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Old 09-18-2019, 04:45 AM
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Morbid obesity in children, causes?


What are the underlying diseases and/or factors that lead to extreme obesity in young kids?

A kid in my grandson's class is severely debilitated by his weight to the point of not being able to walk properly. I suspect that there may be intellectual issues as well, but not sure.

I know of Prader Willy syndrome, but if this kiddie has it, it's clear there his carers aren't able to follow through with the recommendations of the medical team.

Is there any other disease that results in extreme obesity?
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Old 09-18-2019, 06:35 AM
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Most studies seem to concentrate on the effects rather than the causes, but in the end, I suspect that behind all the verbiage, there is a single cause for the vast majority of obese adults and children.
Quote:
The causes of overweight and obesity are multi-factorial relating to a complex interplay of genetic, nutritional, physiological, psychological, environmental, and social factors. However, the most important factors underlying the excess body weight pandemic are the current excess caloric intake coupled with limited energy expenditure. Nevertheless, lifestyle-modification characterized by an increase in physical activity and a balanced diet can reduce obesity and the risk of obesity-associated co-morbid conditions despite minimal or no weight loss

http://www.annclinlabsci.org/content/41/2/107.full
The message is simple - eat less, (or better or both) exercise more. Children usually copy their parents, at least until their teenage years when they often flip, so those fat kids with their unhealthy lifestyles are frequently the result of fat parents with unhealthy lifestyles.

Last edited by bob++; 09-18-2019 at 06:36 AM.
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Old 09-18-2019, 07:19 AM
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For the same reason so many more adults are obese compared to times past: calories are cheaper and easier to procure than ever before.

In economic terms, supply (of calories) has drastically increased, leading to lower costs and thus higher demand.
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Old 09-18-2019, 07:30 AM
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The op isnít asking about garden variety obesity but early onset childhood morbid obesity and any potential identifiable genetic and syndrome forms. They are uncommon but exist, some associated with developmental delays and/or various organ abnormalities. The mentioned Prader-Willi Syndrome is the most well known and stopping these kids from overeating is extremely difficult. There are dozens of others, e.g. Bardet-Biedl, and some caused by certain receptor defects. Again though these are very uncommon entities.

Most childhood morbid obesity is similar to adult morbid obesity. The confluence of polygenic and epigenetic predisposition and an obesogenic environment (which includes but is not exclusively the home).
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Old 09-18-2019, 07:39 AM
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Personal anecdote here.

I will forever have burned in my brain the images I saw inside an Applebee's restaurant 6 or 7 years ago. The scene featured 3 actors, all female and all morbidly obese. However, one of those three obese females was.a very young girl, probably no more than 8 years old. The waitresses came to take their "drink" orders and both the older (early-mid 40s) women got cocktails of some sort and the little girl got a double fudge brownie cookies and cream root beer float. I was sitting right across from them so i was hearing everying.

My real shock and horror came however, when i *saw* her pre-dinner "BEVERAGE" brought to their table. It was the size of a freaking fish bowl! It probably had several ounces of root beer in it but from my vantage point all i could see were desserts stacked on top of decadence. It looked like a.big bowl of vanilla ice cream had been been totally encircled with big huge brownies, glued together by ounces of hot fudge, and it was all covered in like a whole bottle of Reddi-Whip.

Keep in mind, this is BEFORE THE MEAL!!! This wasnt even dessert! This was her beverage! When it came time to order, the mom ordered for the girl (the girl had ordered her own debauchery in a fish bowl not this) and ordered her sweet honey boo boo a bacon cheeseburger the size of her head (which was not insubstantial) and a plate of french fries.

By the end of our meal, i had half a mind to get up and kidnap that poor child and pull her away from that horrible mother of hers while she still had time left. While there may and probably were many discrete factors that shaped this kid's obesity so early in life, one thing was viscerally clear: the dysfunction of the mother and the self-destructive habits she learned as a young person were clearly being imprinted in her daughter.

