Fat Kids.

Unless it is due to a medical problem, if your young child is unfit and overweight then you are a bad parent. 

There is a little girl in the nursery I work at that is quite overweight...She is just 3 years old and I need help lifting her onto the swing. She can't run with the other children, in fact she gets tired and starts to drag her feet if she has to walk for more than 10 minuets. I am so angry about this!

When a child is that young they are completely reliant on their parents or carers. They eat what you give them to eat, they exercise when you give them the opportunity.

If you give your child more food than they need, if you feed them junk food and park them in front of the telly all the time then you are abusing your child. Why? Because your actions are having a negative effect on your child's body and overall health. It's neglect!    




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36 Responses Dec 1, 2009

Very true! I was lucky in what happened to me. My sister and I had virtually the same body build as children, but went on to be raised in two separate homes. The home she was raised in was run by a depressed man who ate out for most meals and didn't exercise at all. (He's happy and healthy now though :D) I was raised in a home run by a health nut who took me on amazing fast paced hikes, bike rides, and runs. My sister grew to be overweight and prone to emotional problems due to lack of attention. I'm happier and healthier, and I realize that our health wasn't in our hands at such an early age. It was in the hands of our parental figures.

Totally agree with you. I was a fat from age 6 & onward and the fat ruined my life. My parents knew I was fat, and were nagged about if by relatives, who openly ridiculed & harrassed me. My parents were also told by doctors, I ought to be put on a diet. But my parents believed, and I heard this a thousand times, "When you are a teen ager, you'll fall for some boy, lose weight and everything will be all right." That fairy tale was ba<x>sed on my older sister who shed maybe 5 lbs max from her temporarily chubby figure when she developed a chrush on a boy. Now, I wasn't 5 lbs overweight, I was like 50 lbs overweight. What the hell were my parents thinking? For myself, I have a vivid memory of being in kindergarden and standing in front a mirror, in my panties, staring at myself and wondering what the heck FAT was. I thought I looked fine. Fat? Me? Naw... Whatever did the little neighborhood boys mean when they teased and harrassed me about being fat? I was just me - normal - no different from anyone else. So - what could have been a solution? I don't know. My parents were blind to their daughter's fat, as was I. Back then the American diet was healthier, but living in the city I was an indoor kid who ate for entertainment. I was doomed. <br />
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That's why I'm sad for fat kids and hope their parents nip it all in the bud, eschewing crap overprocessed food, feed their kids real food, and see they get loads of fun exercise. MOVE your bums parents, and take your tubby tots along with you!

My mom ate way too much while pregnant and fed me like I was three children in my first year. I was chubby as a kid and have had to fight weight all my life. I am so glad to hear from someone like yourself who greatly suffered all your life (&amp; I'm so sorry about that) so that others will stop being so politically correct and say something to obese children and their parents--like the TRUTH! It's far better to 'offend' a child and force them to lose weight when they are young than to let this situation go on and do so much harm that in many ways cannot be reversed once set in stone by aging and physiology. God Bless You!

I grew up with my Mom and Grandmother making the fasiest foods for dinner and my Mom would get as fast food on nights she didn't feel like "dealing" with us kids. I grew up a bit bigger than I should have been and was called horrible names even by my own family. My Mom and Grandmother are both overweight. I have 4 kids of my own and try as hard as I can to make healthy meals every night. Sometimes it is like pulling teeth to get them to try new thing and healthy things but I keep at it. My 10 year old is about 15 pounds overweight and I take him on walks with me and the kids go out everyday to play. The poor things cries about being "fat". I hate that he feels this way and I think he will have a growth spurt and things will be fine. I think parents need to really watch either way for their kids health. This nation is overweight as a whole and all need to be healthier. I myself am trying to lose weight.

I'm sorry, but I don't think it's as easy as you say. I have three children. I feed them the same (meaning they are provided the same snacks and I don't cook different meals.) One has a slender and athletic body, the second is overweight and struggles, my youngest is actually underweight. In my family, I have always battled with my weight as well as one brother and sister. Everyone else is very fit and athletic. SOME of the problem is with choices meaning if my son gets the chance to eat sweets he'll take them. However, something is also going on that is either genetics or how our bodies are responding to the chemicals now found in food.

