I have a 10 year old niece on The Husband’s side of the family who was just told by her pediatrician she really needs to get more exercise, watch what she eats and to be careful of her weight. She is by no means heavy or over weight, but over the past 6 months or so I think she’s just beginning to get a little chunky. I can see what her doctor is getting at. Over the past several years her weight and height have not gone up proportionally and if that trend continues she will become heavy, overweight, fat or whatever label you want to apply.
My niece’s grandmother was appalled at the doctor for “putting so much emphasis” on her weight, “especially at that age.” Me? I was happy the doctor said something. If you look at my niece’s mother and her grandmother, you can easily see what the trend is, and it’s big. The grandmother has been dealing with weight issues for as long as I’ve known her and is scheduled for gastric bypass surgery in April or May. The mom is big, Rubenesque , round, curvy or however you want to describe her. Their diets are horrible. I watch the family stuff so much processed, fatty, fried food in their mouths it’s hard to imagine they are getting anything nutritious at all.
The Niece is coming up on the challenging pre-teen and teen age years ahead. I worry if her family doesn’t take this seriously it is going to spiral into many other issues. I don’t think it’s too early nor do I think anyone is putting too much emphasis on her weight. I don’t want her to have to shed tears about her friends calling her fat. I don’t want her to feel any less because she’s biggest one in the room and I don’t want her weight to keep her from becoming the person I hope and know she can become.