She was sentencing her daughter to a lifetime of poor habits and body image and making it that much harder to later learn skillls necessary to confront and tackle her likely mutifaceted reasons for struggles with weight irrespective of anything else. But not *only* was she not helping her daughter learn how to address her weight struggles in a body-positive and healthy manner, before any of that she helped instill the very dysfunction that would necessitate that later need to address.

This was my unnecessarily long-winded, overly verbose way of saying the harmful lifelong habits, or just the overall paucity of effective life skills that are so insidious in the vicious circle of sick leading the sick (as seen in many dysfunctional and maladaptive families.) is at least *part* of the equation in the morbid obesity seen in. someyoung children.

Last edited by Ambivalid; 09-18-2019 at 07:43 AM.
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Old 09-18-2019, 07:47 AM
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I'm sorry, when i posted i was under the impression this was in IMHO. I see it's GQ. Oops. Heh.
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Old 09-18-2019, 10:43 AM
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I rarely interfere with anyone's parenting, but when I see a parent trying to force food on their chid, I will go off on them. Forcing food on a child who is not hungry teaches them to eat when they are not hungry. I believe this is a leading cause of childhood obesity, and is a form of child abuse.
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Old 09-18-2019, 11:11 AM
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Yeah. Don’t do that.

If you think you are helping anyone doing that you are not.
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Old 09-18-2019, 11:14 AM
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I blame McDonalds. I'm a food fetisher. I get on something and can't help but want it (corndogs!) so I have sympathy for kids who lack knowledge and forethought. I totally get it. They can't help it. It's up to parents to limit trips to fast food joints. And cut out the dang soda. That stuff is so bad.
If you buy fruit and not brownies, guess what they'll eat?
I know it's hard.
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Old 09-18-2019, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Annie-Xmas View Post
I rarely interfere with anyone's parenting, but when I see a parent trying to force food on their chid, I will go off on them. Forcing food on a child who is not hungry teaches them to eat when they are not hungry. I believe this is a leading cause of childhood obesity, and is a form of child abuse.
Is this something that you actually see? Ever? I'm not disbelieving you I just don't think i can recall *ever* being in any food serving area and witnessing a parent force feeding their child McNuggets. Or anything. But i admit to spending a certain number of years worth of my life in public in an altered state of mind. Coulda missed something. Wont lie.

Or do you mean something more nuanced than stuffing Whoppers violently down a small child's throat? If so, how do you come to the conclusion that the parent is attempting to force feed their kids?
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Old 09-18-2019, 11:40 AM
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I've seen children put down their food and start to leave the table, only to have their parent say "Don't you want some more." When the child says "No" parent says "Well, try and finish it."

The child knows when they've had enough to eat. Nobody should make a child eat when they are not hungry.
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Old 09-18-2019, 11:42 AM
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I've found, in my life that interference in someones private business is frought with danger. So, I don't do it.
I've seen the odd parent encouraging a kid to quit playing and eat. I did that with my kids.
I have never seen anyone force food in a kids mouth. Ever.
I admit I don't go into many fast-food places anymore. Is this a new thing?

Last edited by Beckdawrek; 09-18-2019 at 11:43 AM.
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Old 09-18-2019, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Annie-Xmas View Post
I rarely interfere with anyone's parenting, but when I see a parent trying to force food on their chid, I will go off on them. Forcing food on a child who is not hungry teaches them to eat when they are not hungry. I believe this is a leading cause of childhood obesity, and is a form of child abuse.
Another one is food as reward/pacifier/painkiller. Kid is sad? Donut. Kid is worried because he can't remember his lessons? Donut. Kid is tired? Donut. Kid now weighs twice as much as his classmates and the teacher is worried? Donut (for the kid, not the teacher).

