Life as I Know It; Family; Lifestyle; and Healthy Living!
I took my daughter for her annual physical earlier this evening. I just don't understand why they schedule appointments when you have to wait almost 30 minutes to be seen?! The doctor we saw this evening wasn't her usual pediatrician, it's the other doctor who is also a part of the practice. Since her doctor was fully booked, I decided to keep this appointment that I had made a month ago. It was good timing too since she suddenly got ill last Wednesday night, right before Thanksgiving and I wanted to make sure she was OK (although she has improved since then).

Finally the doctor came in just as Amanda was whining because we had been waiting a bit! I'm glad she heard her whining for heavens sake! Anyway, the usual stuff out of the way, sounding, knocking on the knee, checking eyes, ear, throat, etc; Asking me questions on how active she was, what stage her development was, her bout of illness last week had left no trace of an infection or anything to worry about. She did still have a little cough which some Tylenol should help to keep under control. OK, that's good I thought, my baby was getting a clean bill of health! Then the doctor wanted to know again, how active she was, did she dance or anything? I said yes, we did do a lot of things together, she's not in a registered dance program or anything like that but She's a pretty active six year old.

Then she mentioned that I should make sure she eats a lot of fibre, cut back on juices, she should not be getting any juices at all, just water because the sugar in the juice was bad. I said, that I usually try to buy the healthier juices but I was aware of this (sugar in juices - too much of it) and monitored her intake as well as watering down most of her juices which she has begun to like that way. OK, but she should drink mostly water, especially Propel (spell?), because that's better than juices.

And I should make sure there are less trips to the fast food, and I told the doctor that we rarely have fast food, i.e., MacDonald's etc., when we do, it's once a month or some times every other month. She was happy to hear this. Now by this time I've been trying to get the doctor to say what was wrong with Amanda since she seemed concerned. I asked out right. She said that Mandy's weight is at the top percentile, although she is a tall girl, just monitor her and help her to lose about five pounds.

OK, I realise that Mandy is now six, and she might not be skinny, but she isn't fat either! I've been making sure that she gets lots of exercise especially after school. She does have a little pot belly, nothing to lose sleep over about and I make sure she exercises! She rides her bike, plays a lot, goes to the playground, is constantly actively busy! I do let her eat whatever she wants within reason but making sure that she doesn't over do it, i.e., eat too much. I just don't want her to have hang ups about food!

Meanwhile, Mandy is looking at me and looking worried. I'm getting anxious, so I asked the doc, what is her weight now, since the nurse didn't tell me at weigh in, she's 62 pounds and her height is now 47 inches. "OK, so is that too much for her body type, is she too big (being careful not to say the word fat within earshot)? I then asked the doc what was normal? She told me that no, she isn't really overweight, it was just that according to the growth chart, Mandy is slightly above the weight for her age and should be around 55 pounds. She seemed a bit reluctant to tell me because I'm sitting there trying to figure out what the heck, my six year old needs to go on a diet? Why does it seems so difficult for the doc to come out and say anything?! Then I asked the doctor, "So she's too heavy for her height and body type then? What is normal?" Well, she's a tall girl but it is best to make sure that she doesn't put on weight. Then she got her shots, one this time, a chicken pox booster, then we left.

The first thing Mandy asked me, "Mommy am I fat?" Me, "No sweetheart you're not fat (and I wasn't lying) the doctor just wanted to make sure you didn't have too much sugar and stuff like that". We then attended an after school club meeting and got home later, by which time dinner was ready.

I served her food making sure not to give her too much, (there I go now, starting the mental thing with the food being an issue)! In the middle of eating Mandy asked me if she was full. I looked at her plate, realised that she had barely eaten anything and then asked her if she felt full. She wasn't sure. I told her to just eat until you feel full without being uncomfortable and not to worry about eating. Do you see this kind of mess?!


