From John's aunt, Age 13 - 06/15/14 - IP#:  Click here to reply  
Ht. 5'1", Start: 68 lb, Today: 132 lb (BMI %tile: 94), Goal: 101 lb - Hello, I'm the aunt of a boy named John, who came to live with us a year ago because his mom had been neglecting him. I apologize for coming to the teen's board, but I NEED YOUR ADVICE PLEASE. John came to us last June and he was seriously underweight. The doctor said he was 57" tall and weighed only 68 pounds and at the physical with his shirt off I could see how all his ribs showed. For the first 2 weeks I tried to get John to eat more at meals but he didn't eat that much and then I began to make him treats like a milkshske before bedtime and things like that because the doctor said he was so underweight. Then John began to eat more and by the time school started he was asking for seconds at meals and we (my husband and me) gave him an allowance so he could by snacks after school with his new friends. Two weeks ago we had to take John back for another physical because Social Services is evaluating us to become John's adopted parents (which he wants). The good news is that he grew 4 inches and is now 5'1" and weighs 132 pounds. It was the first time since last fall since I saw him without a shirt and he has a round belly and lovehandles and a big puffy chest. The doctor met with me and my husband afterwards and told us that John is obese and we need to cut back on how much he eats. The doctor said he should weigh 100 lbs. The problem is how do I do that? When he asks for seconds, I ask him if he really wants more, he says he's still hungry and I don't want him to feel sad that we're depriving him so I give in and let him eat what he wants. I tried to cut back on snacks that we buy, like chips and cookies and ice cream but my husband likes them and told me to keep on buying what I always have because it's just a phase John is going through and when he gets taller his height will catch up to his weight. Yesterday we went to the beach and I noticed how every hour John went to buy snacks for himself, like hot dogs or ice cream and I noticed how he looks even bigger than he did 2 weeks ago and how tight his board shorts are that we bought him in April. I'm worried because of what the doctor said, that we have to help John cut back on what he eats or else he could become very fat. John is a good boy and I don't want to hurt his feelings by telling him how fat he looks now and my husband gets mad when I try to talk to him abut him. He says I should leave John's eating and weight alone and he's growing and that's why he eats a lot.
So please, tell me what I should do. I think you needs know better than other parents. I'm really worried about John but I don't want to hurt his feelings, he had a real hard life before he came to live with us. THANKS.
Reply from Josh, Age 17 - 06/06/16  - IP#:
I'd say to make small changes in his lifestyle: introduce a daily 30 minute walk or cut back on a snack he eats a lot. If you like to cook, try baking some healthier snacks so he doesnt eat chocolate etc. I know it's hard saying no to a child though
Reply from John's aunt, Age 13 - 06/20/14  - IP#:
Thanks for your suggestions, Gracie! John is on summer vacation from school now and home all day, and I'll make sure there is plenty of fruit and veggies around for snacking. I'll make a salad to go with dinner to help him fill up on healthy veggies.
Reply from Gracie, Age 19 - 06/17/14  - IP#:
Hi, John's Aunt! :) Well, the first thing is, John seems like a really nice boy. It also sounds like he may be eating so much for emotional reasons. I have no idea what he may be going through, but that could be a reason why he likes food so much. Also, he could probably eat as much as he wanted if it was mostly meat, vegetables and fruits. What you could do is slowly cut back on things like cookies, soda, a lot of bread, etc and add in lots of meat and vegetables cooked in a lot of yummy ways. Not only will that bring weightloss, it will also make him a Lot healthier and he will grow better. I hope this helps you!! :)