Over Weight Child

Updated on December 02, 2012
R.U. asks from South Weymouth, MA
23 answers

Before any one responds please do not lecture me on my child eats what I give her ect......If you knew me you would know I am doing everything possible without ruining my childs self esteem. I am a very thin in shape women. I have always been tiny. My daughter has inherited her fathers familes genes and they were all over weight kids way back before all of this childhood obesity stuff. It upsets me to no end that I would have an over weight child. I never had to deal with weight loss. I have gone to a nutritionist and followed the whole diet. I saw no change. Then I noticed if my daughter was at a friends house or party she would eat everything she could get her hands on. I scaled back. I allowed treats a few times a week. It is so hard with bake sales at school to b day parties halloween thankgiving ect.... she does dance gymnastics and swimming. Basketball also starts soon. What should I do? I am starting to get mad at her. I say things like enough. I feel like she is addicted to food. She will always ask where are we going to eat. When are we going to eat. She wants to snack all the time. I used to think she was just bored but even when she is with her friends she will come to me and say she is hungry while the other girls are off having fun. I do not mean to sound so vain but I have always been the girl with the body. Now I am dealing with this and I just do not know how or if I can fix this. Please anyone going through this? I am ready to call it quits and just let her be. She is so beautiful but I could handle anyone ever being mean to her. I just want my beautiful little girl to be happy and healthy. When the media says its the parents fault I am here to say no its not. Sometimes its just genes.

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answers from San Francisco on

More info required.....how old, how much does she weigh, what's really going on? You are right, we don't know you, but you have not provided enough information to get good responses.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

edited: ok you need to take care of you so you can be happy and not focus so much on this that you are yelling at her.

she is in the 8-10 you range. And you were advised on here before to have her tested for food sensitivities have you done that?

Also she may need to eat many small meals through out the day instead of breakfast lunch and dinner. she might need a protein snack at 10 and 3. to keep her blood sugar levels right,

how much water does she drink. lots of good advice in the past do you have a friend that you could get an honest opinion on this. someone that knows you and sees what you feed her.

Is hubby on board or could he be sneakign her some food??

good luck

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Oklahoma City on

I would say this problem is in your mind. If a diet did not help her then she is the size she is and you have to accept that and just plan your meals with healthy whole some foods that all people eat normally.

I have a friend who's daughter is a year younger than my granddaughter. They are best buds. This little girl was wearing 10-12's by the time she started Head Start. I made clothes for her since she was no where near tall enough to wear those longer sizes, she just needed the width.

This girl was very repulsive to me since she was so overweight to me. I felt like the mom was at fault since, as you said, kids are what they eat.

As I got to know this mom I realized she cooked everything from scratch, she bought fresh foods and used them wisely. She was a very healthy cook. She did everything she could to make sure all her children were eating healthy good foods.

She had 3 other children from a previous marriage. Those children were all tall and thin. Very thin actually. She had a super hard time accepting her daughter's weight issues too.

Her MIL took her aside one day and told her she needed to come look at some photo albums. The MIL showed her the family pictures of all her kids from the time they were born. Each and every one of those children were round rolly polly children. My friend was amazed at this since they were all normal size adults, even on the thin side. She asked what kind of a diet she had put them on to fix the overweight issue. The MIL laughed and told her there was no new diet. The kids grew up and their size became what it became. None of them were overweight adults or even teens.

There are whole families that I know where both mom and dad are super thin and they kids are all large boned heavy kids. When they grew up they were normal sized people without eating disorders because their parents accepted them for the size they were after making sure they were eating good foods that were healthy but still within the "normal foods" category.

Like you they realized they needed to ease up and let the kids have some treats occasionally.

I think you are going to have to accept that your child is a larger child and be done with it. If you keep feeling this way you will eventually ruin her self image and self esteem.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

you don't mention how old your daughter is.
you don't mention if you have taken her in to get her thyroid checked for possible problems.

If she is 9 through 13 - she NEEDS "chunk" to help her go through puberty.

What it seems to me? You are pushing YOUR ideals on your daughter. You are wanting her to be a Barbie Doll and it might not be possible.

Another thing to consider? What **YOU** consider overweight, is NOT overweight. TALK WITH YOUR PEDIATRICIAN!!! Tell the pediatrician - "she is ALWAYS hungry - we need to check her thyroid - I DEMAND tests be run to find out if there is a problem with my child!!!" You are your child's advocate. Advocate for HER..NOT YOU - HER!!!