I was a fat kid. I agree that not giving your child proper nutrition and activity constitutes abuse. Some parents just don't know, though... or they go about it all wrong.<br />
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I wasn't always fat... it started in earnest around age 7 or 8, and by the time i was 19 (legal age here for everything), I was over 300 lbs. I was over 200 lbs by the time I was 13. <br />
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At first, the weight caused small problems... not being able to keep up in running with my classmates, small things at school from other students. My social problems that started from the time we moved to the area when I was five, got worse. And worse still as time went on. <br />
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I believe now that I suffered from childhood depression. I was miserable all the time. There was maybe a week here and there where I can say I was "happy" or at least "neutral" feeling between ages 7 or so and 19. That's a long time to feel miserable!<br />
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No one at the time was able to assist. I remember from grade 2 and up, that I would come home after each day of school and be miserable and crying due to being bullied about my weight, and being called stupid (apparently you are stupid if you are fat?) I dove into escapist ventures... voraciously reading books, spending hour upon hour watching TV (mostly educational programs, though there was a ton of other stuff too as my TV watching wasn't monitored, and there were definitely no "critical thinking skills" discussions regarding TV shows/ads), or playing on the computer. Due to social issued because of lack of fitness, I had very, very few friends, so "going outside to play" was a lonesome venture that offered no solace to me -- at least, not as much as books, TV, or the computer. <br />
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I cannot say that my parents were wholly to blame. My mother did try hard to make nutritious meals despite us being a poor family. There was at least a nutritious dinner just about every night until I was 13 or so (the age at which it was judged i could cook my own meals out of a box, so ate mac n cheese 4 nights a week until only a few years ago... my insides are probably that strange orange colour now permanently). Breakfasts were usually one of those chocolate-add-milk instant breakfast things, as I have always had issues sleeping at night (now diagnosed as chronic insomnia), and would be so sluggish and tired in the morning that I would not be able to get up until ten minutes before I had to leave the house to walk the two blocks to school or the block to the bus stop -- about as much time is needed to throw on some clothes, drink something, grab my bag, and go out the door). <br />
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My father made my lunch until grade 8 (he made the funnest lunches!!), then I was given money to use at the vending machines, and once I requested it, at the grocery store instead so I could get cheaper ingredients to make a better lunch (when schooled in town, I would actually use the money for two meals, breakfast and lunch)... though my allowance usually still got eaten by vending machines. I basically subsisted off of potato chips and pop, with a few grains and dairy thrown in. I would get big canisters of iced tea mix, or kool aid mix, and sometimes add sugar to them. I drank litres of the stuff every day. All of the diet drinks were carbonated, and I hate carbonation (bugs my throat), so it seemed to me to be a decent choice. I took up foods class soon as it was available to me as an elective... it at least guaranteed some sort of decent meal every other day or so. <br />
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I was always hungry. I could eat six cheeseburgers in a single sitting, plus fries, plus a huge sugary drink. I didn't realize that I was always hungry because the food I was eating was so processed that my body would just send it right through, that it wasn't nutritious enough for me to feel full. I was so fatigued every day because of sleep issues and the sugary buzz/crash diet. I was so unfit... I would get winded going up a flight of stairs. I had no friends because I was so heavy, and so miserable. My own family started calling me names, "fatty", "pig", etc. <br />
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I have asked them, now that I am an adult, why they did not help me with nutrition education, and be more active. They tell me that they "tried" but that I whined so much about things, and that I "didn't want to do anything" and "only wanted to eat and watch tv" that it simply became easier to let the electronic babysitters look after me. I remember growing up there was always junk food in the house (they got munchies from smoking pot and drinking booze), and it was always accessible, though often I "snuck" it while they were occupied with other things. My mother went through a deep depression and would just watch TV and smoke cigarettes and sleep on the couch, so it was very easy to sneak stuff past her. I didn't know she was in such pain. I didn't know my habits would cause me so much grief.<br />
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At 16, I was at the local childrens hospital with the pediatrician there. It was in regards to a horemone problem I have (that also contributed to bullying, depression, etc). He asked to talk to me privately, and my parents left the room. He then told me that I would get diabetes and die before I was 25. He told me I would need to take insulin needles. He showed me all the equipment for it. He said that I didn't have it yet, but that I would. Just past 16 and given a death sentence. He also told my parents. They stopped letting me eat junk food... for three days (tough love is hard for them, I guess). They told me "we dont want you to die young," and I told them "Everyone dies, I'm already going to die young. Let me enjoy it." Somehow that was logical enough for them. That year I attempted suicide for the fourth time, and cut myself for a month-long period. Yes, it was an emo attempt for attention. I didn't think so at the time... it was what they call a "cry for help". No-one listened. Who cares about the fat kid?<br />
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I moved out when I was 19. I weighed about 330 lbs. I say "about" because I stopped getting on the scale when I reached 275 two years before. I stopped looking at myself in the mirror. After I moved out... my weight started to decrease. A situation of less stress, less access (being poor lol) to junk food, more activity (was walking to/from work 40min every day), and a different lifestyle.<br />
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I'm now 26. The emotional scars from my childhood have not decreased. I still think I have some form of depression, but not nearly so bad. I never feel as bad now as I did then. I have stretch marks all over from the rapid weight gain as a kid. I weigh again what I weighed when I was 13... about 200 lbs. This number is decreasing each month. I have more energy. I am more active. I eat more nutritious foods most of the time (I still like treats, of course). I do not have diabetes. I do not need insulin. I am not dead. I'm fixing the problems now that could have been prevented had my parents put in the effort... if I had put in the effort.. when I was younger. I do have gallstones, or rather.. one gallstone about a half inch in diameter. I don't get attacks (the most painful thing ever!) if I eat well and get enough nutrition.... I'm still on the waiting list for surgery for it, and have been for two years. <br />
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Letting your kids get fat causes long term negative issues. It may be easier in the short term, but in the long term, your children will be miserable.

