From Bill, Child's Age 12 - 03/08/01  Click here to reply  
I have a huge problem on my hands. My son is 12 years old, 5'4" tall and weighs 365 pounds. The problem I have is that he doesn't seem to be bothered by it. All of his friends accept him for who he is, and he very rarely gets teased because everyone can see it doesn't bother him. He even goes swimming in the summer, shirtless in the town pool, and no one seems to be bothered by it because he's been enormously fat since he was born. I am getting concerned because it can't be good for his health to be so very obese, though he doesn't seem to have breathing problems, or trouble getting around. When I bring up the subject of weight loss to him, he doesn't seem the slightest bit interested, in fact, once he even said he liked being just the way he is. What can I do to convince him to drop some weight, before he gets any bigger. I sure don't want a 400 pound 13-year old next year.
Reply from Nicola, Child's Age 11 - 03/28/02  - IP#:
I tottaly dissagree with sue I'm only 11 and I was intrested in boy for 2 years (I have 3 boy friends I hope they don't read this ages 14, 19, and 16 really cute too but they don't know about each other) and I weigh 238 and they don't care how I look although I do look sexy in a bekini.
Reply from J.B., Child's Age 13 - 10/20/01  - IP#:
Bill- I know what your son's going through. I have a kid almost the same size as him. Just be positive with him and let him know that you love and support him. That's what's important.
Reply from Susan, Child's Age 9 - 03/16/01 
Your letter really surprised me. I thought it was a type-o at first. My husband weighs about the same weight as your son and is considered severly overweight. He has trouble with his breathing and his back. He is at risk for a heart attack !
Your son may be able to handle the weight now or so it appears but as he gets older, his body cant handle that weight or more of it. The heart has to pump harder etc.
You are very riht to be concerned. Its great that your son has accepted himself for who he is and it is our job to nuture them in all areas, not just food & diet but emotionally & mentally. The problem is, until you son sees this as a major problem, its an upward battle. He needs help, perhaps counseling. I know its hard to imagine a kid going to counseling but for most kids, weight gain has some sort of thing attached to it... example, they eat when they are bored or upset. Some kids like the taste of food so much that they eat 2nd & 3rd helpings just because it tastes good when the were full long before.
Your child may resist you at first but being the parent, its an area you are going to have to enforce. You will have to make the home a safe house from the kinds of food that are detrimental to his health. Take him to a doctor, get help immediately and I bet you will find that when he starts to loose weight, he will like that feeling too !
Reply from Sue, Child's Age 12 - 03/11/01 
I think you are right to be concerned about your son. It seems that he feels it is 'normal' to be that big because he has always been big. Socially it doesn't bother him and he is probably a bit too young to be interested in girls yet so from that side it doesn't bother him either.
But, as you say, he is facing health problems if he continues to put on weight and for that reason alone you have to try and help him to lose some weight. I think to begin with you have to stress the possible health problems he faces if he continues to put on weight. Sit him down, one to one, with all the information at hand on the possible risks to his health that being so overweight could mean. You really do have to scare him a little to make him appreciate what could happen. The next step that I would take is going to see a doctor, either alone or with him to discuss your concerns and get a sensible and realistic diet for him to follow. He is going to hate this and that is where you will probably have a battle. I don't know if this will work for you but in my daughter's case I knew that she would be miserable if she had to do without the foods that she really loves i.e. pizzas, pasta, chinese food so we just found low calorie Weight Watcher's versions plus, believe it or not, low calorie ice cream which she insists tastes the same as regular ice cream. Go around the supermarkets and find these low calorie/low fat foods. You can even get low fat chips. It is very tricky because while you have to get him to realise he will potentially get serious health problems, you don't want to scare him too much so he has an eating disorder, but it sounds like he has an eating disorder already. I also think it has to be a family effort. In our house we just stopped buying chocolate (which I still miss like hell) and we just all ate healthier foods. What helped with us is we made a note of everything she was eating, added the calories up and kept to below a certain amount but it was important to still include some sweet stuff - we found low calorie lollies and low calorie crisps (potato chips). Kids do love this stuff and will more than likely be miserable if they don't eat it. We even found low calorie chocolate eclairs.
Good luck. I hope this advice helps.