Maybe take a walk around the block with her. Exercise WITH HER.

STOP FIGHTING HER!!! You are going to give her a negative self-image and create MORE problems with your pushing her to be what YOU want her to be.

YOU have a problem with her weight.
YOU have a problem with her eating habits.
YOU have a problem with her genes...

So work WITH her instead of AGAINST her. HELP her. Get tests run to find out if she has a thyroid, pituitary, or some other issue.

STOP kvetching AT her about being hungry or "fat". STOP!!! Do you want her to be a bulimic? STOP!!! Work WITH her...you are her mother...you are supposed to SUPPORT her.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

don't get angry with her. when she's hungry, give her food, just healthy food. get rid of everything in the house. when you say 'treats' a few times a week, do you mean cookies and cake or fruit with peanut butter? don't restrict her treats, just change what 'treat' means in your house.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

From what you describe, it sounds like your daughter just has a different body type from you, and that her body is more inclined to store energy as fat. This is NORMAL. There are many variations on normal when it comes to body types -- you and she are just on different places in that continuum.

A few thoughts for you: Her body is going to store refined sugar and fatty food as fat, every time. Yours doesn't, hers does. So, dessert should be fruit. At my house, a normal dessert is an apple; a "treat" dessert is strawberries or mango or something. Refined sugar is only for birthdays and special occasions like that.

BUT, the other side of that coin is, control what kind of food you serve, not the portion size. If she wants to have ten nonfat rice cakes or a whole bag of those little carrots -- fine. Just make sure the food itself is healthy and that she gets plenty of water.

And, finally -- this I feel is really important -- sign her up for sports where her body type is valued. Swimming is great, because swimmers need a layer of fat to be buoyant. Gymnastics, maybe not so much. I was always this tall, broad-shouldered, "strapping" girl, and I felt terrible about how I wasn't petite and willowy like my mom. And, because I felt so depressed about being "ugly" no matter what, I wound up overeating because dieting just felt hopeless and pointless. The one thing that made me feel a little better about myself was softball, where my body type wasn't an embarrassment, it made me a valuable member of the team. The thing I wish to no end I'd done, and never did, was rowing/crew.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

1 in every 3 kids in america are overweight.. For me this is true to form. Obese children are more prone to low self-esteem, and depression. That causes them to eat more and get bigger! I have 2 Children that are "normal" Thin, Skinny, Pretty, Beautiful Children. 1 that is overweight "not normal" Has a Pretty Face, Is So smart, So responsible and has a beautiful smile.. I think this has more to do with a negative body image nothing to do with heredity.. Unless the kids are eating what the parents are.. "Just because you may be skinny and can eat a pound of fry's a day and 3, 2 letters of soda.. Dose not mean your 8 year old can". I am 5", 120. My husband is 6"2 230. My Child that is overweight is 4"11, 145 and 14. . .. I can keep her doing good is the summer when I am watching her at the beach or pool.. But it seems like she is sneaking food at school.. Maybe hiding it? .. I do not know.. Good luck.. Same boat..

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

It may be that she is genetically predisposed to being thick boned. However, you can watch her food intake and work on managing her impulse control.

I can remember when my brother was probably the ages of 6-13 years old. He was overweight, and ate a lot of food. My mother, who is genetically thin and small boned, would use a measuring cup to measure out his food. She did this with all of us so he didn't feel singled out. She also took us to a hypnotist. For me it was biting my nails, for my brother, it was his food impulse. It worked well. Also, my brother grew a lot from 13 on, so his weight was more evenly distributed. Now, he's super skinny and 6'2..I'm the one that could stand to lose 20 pounds! Go figure..

The best thing is to not single her out, but have the whole family participate, and work with her on managing food properly.