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I have never seen anyone force food in a kids mouth. Ever.
I admit I don't go into many fast-food places anymore. Is this a new thing?
I've seen it all my life. My parents didn't get that far but they did the "you're not leaving the table until you eat what's been put in front of you" bit and the "you're not eating anything else until you eat that" bit. That certain foods happened to actually make me and 1.Bro sick was just wrongheadedness on our part (in my case it's mainly a matter of "I can't stand eating goop", in his it was having swallowed a plastic piece which eventually came up eight years later).
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Old 09-18-2019, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Annie-Xmas View Post
I've seen children put down their food and start to leave the table, only to have their parent say "Don't you want some more." When the child says "No" parent says "Well, try and finish it."

The child knows when they've had enough to eat. Nobody should make a child eat when they are not hungry.
Well, parents know their children, there might actually be some good parenting going on. We know our kid doesn't eat breakfast...maybe gulps some tea and has one slice of bread, his preference. Has some food at school not much.

Then after school, he may grab a snack and not feel hungry for dinner...but that's because he gets constipated at dinner time (yeah tedious). Then he does this thing, comes back, and eats as much as he can. THEN, after 8PM, he gets ravenous. At this point he finishes up his supper, if there's anything left, and has another snack. Sometimes he even comes downstairs at 11PM to get more food.

Long story short, his eating habits and timing are so out of step with us adults, our attempts to try to steer him to eat his "growing food" may seem, to an outsider, to be strange...

(FWIW he's as skinny as a rail)

Last edited by Limmin; 09-18-2019 at 12:16 PM.
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Old 09-18-2019, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Annie-Xmas View Post
I've seen children put down their food and start to leave the table, only to have their parent say "Don't you want some more." When the child says "No" parent says "Well, try and finish it."

The child knows when they've had enough to eat. Nobody should make a child eat when they are not hungry.
Who are you to stick your busybody self in other people's personal affairs that you are utterly uninformed about and make knee jerk reactions to as if you, a totally ignorant plebe in regards to the goings on of the families you encounter, are somehow able to devine through your inscrutable powers what the background information is of the situation that you burst into. Gawddamn i cant believe the jaw dropping gall of self righteous busybodies who feel the need to pay so much attention to how strangers behave. And i dont even have kids! I hope you never actually did confront a parent in such a circumstance. Just for simple decency's sake. If i was a parent i would need to take my child and *immediately* leave the vicinity. For the sake of my good standing with the legal system Don't assume u know a fucking thing about strangers personal circumstances or motives. But shit, if you've made it this far in life and you're committing these kinds of unforced errors, geesh, its a lost cause.
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Old 09-18-2019, 12:30 PM
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Another one is food as reward/pacifier/painkiller. Kid is sad? Donut. Kid is worried because he can't remember his lessons? Donut. Kid is tired? Donut. Kid now weighs twice as much as his classmates and the teacher is worried? Donut (for the kid, not the teacher).



I've seen it all my life. My parents didn't get that far but they did the "you're not leaving the table until you eat what's been put in front of you" bit and the "you're not eating anything else until you eat that" bit. That certain foods happened to actually make me and 1.Bro sick was just wrongheadedness on our part (in my case it's mainly a matter of "I can't stand eating goop", in his it was having swallowed a plastic piece which eventually came up eight years later).
Oh, I did the 'clean your plate' routine. Mainly because they grabbed too big a helping. That taught them to quit grabbing more than they could eat. It took about 2 times and they learned. The lil'wrekker was a picky eater. I spent way too much time coercing and urging. A pediatric nurse told me once that very few/not any children in OUR circumstance die of starvation. Her advice was to quit fretting over it. I eased up. Dinnertime stress eased up and she started eating better.
I don't think I ever had a problem with my children at a restuarant about eating. Those were special occasions. They wanted to be there, choose their favorites and ate it. And since I was driving and paying I could control it.
ETA, none of my children are obese.