I went on line to do some research and found this little bit of information:



A 6 year and 1 months old (female) child who is 62 pounds and is 3 feet and 11 inches tall has a body mass index of 19.8, which is over the 95th percentile, and would indicate that your child is overweight.

Your child's ideal body weight would be at a BMI at the 85th percentile or below, and so would be about 53 pounds.





I am going into overdrive now! What the fuck, she's supposed to be 53 pounds now?! So she's not 7 lbs overweight she's 9 lbs over weight?

The website information also said:



That doesn't necessarily mean that your child has to lose 9 pounds. As he gets older and taller, he may thin out some and therefore just need to stop gaining weight, gain weight more slowly or lose some of that weight. Talk to your Pediatrician for more help interpreting these results.






It went on to say that a child is considered to be overweight if their BMI is over the 95th percentile, where my daughter's weight landed her and considered to be healthy if they were between the 85 and 95th percentile for their age! I also read that some children might have a more dense body-mass than some and may not be considered overweight if they are not considered flabby!


One of the things I do is make sure my children eat as healthy a diet as possible but we also have pizza nights as well sometimes! They do have snacks and I make sure the snacks or not fatty or too calorie-laden. I've gotten Amanda used to eating food with little or no sugar and also monitor her food intake because she is a growing child with a healthy appetite and the women in our family, some of us, we go through the chubby phase as children. I didn't want her to be a fat adult, but I also don't want her to have bad experiences or issues with food and her body so I've been careful about what I do and say when it comes to that. She has been giving herself scrutiny already because of the other little girls she plays with.

While I understand the reasoning of making sure our children are not overweight which can lead to problems later on in their lives, I really dislike the pressure it puts on children! The pediatrician obviously wasn't too comfortable in having that conversation with me, for whatever reason, but they need to be more comfortable doing that and not making parents or children feel awkward! I also didn't like that Amanda heard our conversation and that and in turn became uncomfortable and is now more likely to be overly anxious for a while! I will have to diffuse that situation! I'll make sure she continues to exercise daily, i.e, we dance and have physical activities, but she also continues to ride her bike and play outside daily, but I refuse to put her on a diet!




The website link is: Link "

Comments (Page 1)
on Nov 28, 2007

The weight thing is such a problem with kids.  My daughter eats everything that I can get her to eat, and by their charts, she is 4 pounds underweight.  However, she looks, body wise, just like I did at her age, and she's super active and muscular.  Luckily, my Pediatrician is not concerned at this point and sees her as being "healthy".

Does your daughter resemble you or your husband at that age?  If so, did the person that she resembles grow out of the "little pot belly"?  If so, then don't worry about it.  If not, and one of you have battled with weight, then you might want to consider having different eating habits for her that will help her manage later on in life.

From what I have seen, it looks like there is a huge increase in childhood obesity which is leading to an increase in diabetes.  Your pediatrician is probably just trying to find out if there is a reason to be concerned at this point.

on Nov 28, 2007
This really disturbs me, especially in little girls. Wasn't it a few short years ago that they were talking about focusing on weight being a primary cause of anorexia?

This is an example of a nanny state gone too far! Any doctor that doesn't know that there are variances in what constitutes a healthy weight should not have a license to practice medicine, IMEABO!
on Nov 28, 2007
This really disturbs me, especially in little girls. Wasn't it a few short years ago that they were talking about focusing on weight being a primary cause of anorexia?


That's probably why the doctor was reluctant to say anything. My middle son is overweight. He is now 12. I wish that I had done more at an earlier age to nip it in the bud so to speak. It's a struggle.
on Nov 28, 2007
That makes me so sad. A 6 year old should not have to worry about whether she is fat. If a doctor has that concern, they need to make sure to bring it up out of earshot of the child. They could even call you after the appointment for a follow up. It's bad enough that our culture is sexualizing young girls with the clothing they put out there as "appropriate" without also making them feel like they have to look like models at six years old.

