies at home now) but every time I see that kid out, he's slurping down a capri sun!
 

Puppmom

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Man, this stuff bothers me. I WISH my parents had instilled healthy eating habits in me. It's SO hard as an adult to break that cycle whether you're overweight or not.
 

Jennifer W

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TravelingGal said:
I hung out with her and her son the other day. I guess looking at him with clothes on, I can understand why she thinks he's big boned. He wears slightly baggier clothes and he honestly doesn't look like a fat kid, or even a really chubby one. He just looks solid. All the fat is around his thighs, butt and belly which are harder to hide.

I think if they just cut the juice, he'd be fine. She says they did (she only makes him "healthy" smoothies at home now) but every time I see that kid out, he's slurping down a capri sun!
Capri sun? Ok, let me just hope that isn't the same thing in the US as it is in the UK. :-o
 

TravelingGal

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Jennifer W said:
TravelingGal said:
I hung out with her and her son the other day. I guess looking at him with clothes on, I can understand why she thinks he's big boned. He wears slightly baggier clothes and he honestly doesn't look like a fat kid, or even a really chubby one. He just looks solid. All the fat is around his thighs, butt and belly which are harder to hide.

I think if they just cut the juice, he'd be fine. She says they did (she only makes him "healthy" smoothies at home now) but every time I see that kid out, he's slurping down a capri sun!
Capri sun? Ok, let me just hope that isn't the same thing in the US as it is in the UK. :-o

It's this...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capri_Sun
 

LtlFirecracker

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pancake said:
I would only give my opinion if it were solicited (and I'm a paediatrician - still wouldn't give my opinion to a friend unless they sought it out or if it were in the context of a discussion about the topic).

Otherwise what do you stand to achieve? If your friend won't listen to a health professional whose job it is to advise on her son's health, then she is not going to listen to you - and it may cause strain on the relationship.
I saw this thread and I had to open it, because this is the most common response I get from parents. It is very difficult to deal with. I think it is part denial that their kid has a problem, and they don't want to believe they would do anything that could hurt their child. The other part is overweight/obese children are starting to become the "normal kid" in some areas. I know one 13 year old girl who is healthy with a BMI in the 50% for age, and her classmates call her anorexic.

I agree with the above, she won't listen to you. The best thing you can do is lead by example with your child.
 
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