Last edited by Beckdawrek; 09-18-2019 at 12:31 PM.
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Old 09-18-2019, 01:46 PM
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This was my unnecessarily long-winded, overly verbose way of saying the harmful lifelong habits, or just the overall paucity of effective life skills that are so insidious in the vicious circle of sick leading the sick (as seen in many dysfunctional and maladaptive families.) is at least *part* of the equation in the morbid obesity seen in. someyoung children.
Wow. Compelling anecdote. Looks like Darwin missed the mother though.
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Old 09-18-2019, 05:52 PM
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Ambivalid, that is far over the line of what is acceptable in GQ. If you have a problem with another poster, take it to the Pit. This is an official Warning.
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Old 09-18-2019, 06:20 PM
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[Moderating]

Ambivalid, that is far over the line of what is acceptable in GQ. If you have a problem with another poster, take it to the Pit. This is an official Warning.
Yeah I'll cop to that. Well deserved. Man, you should have read the first draft.

Last edited by Ambivalid; 09-18-2019 at 06:21 PM.
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Old 09-19-2019, 03:57 AM
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The op isnít asking about garden variety obesity but early onset childhood morbid obesity and any potential identifiable genetic and syndrome forms. They are uncommon but exist, some associated with developmental delays and/or various organ abnormalities. The mentioned Prader-Willi Syndrome is the most well known and stopping these kids from overeating is extremely difficult. There are dozens of others, e.g. Bardet-Biedl, and some caused by certain receptor defects. Again though these are very uncommon entities.

Most childhood morbid obesity is similar to adult morbid obesity. The confluence of polygenic and epigenetic predisposition and an obesogenic environment (which includes but is not exclusively the home).
Thanks DSeid, yeah this isn't just a chubby kid: he is so severely overweight that at age 9 or 10, it impacts on his mobility. This poor kid isn't a victim of a poor diet alone, there is definitely some other pathology at play.
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Old 09-19-2019, 06:50 AM
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I've seen children put down their food and start to leave the table, only to have their parent say "Don't you want some more." When the child says "No" parent says "Well, try and finish it."

The child knows when they've had enough to eat. Nobody should make a child eat when they are not hungry.
First, " try and finish it " is hardly forcing a child to eat - I'm not of the opinion that only literally forcing food down a child's throat counts as "forcing a child to eat" , but "try and finish it" doesn't make it. Being forced to sit at the table for hours until the plate is clean is another story.

Second- these are strangers. You don't know what's going on. You don't know if the kid has/had an eating disorder. You don't know if the family is traveling and this kid has a habit of half-finishing a meal and wanting to stop for food again an hour later.
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Old 09-19-2019, 08:42 AM
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Okay. If a parent tells me to shut up and mind my own business, I do. Unless they are physically abusing the child.

But it does make me sad that some of those children forced to eat will grown up with weight problems.
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Old 09-19-2019, 09:56 AM
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Some people who have what they're eating frequently criticized will also grow up to have eating disorders.

Parents shouldn't be trying to make their kids eat things the kids can't stand, or routinely trying to make them eat when they're not hungry. But nobody should be criticizing strangers' food choices. You've got no idea what else is going on in that family, or what else they've eaten or not eaten that day or that week.
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Old 09-19-2019, 11:17 AM
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Even if they should (and as noted a stranger really has no idea what is the backstory) parents are highly unlikely to alter their parenting for the better because some stranger criticized them in public. Impacting a family wide dysfunctional relationship with food is possible with professionally facilitated group work over multiple sessions. Possible. Shaming parents in public? Will only cause harms. Maybe to you.

Don’t wait to be told to mind your own business and then stop. Just mind your own business in the first place.

To the op. Another instance of medical cause is medication related: atypical neuroleptics like Abilify are sometimes prescribed to kids, autistic children with severe aggression most commonly. A common side effect is a huge increase in appetite and sometimes massive weight gain. Thinking about it that may be the most common clear medical cause I see.