Agreed, it's not normal for a child to be so big. The parent needs to educate themselves and realize that 1) their child is overweight, and because they are the parents they need to do something because their kid doesn't know any better 2) this will affect their social life and make it harder for them to make friends if they're different which 3) will affect their self esteem and cause them to take drastic measures (ilke resort to self starvation or throwing up) in order to lose the weight<br />
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Seriously? What kind of parent lets their kid become that big that young?

I really wonder about this too. I have a 4 y/o little boy and saw a few kids in his daycare acquire the obese condition. I'm not sure how I feel about it since I did not observe the eating habits of these children throughout the day, but I will say that I saw more processed food and soda. <br />
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I was (and still am) as diligent as i can be with my son's diet. It isn't perfect but I've never made him finish his plate and you'd be surprised how common this is. My family and other friends I know are obsessed on not "wasting" food. I'd much rather see my son listen to his hunger signals then to worry about the fact that he didn't eat 2 extra chicken nuggets that I paid for. Money is either wasted on wasted food (saving the child by allowing him/her to heed their own hunger signals) or through diets, operations, medications, etc. to treat obesity and diabetes. <br />
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But the parents are NOT the only ones to blame in this mess. I have delved deeply into food additive history. Many parents are unaware that food manufacturers have GREATLY increased the number of available foods and ingredients with things called "excito-toxins" such as MSG (and all of its man made derivatives like guanalate, sodium diguanalate (sp?)..), nitrates, artificial sweeteners and high fructose corn syrup. They have also added more and more of these toxins to our foods, especially targeting child-targeted foods like chef boyardee, boxed mac n' cheese, frozen meals, cheese flavored chips and snacks, ranch dressing, vitamins, candy, gum, juice drinks, ice cream treats... even some pre-cut produce that purports to be "healthy for your child." (NOT loaded with sulfites thank you very much!!) Ugh..<br />
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I have been able to find acceptable substitutes for these food items by just buying another brand, but it has taken A LOT of label reading and learning what shelf items have the additives and which items do not. <br />
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As if it weren't enough to battle your child (after all, to be a good parent, you have to issue tough love 1000 times a day), then sort of "battle" the food manufacturers by voting with your wallet, THEN you have to deal with the daycare. Before I bash daycares, not ALL are bad in this department but mine did not heed my instructions what so ever. Even when i brought in snacks and lunch for my son, they STILL bribed the kids with candy to get them to sit in storytime, gave them doughnuts and cupcakes nearly every day! I mean, I'm cool with the occasional birthday for the kids but seriously, there was hardly a day that went by that I didn't see a box of treats on the counter and my son was asking for another cupcake or doughnut. And after I specifically requested they not give my son artificial sweeteners of any sort (they are a virile exito toxin that actually increases craving for sugary things), what did they do? They made a big ol' pitcher of crystal light and had my son begging for more. <br />
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Then you have EVENTS, like storytime, magic shows, visits with family and friends. Yeah, I'm the mother that says "oh, my son can't have that" and I look like an ******* half the time but I don't care, it's his health and I really WISH more parents cared about all the crap they are giving to their children. <br />
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I'm horrified even by an MSG buffet of ingredients in a single casserole that parents will make a and feed their children. Is it really hard for people to realize that we are society that is as far away from our natural earthly diet as possible and are fatter than ever? And I'm sorry, but I want to know why the hell disodium phosphate guar gum guanalate glumate (and god knows what other chemicals) are in my child's food and why I shouldn't be skeptical about giving it to him. <br />
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I'm not a star parent by any means. I would be miserable if I didn't give in to the occasional treat or let him "sneak" a piece of candy or enjoy some of the bad things in life, but I do try to teach him that they are not every day things and that he won't grow and be healthy if he doesn't eat the good things. <br />
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I didn't mean to go off on a tangent here but you definitely hit a nerve and this is a great post. I'm glad you brought it up. :-)