My daughter, who is 4, is also at the top of her percentile. The pediatrician said she is "at risk" of being overweight in a conversation that happened while she was distracted with playing with baby brother. She doesn't seem to enjoy playing outside much and I think she doesn't feel like she's good enough at sports because her step-sister, who is 5, is tall and thin for her age and is above average in that area and also very competitive and makes it a big deal every time she wins, which is every time. So usually when my step daughter is playing tag or "soccer" with friends, my daughter is standing off to the side, balancing on a curb or picking flowers. So I would say she could definitely be a lot more active than she is, but I'm not sure how to encourage it.

Also, I'm not really worried about her weight. She is short for her age, but her dad's entire family is very tall. She even has an uncle who is 7'3". They make fun of her aunt all the time for being the shortest one, and she's 5'9"! I think she's going to stretch out pretty quickly as she gets older.

I considered myself to be chubby throughout elementary school, which screwed with my self-esteem, but looking at pictures from my childhood, I had about the same build that she does. Then the second I hit high school, the pot belly migrated north and I ended up with a perfect hourglass figure--which does not work well with a low self esteem, as any fellow former HS sluts know! But I had and still have a lot of emotional problems from a bad childhood which contributed to that quite a bit, and my daughter doesn't seem to be aware of her weight and she doesn't seem to have any emotional issues yet so I'm not worried about her taking the same path I did.

It's all a matter of teaching your child healthy habits and attitudes early on. If she knows how to tell when it's time to stop eating instead of eating until the food is gone, she will grow into her body type and she won't have any problems.
on Nov 28, 2007
Does your daughter resemble you or your husband at that age? If so, did the person that she resembles grow out of the "little pot belly"? If so, then don't worry about it. If not, and one of you have battled with weight, then you might want to consider having different eating habits for her that will help her manage later on in life.


She is more like her dad, who is slim built. He was really thin as a child because of his asthma but he did put on weight after he became more active which in turn got rid of his asthma. He became even more muscular too which has stayed with him throughout his life, that type of physique.

I was on the other hand a overweight child, into my teens until I became aware of myself and body at 16 and started working out and being physically very active and got thinner but not skinny! I was fine up to the point of having children, packed some weight on, lost some, more pregnancy, gain, lose, through out the three preganancies. Right now I am overweight, more than I want to be actually because I haven't lost that extra 20 pounds which have me now at I would say I could do well to lose about 40 lbs!

Her older sister was fine growing up, got chubby at 12, fluctuated with her weight as well and still does. Truthfully, I wasn't as vigilant with my oldest daughter as I should have been but she wasn't nearly as active as Amanda is. Amanda is more the tom-boy and very physical while Jessica was more girly and less physical. I've been really been focus on Amanda not being overweight and since she basically is tall, with a medium built I have been monitoring her food intake and giving her guidance on what she shouldn't eat too much of, and not eating before bed, the way her brother and dad does. Doing all this without making her become obsessive and making her feel bad about herself and she is so aware of her tummy right now!




From what I have seen, it looks like there is a huge increase in childhood obesity which is leading to an increase in diabetes. Your pediatrician is probably just trying to find out if there is a reason to be concerned at this point.


Yes, I know there is a problem with kids being overweight and having diabetes and other ailments. I think it's good she is concerned but I realised one thing, Amanda's pediatrician is a male doctore, her regular pediatrician, this doctor is his female counter part in the practice and not our assigned doctor. All this time, our regular doctor usually lets me know what's good and whats not good and does keep me informed as to how she's growing and would mention that she's at the top of her percentile but nothing to worry about just keep her active etc. So he wasn't overly worried about her weight yet. Now was that because he was a male?


This really disturbs me, especially in little girls. Wasn't it a few short years ago that they were talking about focusing on weight being a primary cause of anorexia?


It does disturb me too Gid. Especially because we as a society put so much pressure on our girls. The insecurities that leads to illnesses such as anorexia is appalling!