Last edited by DSeid; 09-19-2019 at 11:19 AM.
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Old 09-19-2019, 12:12 PM
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Thinking more there is another medical cause Iíve seen a few times. Severe obesity sometime happens in survivors of certain childhood brain tumors as a result of damage to the parts of the brain that regulate appetite and metabolism.
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Old 09-19-2019, 01:12 PM
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My kids would much rather have two servings of dessert. I "force" them to eat their dinner before they can have dessert.
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Old 09-19-2019, 01:50 PM
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Depression can be a factor. When you're that young, you have a lot fewer options to self-medicate if you're feeling down.
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Old 09-19-2019, 04:19 PM
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I've known way too many parents of kids with bad eating habits who use the excuse "They're a picky eater, it's the only thing they'll eat!" when they give their kids diets of sugars and refined white flour products.
I don't know of any cases of kids who died because they chose to starve themselves to death rather eat a plate of chicken, fruit, and vegetables.
When kids are hungry they will eat what's available. They don't have the means to drive to the store and the cash either. If your kitchen is full of juice boxes, potato chips, captain crunch, and oreos then that's what they are going to feed on.
If all you have is milk, apples, raisins, almonds, and cheese sticks then they'll feed on that.
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Old 09-20-2019, 01:14 PM
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I've known way too many parents of kids with bad eating habits who use the excuse "They're a picky eater, it's the only thing they'll eat!" when they give their kids diets of sugars and refined white flour products.
I don't know of any cases of kids who died because they chose to starve themselves to death rather eat a plate of chicken, fruit, and vegetables.
When kids are hungry they will eat what's available. They don't have the means to drive to the store and the cash either. If your kitchen is full of juice boxes, potato chips, captain crunch, and oreos then that's what they are going to feed on.
If all you have is milk, apples, raisins, almonds, and cheese sticks then they'll feed on that.
When kids get hungry enough they will eat what is available. Until then you might be putting up with a raging tantrum that goes on for hours, and interferes with any other activity that needs to be done. I can totally understand the parent that will make macaroni and cheese for the fourth night in a row, because at least the kid will eat it.

In my research, (with n=1 kid), refusal to eat is often an attempt to delay until a more desired food choice is available. The parental commands to eat what is in front of you are not trying to force feed a kid, but rather to get some nutrition in the kid, which hopefully leads to a small (or no) dessert. It's much better to have a kid with a full stomach eat a small dessert than let a kid with an empty stomach try and fill up on candy. Usually this is more along the lines of "if you want dessert you need to finish what is there" than "you need to clean your plate." "I'm only hungry for ice cream," is not a valid excuse to skip dinner.

As for why there are so many overweight kids today? My guess is that it is for much the same reasons that there are so many overweight adults. The answer to that is still "we don't really know." The technical side is understood: people eat more calories than the burn. But that is a completely useless answer in understanding why that happens. Genetics plays a part, but we can assume that there hasn't been some huge shift in the genetic makeup of society over the last 50 years.

Clearly many things have changed in the environment that is leading to the obesity epidemic. Genetics plays a role in individuals' vulnerability to these environmental risk factors. What are these risk factors? Cheap, liquid sugar; low levels of antibiotics in the environment; advanced food science designed to create "can't eat just one" snacks; viruses; other infections; milkshakes disguised as coffee. Certainly many more things, and possibly some of those I mentioned will turn out to not be important.
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Old 09-20-2019, 09:33 PM
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Is this something that you actually see? Ever? I'm not disbelieving you I just don't think i can recall *ever* being in any food serving area and witnessing a parent force feeding their child McNuggets. Or anything. But i admit to spending a certain number of years worth of my life in public in an altered state of mind. Coulda missed something. Wont lie.

Or do you mean something more nuanced than stuffing Whoppers violently down a small child's throat? If so, how do you come to the conclusion that the parent is attempting to force feed their kids?
I did, a few times when I worked in restaurants. In each case, I saw a mother (always a woman, anyway) feeding a child who was obviously old enough to feed themselves, and no, the child wasn't mentally or physically disabled; they just had a few bites left on the plate and the child didn't want to eat it. We're talking about kids of school age, old enough to be embarrassed by this kind of thing.

I always kinda sorta hoped the kid vomited all over the car on the way home.