spot on, this is so true... i'm horrified too at the situation for the poor little girl in the OP's story but you bring to the table a very valid point that should not be dismissed. we have NO choice these days what is being put in our food, all we can do is hunt for the real thing while shopping or grow our own as my family is doing for next year.

thank you for saying it I am always bitching about this to my boyfriend saying if when we have children and they are little porkers than were will being horrible parents, not like i am the most attractive thing... but I want my children to be healthy happy and love themselves not waking up each day thinking they are fat ugly and knowing they are unhappy thats not fair to them.

When the term "bad parent" is said, what comes to mind is a drugaddict an alcoholic or some guy who beats his children almost to death everynight. However, loving and caring parents can be bad parents too if they are overprotective. In fact, a obese kid is likely to be the result of overprotective parents better. Remmeber food is also a drug.

on another note, what about poverty?<br />
I read somewhere on a forum a thread about junk food being much cheaper than healthy food, to the point that a bag full of cookies that could have fed a family cost as much as an apple or two. I don't remember where that was happening, but still. It's an issue to consider.

it is much cheaper... in the US (according to Oprah Winfrey's show) the govt subsidizes junk food and food products but not healthier foods. i believe there is an actual conspiracy to kill off the poor and low income earners this way.

I agree... I'm an overweight young adult so I usually don't like extreme black and white things said about this issue, but when it comes to children, I believe you are right. A child that age is more a reflection of the care they are given, than of their own actions. What you say sounds like this girl is extremely overweight for her age ... are you absolutely sure there's no medical condition? I am very much against children getting bullied and discriminated against for their weight, but from that to the parents realizing there is a problem, there's a big difference. If you work at the nursery can't you suggest anything by any chance? I really don't know how these institutions work, but I think you should be able to.

