Morbidly obese six year old-- what's next?

  1. I met a six year old this week while I was out doing laps. He had a new scooter that was pretty fancy. His mom and her friend were walking around the field track, obviously interested in firming up. Mom looked to be about 50 # overweight.

    The six year old caught my eye as he was nearly as wide as he was tall. And, he was very short of breath just sitting on the bleachers with his parked scooter. I complimented him on it and asked him if he attended the adjacent school.
    And, asked how old he was , as it was hard to guess, due to the distortion of his facial features and his size.

    I estimate his weight easily at 200 #.
    I've thought about him all week. What kind of chance at life does he have? Is this child abuse?
    If he were my kid, I know what I'd do.

    Human nature. It is so fascinating to observe. It's interesting to try and understand why some people make the choices they do.

    I saw a hum-dinger adult duo last week too.
    I'm gonna write about them later.
    Gotta go work on fitness first.
  2. 52 Comments

  3. by   nowplayingEDRN
    Was channel surfing a day or so ago in the late morning/early afternoon (something I rarely do). Stumbled over The Maury Povich Show. They had over weight children and their parents on. A 5 y/o that weighted 195#. They had a behavioral scientist or some such person on there. He said the obesity was the direct result of the parents providing the children with instant gratification. They said the 195# child had extreme difficulty with mobility. There were others but I had things to do and there was no luxury to be had to watch the show. It was sad.......It makes me wonder if the parents constantly feed the children to keep them quiet so as they are not interfering with their life or are they over looking that there may actually be some sound medical reason for the obesity and that there is help??? Somewhere there is a lack of education happening and I am not sure where the break down is..........such a shame...poor children. I am not sure how I feel toward the parents of these children though...cause I do not know what they have or haven't tried to do for help for their babies. I think I'll take my walk that I missed lastt night......and spew out another fitness/wellness's been a while and is seriously over due......but that is for after work....when my mind can concentrate on my own well being....uncluttered with the needs of others crisis (so to speak...I hope y'all understand what I mean).
  4. by   VickyRN
    It's a national trend and it's just going to get worse. We have an epidemic of obesity in this country and it is affecting our precious children. In 1980, 5.5% of US children were obese. Want to guess on the figure today??? OK, I'll tell you--it's 15%--3 times the number just 20 years ago. We are now seeing kids with Type 2 DM, HTN, hyperlipidemia, hypercholesterolemia, sleep apnea, joint and musculoskeletal problems--almost unheard of just a generation ago. Too much fastfood, soft drinks, Nintendo and computer games, school lasting from dawn to dusk with little time for PE--we now have a generation of couch-potato kids and I truly am concerned for their future.
    Last edit by VickyRN on Jul 19, '03
  5. by   prmenrs
    I think--and it's just MHO--that something has gone terribly wrong in the internal chemistry department.

    Of course, the child COULD'VE had Prader-Willis' Syndrome, or some other genetic problem.

    I also think it's a mistake to judge w/o ALL the facts. And, thik how damaging it must be to sit there on national TV, and have a whole bunch of perfect (well, not so perfect) strangers make fun of you. How devastatingly painful!!!

    I don't suppose Maury could've helped these children w/o making any $$ on the deal--there's a novel thought.

    Sorry for the sarcasm.
  6. by   Tweety
    What's next is you're going to get a massive chemical imbalance and inexplicabibly gain 100 lbs. much to you're dismay and then walk a mile in someone elses shoes.

    You will be judged harshly, mercilessly, snickered at about your weakness.

  7. by   fab4fan

    Here we go again.
  8. by   passing thru
    Thanks for the factual posts.

    I agree it is very troubling. A morbidly obese adult is one thing.

    A morbidly-obese five year old is quite another.

    To be pronounced "morbidly obese" at five.

    Isn't that a death sentence?
    What's next? Is there life after morbidity at age 5?

    Do you plan for college? marriage? career?
  9. by   prmenrs
    Look up Prader-Willi on google. That is only one GENETIC syndrome that involves compulsive eating, coupled w/very poor muscle tone/strength.

    Parents of these children frequently have to put a padlock on the frig/cupboards/freezer, etc.

    Again, I maintain that it is a bad idea to judge others based on their appearance. Or their child's appearance. If you saw a Down's child, would you blame Mom and Dad?
    Last edit by prmenrs on Jul 19, '03
  10. by   Mithrah
    Here is a story you may be interested in reading:

    I can't imagine what it would feel like to be young and obese. Fortunately, as a kid I was very active and I never even thought much about food. Food was more of an inconvenience since all I wanted to do was ride my bike, jump on the trampoline, or play with my friends. Now kids spend too much time being couch potatoes.

    Blame it on genetics, blame it on the parents, but I blame the majority of it on caloric beverages and inactivity.
  11. by   angelbear
    prmenrs, I think I like you. Definately agree with you.
  12. by   Tweety
    I would presume someone moridly obese as a five year old has some sort of disorder. Either physical or emotional overeating for some reason.

    That aside kids are getting fatter and it's well known. They are less active, they have junk food options and Coke machines at school, harried parents run by McDonalds for meals. It's becoming a major problem with both kids and adults. I think adults need to get their act together and then get their kids in gear right away.
  13. by   LauraF, RN
    I saw that Morey show! He did do something to help those parents. His show got dieticians involved. These mothers were feeding these kids whatever they thought they wanted. One of the toddlers ate 12 eggs for breakfast and 1/2 slab of bacon. And pancakes on top of that. For lunch large bag of chips- the whole bag. It was sad. Morey also payed to have these kids lab work done to make sure there were no under-lying causes.

    As an obese mom of 2 young children, I always watch what my kids eat and how much activity they get. I know that my children will have a high risk of becoming over weight because there is a hereditary gene that predisposes kids to this. I try to teach my children to make the right choices about their snacks. We don't have many snack options mostly fruit, we do have bite size candy bars for potty rewards. Both of my children are proportionate. On the other hand my 2 step daughters each have a different mother are both very over weight. Their mothers take them to fast food often, the youngest one tells me that her mom doesn't ever fix home cooked meals. The 8 year old weighs 80lb and the 14 year old weighs 190lb. I did not weigh as much as the 14 year old when I graduated from high school. When I try and talk to her she just turns me off. I would be better off talking to the wall, but I keep trying when she comes over.

    I think alot is the life style as well. Playstation, cable, satellite, computers. I encourage my family to play outside games. We can't afford a gym but we can sure afford to walk around the block.
  14. by   passing thru
    "We can't afford a gym, but we sure can afford to walk around the block."

    That says it all....

    It's assuming responsibility for your own health and fitness.