Back on topic: morbid obesity in a child with no metabolic or genetic issues, who doesn't have a family history of it and wasn't that way as a younger child is frequently a symptom of trauma, often sexual abuse.
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Old 09-20-2019, 09:47 PM
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Thinking more there is another medical cause Iíve seen a few times. Severe obesity sometime happens in survivors of certain childhood brain tumors as a result of damage to the parts of the brain that regulate appetite and metabolism.
I saw a piece on the news a few years ago about a 12-year-old girl who was going to have lap band surgery for this very reason. She KNEW she needed to limit her diet, but her body did not and could not tell her when to stop eating, and IIRC this youngster was under 5 feet tall and already weighed about 300 pounds.

And then there was this. Her daughters still participate, and all of the members, both new and old, remain morbidly obese. It almost makes me wonder if that is a condition for membership.

https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb...ght=disturbing
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Old 09-20-2019, 09:53 PM
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I've known way too many parents of kids with bad eating habits who use the excuse "They're a picky eater, it's the only thing they'll eat!" when they give their kids diets of sugars and refined white flour products.
I don't know of any cases of kids who died because they chose to starve themselves to death rather eat a plate of chicken, fruit, and vegetables.
When kids are hungry they will eat what's available. They don't have the means to drive to the store and the cash either. If your kitchen is full of juice boxes, potato chips, captain crunch, and oreos then that's what they are going to feed on.
If all you have is milk, apples, raisins, almonds, and cheese sticks then they'll feed on that.
Did you hear that story a few days ago about a teenage boy who ate nothing but junk food and ended up permanently blind? I suspect something else was going on, most likely a genetic issue which may also have been a factor in his extremely limited diet. (It's not uncommon for people on the autistic spectrum to have very restricted diets, often due to texture issues.)

https://www.cnn.com/2019/09/03/healt...ntl/index.html
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Old 09-20-2019, 11:11 PM
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I saw a piece on the news a few years ago about a 12-year-old girl who was going to have lap band surgery for this very reason. She KNEW she needed to limit her diet, but her body did not and could not tell her when to stop eating, and IIRC this youngster was under 5 feet tall and already weighed about 300 pounds.

And then there was this. Her daughters still participate, and all of the members, both new and old, remain morbidly obese. It almost makes me wonder if that is a condition for membership.

https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb...ght=disturbing
I googled those Rainbow groups. Wow! They were all obese. Every freakin' state has these girl groups and 98% of the girls were big. The adults pictured with them were big too. So sad.

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Old 09-21-2019, 12:39 AM
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I googled those Rainbow groups. Wow! They were all obese. Every freakin' state has these girl groups and 98% of the girls were big. The adults pictured with them were big too. So sad.
I haven't looked up other Rainbow groups. Don't know if the same thing happens in the DeMolay society.
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Old 09-21-2019, 05:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Beckdawrek View Post
Oh, I did the 'clean your plate' routine. Mainly because they grabbed too big a helping.
Ah, but we did not pick how much* or what went into our plate. And "you'll eat what's been put in front of you" did not refer to amount: it refers to stuff which made us throw up. How does making your child sick equal good discipline?


* Until I started being the one who plated the food, but note that this doesn't apply to restaurants and hotels.
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Last edited by Nava; 09-21-2019 at 05:08 AM.
  #36  
Old 09-22-2019, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by echoreply View Post
As for why there are so many overweight kids today? My guess is that it is for much the same reasons that there are so many overweight adults. The answer to that is still "we don't really know." The technical side is understood: people eat more calories than the burn. But that is a completely useless answer in understanding why that happens. Genetics plays a part, but we can assume that there hasn't been some huge shift in the genetic makeup of society over the last 50 years.