Have you thought about why she has a poor impulse control to eat? Most kids do for some emotional reason. I would look into that before I would pick on her about it. It would just make her all the more upset, depressed and singled out.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

When she wants snacks just make sure to giver her healthier type snacks. Help her understand the need to make healthy choices when picking her foods. I have an 11 year old boy who easily puts on weight, he is very active, but sometimes in between sport seasons he can really pack it on. I am overweight myself, so alot of times I say things like, "we need to work on making better food choices together so we an both be healthier". I try not to say anything about weight, I just say healthier. I know it can be really hard, it sounds like you are doing what you can. There may be somethng else going on with her and she may be using food as an outlet.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

How old is your daughter? It sounds like she is very active, and that's great. You don't mention if she's always been overweight, and by how much she is overweight - an extra 10 pounds on a 10 year old, or obese? Genes certainly can come into play. However, it sounds like she is very focused on food. My daughter has a friend whose mom was very concerned about weight - she had been overweight when she was younger, didn't want it to happen to her daughter and severely limited any "bad" foods. This kid went on to stuff her face uncontrollably at any party, event, threw up at every sleepover because at 12 years old, she'd gobble down 4 slices of pizza, eat every candy out of a candy dish, etc because at home she could not even eat a granola bar without permission. You are right not to forbid all sweets, but she does need to learn limits. If she's going to a party or a friend's house, get the mom/dad on board with telling her she's had enough. I can't lecture you on what your child eats because you have made no mention of what she eats at all, so I also cannot offer any advice. I don't know if what she's eating is contributing to the weight problem because you haven't provided information on what she eats. You say that you want her to be happy and healthy. Well, of course it is important that she is healthy. You also say that you were always the girl with the body. Please know that not everyone who is overweight is desperately unhappy. An important piece of information you also omitted is whether your daughter is unhappy about her weight!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

You mention that she's always hungry, but you didn't include any details for what foods you feed her at meals and snack times. If you can give more details, we might be able to be more helpful.

Back in Feb my 5 yr old had his wellness check, and he couldn't tell the Ped a single vegetable that he liked. His BMI placed him in the "overweight" category. The Ped told me that his goal was for, in 4 mos, to be able to have a list of vegetables that my son likes. When we got home, my son and I made a veggie chart and put it on the wall next to our breakfast table. Each time my son tries a serving of a vegetable, like spinach, he gets 1 point in the spinach column. If he accumulates 5 points under 1 column, he gets dessert. By the end of the 4 mos, my son had filled his chart with all sorts of different veggies (which are more filling because of their fiber content), and when we returned to the Ped's office, he was back in the "healthy" range of the BMI chart.

Snacks now are healthier than they were, and they were never even TERRIBLE.

All that being said--it could also be that she's an emotional eater (I sure am). When I am sad, stressed, bored, etc., I turn to food. Sometimes it helps for me to chew gum instead, until the urge to eat passes. Sometimes I go for a walk when I am bored and would otherwise head to the fridge.

ETA: Yes, I agree with teaching serving sizes too--meals--one helping of the main entree, but unlimited fruits or veggies are ok. No milk or juice/soda between meals. How much milk does she drink each day? We finally cut out my son's bedtime milk at 5 yrs old, but should have done it MUCH sooner. Now he just gets water at bedtime.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

How old? How many lbs? What does pediatrician sat?

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answers from Boise on

Some kids are just thick, it's just the way it is. I would stop focusing on her weight and focus on her health. Weight does not equate unhealthy, keep her active and involved, make sure that the food choices are healthy and make sure that she never feels any of your issue's with her weight.

My oldest is heavy, some of that is from his medication. My next was a chubby little girl, but would thin out during growth spurts. When she hit puberty there was a huge jump in weight.Then at about 15/16 she decided enough was enough changed her diet (went vegetarian) and asked for the Turbo Jam collection for Christmas. The following summer she got serious, when summer break happened she was 5'8 and almost 200 pounds, when she went back to school she weight 140, a completely different person. Her weight is now maintained at 120. My next one is super skinny and the next 4 are average size for their ages. Then there's my 8 year old who is a big girl, she's 4'9 (maybe a little taller) and over 100 pounds. She's bigger then her average 11 year old brother. Then there is my last one who is tiny all the way around. Kids are all different. All of my kids eat the same food, live in the same environment and all of them are different when it comes to weight. Sometimes, it is 'who' they are.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Appleton on

There is a syndrom where a person does not know when they are full. I don't remember what it is called or how to stop it. But I would think if you googled eating disorders or something like that you could find info on this. Then after reading up on it discuss it with her doctor.

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answers from New York on

Rtttt U -

I get where you are coming from. Its hard to approach a thing like weight when it was effortless for you, and it may never be for your child. Can't help you with concrete suggestions re: diet, food choices and exercise, but I can offer that you are right to think that you've got to work hard to help her manage her natural proclivities, and develop the foundation for a healthy lifestyle.

In the same way that you would take a natural procrastinator, and show them strategies on how to get places on time, how to finish the task at hand, and how to manage their time effectively, you'll have to do the same with food/ eating with your daughter.