RBC--<br />
"Well not everyone is blessed with the perfect environment. I think it is so easy to thumb your nose down at people when you have been lucky enough to be born into the right environment to succed in life." -- Not all of us in the thread has been born in a good enviroment. I for one was born into a hostile enviroment; however, I chose to learn things on my own and "raise" myself. I don't think anyone is downing anyone here by means of "thumbing your nose." <br />
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"The rich thumb their nose at the poor, with race that used to be an issue, with appearance, you're ugly, I'm beautiful so you're benath me blah blah blah." -- That is mostly pop psychology. No one has made this issue about looks. <br />
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"It is not the child's fault, you don't pick your parents or the environment you're born into." No one said it was.<br />
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"I know I wish I had that opportunity but none of us are given it. I know you are not blaming the little girl but what I'm saying is her parents were once children too, and most likely their parents did the same thing, they're doing to her." -- But you just brought it up first. Saying "it's not the childs' fault. Everyone has a choice. This mother-father -whomever has a choice to make. Yes. You are right. But about 50% of them are lazy and unwilling to learn and the other half are just going by what they were taught and think that is the right way.<br />
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"They don't know any better and most likely either don't know how to do better or don't want to know any better, this has been their lifestyle and they're sticking to it. Plus fast food is just that fast, some single parents don't have the time to cook. Money's another issue, organic food is expensive as hell. The cycle continues, like the cycle of poverty etc." -- You are right, again. About half of these parents do not know better and most of them do. It's hard to tell what half is which. Not all of them are innocent victims in cases like this. About the organic thing, I do not feed my kids organic food. I cannot afford it. Most of it is not even better that "that plain"food we all consume. About HALF of the time (let me emphasize half) poverty stricken families can have access to adequate healthcare and food resources. (aka food stamps, medicaid, etc)<br />
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"No ones denying its an issue but like I said before we all don't get blessed with parents or families who care or know how to care." But you just did. You just said that not everyone is blessed with a perfect enviroment and that they are ignorant. But then you say no one is denying its an issue? <br />
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"And some kids do have medical issues or its just their body issue, we're not all skinny. I know of plenty of kids I went to grade school with who were chubby and by high school had grown out of it and were perfectly fine." -- Vanity wasn't mentioned. Just because (anyone) is overweight doesn't have anything to do with vanity. Beautiful people come in all shapes and sizes. You are the one saying here that if you are fat, you are ugly with your comment.

I've read some of the comments here, interesting topic. Well not everyone is blessed with the perfect environment. I think it is so easy to thumb your nose down at people when you have been lucky enough to be born into the right environment to succed in life. The rich thumb their nose at the poor, with race that used to be an issue, with appearance, you're ugly, I'm beautiful so you're benath me blah blah blah. It is not the child's fault, you don't pick your parents or the environment you're born into. I know I wish I had that opportunity but none of us are given it. I know you are not blaming the little girl but what I'm saying is her parents were once children too, and most likely their parents did the same thing, they're doing to her. They don't know any better and most likely either don't know how to do better or don't want to know any better, this has been their lifestyle and they're sticking to it. Plus fast food is just that fast, some single parents don't have the time to cook. Money's another issue, organic food is expensive as hell. The cycle continues, like the cycle of poverty etc. No ones denying its an issue but like I said before we all don't get blessed with parents or families who care or know how to care. And some kids do have medical issues or its just their body issue, we're not all skinny. I know of plenty of kids I went to grade school with who were chubby and by high school had grown out of it and were perfectly fine.

Yea I got off topic but sort of not really. I remembered that when the OP talked about "fat kids." <br />
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I understand how hard it is to potty train kids. Oh boy do I!!! <br />
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My four year old is now potty trained and has very few accidents; but only NOW is she.. The entire time she was 3 she had accident after accident and wore pullups 80% of the time. It's not easy, but it is do-able. <br />
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I am thinking this little girl I am talking about may have a developmental disability but my neighbor claims her mom was lazy. Who knows. =( So sad.

Never potty trained and home-schooled....that is so messed up. <br />
Grow a backbone parents, do your job. <br />
It's not all that hard.

^^ GLAD this was brought up because I made this mistake with my first born. Of course I tried the greens and she turned up her nose. So I did the fruity stuff and she loved it. My second I kept trying with her so now she will eat stuff good for her; whereas I have a hard time with my 4 year old eating more healthy.<br />
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But she 's a tall lean thing with a high metabolism. Very active.. Healthy as a whip, but we still need to work on that nutrition.<br />
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As far as the OP, it irks the **** out of me to see this! I could take it a step further.<br />
This apartment complex I used to live in.<br />
Get this. The girl was 7 years old. Overweight. Still wearing diapers. <br />
So I ask my neighbor if I was hallucinating. I said she must have a incontinence problem. Neighbor said nope. The mom never potty trained her. Nor does the child go to school. <br />
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I don't know what became of her. I know my neighbor was deeply involved and wanting CPS out there; etc. I hope that the little girl is doing better.

Good point, Pla<x>yer. They say when you first start your baby on solid food, give them something like green beans. Not sweet fruits with added sugar.

I totally agree with this. My stupid ex only feeds our son processed foods. It's taken me a while and I have to be the "bad guy" who forces him to eat the not fun foods but lo and behold he know likes some of the things I've been forcing him to eat. It's so much easier if you never start them on unhealthy choices.