Clearly many things have changed in the environment that is leading to the obesity epidemic. Genetics plays a role in individuals' vulnerability to these environmental risk factors. What are these risk factors? Cheap, liquid sugar; low levels of antibiotics in the environment; advanced food science designed to create "can't eat just one" snacks; viruses; other infections; milkshakes disguised as coffee. Certainly many more things, and possibly some of those I mentioned will turn out to not be important.
I think all of that's a factor; but I think another factor is, paradoxically, our modern emphasis on the importance of being thin (often more thin than is at all easy for a particular body to maintain) and on the "sinfulness" of eating. While there's been a streak of this in the society for a long time, especially as it applied to adult women, the emphasis on it even for young children and for most men is relatively new; and we've got considerable evidence by now that going on calorie-restriction diets changes metabolism to the point at which eating "normally" can cause weight gain. And shaming children for eating is I suspect likely to lead to their being more likely to gorge on treats when they get the chance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nava View Post
Ah, but we did not pick how much* or what went into our plate. And "you'll eat what's been put in front of you" did not refer to amount: it refers to stuff which made us throw up. How does making your child sick equal good discipline?
I was lucky in that my own mother had a very good ability to judge the difference between a child who was literally nauseated by a particular food, and one who would just rather move on to dessert. (There's a family story that once when I said I was too full to eat some part of the main dinner, and my mother said "You must be too full to eat dessert, then", I said "I've got a separate compartment for dessert!") I think it's in large part because I was never made to eat something I really couldn't stand, and was never made to eat more than one small taste of something I'd never tried before, that I now happily eat a lot of things I couldn't stand as a child.

Making (or trying to make) a child eat things they really can't bear is not only bad discipline, it often backfires.
  #37  
Old 09-22-2019, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by nearwildheaven View Post
I saw a piece on the news a few years ago about a 12-year-old girl who was going to have lap band surgery for this very reason. She KNEW she needed to limit her diet, but her body did not and could not tell her when to stop eating, and IIRC this youngster was under 5 feet tall and already weighed about 300 pounds.

And then there was this. Her daughters still participate, and all of the members, both new and old, remain morbidly obese. It almost makes me wonder if that is a condition for membership.

https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb...ght=disturbing
That sounds like Prader Willi, although it doesn't ALWAYS mean a child will be morbidly obese.

If they don't get help though, it can be scary. There was that one girl a few years ago whose mother just indulged her and let her get to almost 700 lbs, and she didn't make it. They found her lying in her own filth, covered in bed sores, and the mother ended up being arrested for child neglect. *shudders*
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Old 09-22-2019, 02:02 PM
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The following is IMHO and how I advise parents of almost all children as a pediatrician in that role (not to a stranger in a restaurant). Three rules, the first two of which are not hard for most parents but the third one a bit tougher for many.

1) Offer a wide variety of healthy food choices as part of the family meals inclusive of vegetables and fruits. (And model eating them yourself!)
2) Do not allow any more than small amounts of special treat unhealthy choices.
3) After that be done.

Don't be a short order cook. Don't be a food fascist. Don't cajole. Don't threaten. Don't bribe. Don't critique. Do not allow food to be a power battle or an item of power. Given rules one and two being followed your child will eat when hungry, stop when not hungry, learn to pay attention to those internal cues more than external ones, and over time eat a balanced diet. If you are anxious do a multivitamin for your sake.

Absent something like some of the pathological conditions discussed in this thread we really do best by providing those two guardrails and then trusting our kids to navigate within them.

Easier to say than to do for most of us though.
  #39  
Old 09-22-2019, 02:18 PM
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Could we please get back to the OP? A child who is morbidly obese may well have one of many rare conditions. Prader-Willi is certainly one possibility since it can involve intellectual disability as well as obesity. So is Bardet-Biedl syndrome, which causes progressive vision loss as well as obesity. Cohen syndrome can cause obesity, intellectual disorders and crippling muscular issues, though the excess weight is normally not in the arms and legs. Froelich syndrome can also cause obesity. And there are a host of others.

There are also medications such as certain anti-psychotics, that can cause obesity, although perhaps not as extreme as in the OP. However, there's nothing that says the child couldn't have both a genetic/glandular disease AND a condition requiring anti-psychotics.

In any case, we have in the OP a child who has extreme morbid obesity, possible intellectual issues, and needs assistance to walk, all of which indicate something beyond mere negligent parenting. What a difficult, heartbreaking situation for the child and his family.
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