Any doctor that doesn't know that there are variances in what constitutes a healthy weight should not have a license to practice medicine, IMEABO!


In some way I agree with you. Because as I wrote above, our male pediatrician wasn't worried about Amanda and he's been seeing her since she was two.


My middle son is overweight. He is now 12. I wish that I had done more at an earlier age to nip it in the bud so to speak. It's a struggle.


I can understand that the doctor wouldn't want the same situation with us. But my subconcious voice was saying she seemed to be a bit too intense about the whole thing. Made me wonder if her insecurites came off in our conversations (she wasn't fat) just the way she kept saying how dangerous juice is.


A 6 year old should not have to worry about whether she is fat. If a doctor has that concern, they need to make sure to bring it up out of earshot of the child. They could even call you after the appointment for a follow up. It's bad enough that our culture is sexualizing young girls with the clothing they put out there as "appropriate" without also making them feel like they have to look like models at six years old.


I know! I feel the same way too!


think she doesn't feel like she's good enough at sports because her step-sister, who is 5, is tall and thin for her age and is above average in that area and also very competitive and makes it a big deal every time she wins,


My daughter faces the same problems from her playmates who happen to be either so petite I can't help wonder if something is wrong with them, or they are so much taller, because they are older too, but they also could wear her size 7/8 clothing!

and my daughter doesn't seem to be aware of her weight and she doesn't seem to have any emotional issues yet so I'm not worried about her taking the same path I did.


This is good that she isn't worried about it now and hopefully won't go down this path. That's what I'm trying to avoid with Amanda because I have my own issues too! Not because I don't love my body, I do, I try to reiterate in front of her how much I love my arms or my butt or something like that, but because I know for my health I should lose that extra 40 lbs! I am healthy otherwise, thank heavens but I continue to work on being fit for life!


It's all a matter of teaching your child healthy habits and attitudes early on. If she knows how to tell when it's time to stop eating instead of eating until the food is gone, she will grow into her body type and she won't have any problems.


Exactly! This I'm working with her on, how to know when she has had enough and that she doesn't have to clean her plate!
on Nov 28, 2007

She's 6!  If she doesn't look pudgy then there's no problem.  Crunching numbers based on charts instead of looking at the individual is going to fuck something up.  Like a 6 year old needs the pressure of dieting...Jesus.

~Zoo

on Nov 28, 2007
If she doesn't look pudgy then there's no problem.


No she doesn't. Crazy, I k now!
on Nov 28, 2007
I admit, once again, my ADD has kicked in and I haven't read all of this. But I am a health freak and have learned a couple of things. 1) Be careful on weight. Muscle weighs more than fat. I work out every day, am 5'9 and weigh between 160-165 lbs. Some would think, based on that weight, I'm fat. But it's not true, I have muscle. My fat % is below 10.

Second, a kid can eat whatever they want, even the crap fed in our cafeterias, if they exercise. Forget trying to monitor everything your daughter eats: get her out and moving. Jump rope. Hop scotch. Dodge ball. Gymnastics. Soccer. I guarantee you, if she gets out and exercises (your son, too!), fat will burn off, muscle will build on, metabolism will rise, and health will increase.

I was 130 lbs until I was 30 and suddenly learned lifting weights could change how I looked and felt about myself. I wish someone had told me when I was 10.

M
on Nov 28, 2007
Orian is overweight. I can't remember his height right now, but he's 7 and weighs 75 lbs. He has koobs (kid boobs).

He has always been stout, but recently he started looking more flabby and less muscular/bulky.

We are just trying to push exercise and limit sweets and second helpings.

I think it's cruel to let a child become obese, but I also think that some children are just made heftier than others. Not all children are going to fit into that slender, one-size-fits-all ideal.

I'm sure Amanda is just fine as she is. Especially with how conscious your family is of healthy eating and exercise.