Yep. I think it's equally important to mention the value of teaching your kids how to cook. My boys are very popular on campus because they can create a meal with whatever is on hand. Even our 7 yr.old knows his way around the kitchen. He made his first cucumber salad when he was four. And I let him use the good knife!

I sat and listened to a table full of Moms going on about all the dietary supplements they give their kids because they are such "picky eaters." <br />
"Little Johnny will only eat chicken nuggets and french fries."<br />

Its very sad that parents shove junk food down their kids throat whether they like it or not.


well...not in all cases of being fat. i get what your implying, but all people have something called a "set-point" (thats rite, i took physiology! *thumbs up*) in which our bodies stabilizes at a certain weight, based on their body type. <br />
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Since everyone's is different, it's obvious that some people will be on the end of the bell curve. that also applies to the lucky people (like me) who can eat whatever they want and stay thin.

nice suggestion ... agree here.

Here's a bit about someone that I knew when I lived in another state, and she was a good person, but so overly concerned with fat, this is on the other end of the spectrum, that she was overly strict with her kids, and her one daughter, she wouldnt allow anything with carbs or fat if she could, and the problem is, children and infants do need some, in various forms, (not talking about steak fat here), and the child was stick thing beyond normal, and to grow, one needs carbs especially, its only a so-called dirty word :) when someone is an adult or child in an obese situation, carbs can be amazling good, grain breads, for those that do not need to lose and even then, one slice now and then or anything that adds grains, is good, but too thin, horribly so, simply because certain items have been denied that child is going over board...Im always surprised at the lack of care and judgement, but this also doesnt mean there are not a lot of wonderful parents, there are, the ones who are not, perhaps should be given guidelines, and when a child is allowed to continue in either state, overly obese, or undeweight, once a Dr. has checked them out to be sure its not from some physical ailment then that parent put on guidelines for the childs diet, should have no problem adhering to it at all if they really love that little being.

I agree. What is so hypocritical is the school sends home BMI reports and then serves the crappiest, high caloric, sugary food available for lunch. I have no problem packing a healthy lunch, but for a society complaining about overweight kids, why are the schools encouraging this behavior?

Best story ever! You are so right. Sometimes shame is a good thing, and neglectful parents who abuse their children nutrionally need to be shamed out of it. How about big goverment running a series of public service ads showing how lazy, ignorant people feed fat, sad children. Why not? We would save thousands of lives!

I agree, that is so not necesssay for a child to over eat, and what they eat is given to them by the parents, they are in charge..its neglect and abuse.

I agree completely. parents do not love their kids but are busy with their own concerns. they send the kids to school and expect the teachers to do everything.

Children naturally like healthy food...but you have to give it to them, duh.

I agree, parents don't look after their children properly, I also think if parents are obese where they have been overeating the wrong things, the children are going to copy them.

i agree to but some parents take the weight thing to far. i work in a dr office and i have to take weights on kids. there are girls who are around 8 to 11 who weight around 88 lbs which is normal and the mom says wow your getting fat or its time for someone to go on a diet. To me this is abuse. You should never call your young child fat. This is how eating disorders start. If there is a weight problem feed them better things o take them to the park to run around do not go calling kids fat because its horrible!

everything u wrote above is true! i have friends who do just exactly that, u think kids don't realize weight issues, think again.

Sadly, parenting is not reserved for intelligent, well educated people who were raised by intelligent, well educated people. Parenting should be taught in schools. Ill educated, unfortunate people tend to pass down their lacks to the generations that follow them. I hope that the nursery schools you are referring to: provide nutritious, wholesome snacks. At many day care facilities--- kool aid and cookies are served.

i agree 100%

It's a form of abuse, neglect.<br />
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My friend works in a nursery where she had 3-4 yr old wearing 10yr old kids clothes because she was so fat. At her meeting with parents at their house, the kid was given chocolates to snack on, her dinner later being a plate of chips.<br />
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When she was in year 6, it got worse. She was almost a size 16. She had a stomach ache and told her teacher. She asked what she had for breakfast. The answer being a litre bottle of lemonade.<br />
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They might as well kill the kid now instead of torturing her with diabetes.