Good luck to you and yours,
F. B.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Spartanburg on

I wish somebody had told me as a child how much was too much. Maybe start teaching her to focus on serving sizes. In other words, don't say no to anything, just limit her to one serving. And if she's still hungry, you could say "you've already had a serving of chips, now have a serving of carrots and then see if you're still hungry." At dinner, let her have seconds, but stop her at thirds. Don't speak generally (e.g. "You eat too much") keep your advice to each situation (e.g. "two servings is plenty, give your food a chance to settle then see if you're still hungry"). Her go-to beverage should be WATER. Not juice, milk, Gatorade, etc.
Good luck, really, that's tough.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

i don't know how old she is so that would matter a lot - but i would say, the best we can do is to teach them. it sounds like that is what you're doing. eat healthy and live a healthy lifestyle (often naturally thin people are in worse shape than those of us big people who try really hard to eat right and exercise, not saying that's you, but if you're naturally thin it can be easy to take it for granted.) i guess the "best" thing to do - very hard since we want to HELP our kids - is to let her come to YOU if it begins to be a problem. keep the lines of communication open and always be there for her so that when/if she starts to worry about it she can talk to you. it is a crappy lot in life - i have been overweight since about 10. the best thing my mom did for me was be a good example (luckily she and i are cut from the same cloth) I saw her exercise every day and monitor what she ate. what i wish she had done was more - i had to learn all of that stuff really, because she never talked about it. but she was a good example. good luck mama.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Charlotte on

I think, too, that you should be offering healthy snacks. The more active you keep her, the more chance that she will burn off the calories.

This is something she will have to cope with as an adult, it seems.

Try very hard not to get angry at her. It won't help. She KNOWS you are trying to keep her weight down. Making it an issue will not keep the weight off, but it might put it on.

Just make sure that you take her to her physical exams and let the doctor know while not in earshot of what you have been doing with her. At least then, the doctor will know. Oh, and it might be helpful for your husband to take her to the ped ever so often, like for a sick visit. That way the doctor sees the other side of the family.

Good luck,

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Sounds like you're doing the right thing by limiting your daughter's diet so stick to your guns, but please make sure she gets more heavily involved in sports or steps up her physical activity as she gets older. Both of my girls are heavier than me now, strong, muscular, and both talented soccer players. But the weight issue is compounded by typical teenage insecurity! Shopping for clothes that fit the girls is beyond challenging...


answers from Hartford on

Do you have a pediatric nutritionist to help you? Your local Children's Hospital should have one. They can meet with both you and your daughter and help with meal planning, discussing which foods are healthy, when it's all right to indulge and what foods can be indulged in, how to handle cravings, discussing exercise, discussing diet versus making appropriate food choices, etc.

They can also head you in the right direction to see if any sort of testing or specialist is needed for disordered eating. Your daughter needs as much positive reinforcement as possible so that food doesn't remain an issue for a lifetime. You also don't want food to become a control issue for her, especially not a control issue between you and her. Making food into a self-esteem AND a control issue is a recipe for disaster. Trust someone who is still suffering with disordered eating after having a control freak for a father.

But it might not be just disordered eating from not knowing how to eat properly and drink fluids properly or control issues... there could be an imbalance going on with her hormones. She may not be able to tell when she's actually hungry or full. A nutritionist can help figure these things out.



answers from Boston on

Take her to the doctor, could be her thyroid. You sound like a wonderful mom. Encourage her to cook and make healthy recipes that she might like. Have healthy snacks available for her at all times. Have her drink plenty of water during the day. good luck


answers from Houston on

I hear ya and I understand. Keep her active. You never said her age, so I am unsure what activities are of interest. Maybe there is a summer (weight) camp in your area.



answers from San Francisco on

You need to get her to change her eating habits. Anything less is only a band-aid and will not serve her well throughout her lifetime.

Start with portion sizes. One portion of each dish. Period. NEVER eat until you are full; only eat until satisfied. If you eat until you're full, you stretch your stomach out and it takes more food the next time to fill you up. If you stop when you're satisfied, you will stay fuller longer and won't stretch your stomach out.

Encourage her to drink water when she's hungry; it's amazing how it can fill you up. Also encourage her to drink a large glass of water before eating. It will help fill her up so not so much food.

The best form of exercise I would recommend is brisk walking.

Good luck to you and yours!

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