Joe: Would someone actually say that a 5'9", 160-165 lb man is FAT?!?! Do you live in LA or something? OMG.

My husband is muscular and well-built and he's 6' and fluctuates between 210 and 220. I don't think it's right for a man to weigh less than 180!! haha.
on Nov 28, 2007
Now was that because he was a male?


Probably just his personality.
on Nov 28, 2007
get her out and moving. Jump rope. Hop scotch. Dodge ball. Gymnastics. Soccer. I guarantee you, if she gets out and exercises (your son, too!), fat will burn off, muscle will build on, metabolism will rise, and health will increase.


They are both very active children. They play outside, riding their bikes, roller skating, running games with friends, very physical (the kids around us) so I don't worry about how much exercise she gets, or him for that matter. My son is super skinny, having been ill with asthma since a baby. It is only recently he is beginning to eat and there's no way he's going to be fat, he's too thin. He's also beginning to work out with the weights I have around our home.



We are just trying to push exercise and limit sweets and second helpings.


I'm being more strict on this for her now too. The only time of the year she eats more sweets than usual is now, Holloween, Xmas and of course Easter. Otherwise, no candy except for chocolates!lol! Chocolates and they don't indulge as often as I do.


I'm sure Amanda is just fine as she is. Especially with how conscious your family is of healthy eating and exercise.


Yes, she is ok. We do try to be physical, a lot. We spent the whole summer in the pool, practically! If I don't keep her active, yes, she could get heavier, it's hereditary. So making sure she gets exercise is what we do.




I don't think it's right for a man to weigh less than 180!! haha.


! Mine fluctuates between 180 and 190 and eats like a horse! But he has great metabolism!
on Nov 28, 2007
Donna,

How do they come up with those charts that tell you your daughter is 7 or 9 pounds overweight? I totally agree with TW about not all kids fitting into one perfect size. If your daughter looks okay to you then I think you need not worry.

So she's not 7 lbs overweight she's 9 lbs over weight?

I think over the Thanksgiving holiday I ate 9 lbs. of turkey.
on Nov 28, 2007
How do they come up with those charts that tell you your daughter is 7 or 9 pounds overweight?


There's a general growth chart that is used by all the doctors in the US, it's a guideline of sorts that they follow, kinda like the food pyramid! The website I linked also has one. There's one for boys, and one for girls.


I think over the Thanksgiving holiday I ate 9 lbs. of turkey.


! Didn't we all?!!


I'm trying not to worry but it did shook me up a bit admittedly (mainly because of my own issues which I'm careful not to pass on to her) and because I would not call her fat, she's pretty much ok, except for a pot belly as I mentioned, and that's not an overly large pot belly. Since turning six, she's gotten taller and is filling out more. There was a time when she was 50 pounds for a long time, then 55 and suddenly she had a growth spurt and also an increase in weight which I thought was all normal, and her regular pediatrician said it was too! I have to post a new picture of her soon! But the last picture I posted was one from last holloween.
on Nov 29, 2007
When I was in the services, I worked with a guy who was the fittest man I have ever met. He ran about 6 miles every day, weight trained every second day, swam laps every other day, and played a number of different sports, depending on the season. He went for his 30th birthday physical and was told he was too heavy for his height. This was because he was mostly muscle and, as joe-pro pointed out, muscle weighs more than fat. My friend stopped exercising for about 6 weeks, redid the physical and passed.

But Amanda is a 6 year old girl. She should be able to eat what she wants (in moderation of course) and not be subjected to the pressures normally associated with our overly weight-conscious society.

I do hope she doesn't worry herself about this.
on Nov 29, 2007
He went for his 30th birthday physical and was told he was too heavy for his height. This was because he was mostly muscle and, as joe-pro pointed out, muscle weighs more than fat. My friend stopped exercising for about 6 weeks, redid the physical and passed.


Take out the engine from your car to reduce its weight.
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