Parents of 'Pudgy' Babies Are Putting Their Kids On A Diet!

Thu, December 2, 2010 4:44pm EST by 1 Comment

With growing concern about childhood obesity, are these moms and dads overreacting to the size of their children? Would you put your baby on a diet?

Remember when it was a good thing for your baby to have chubby cheeks and a rosy glow? Well, that time may be over, thanks to growing concerns about having overweight children. More and more parents are putting their babies and toddlers on strict diets. “I don’t want her to have any of the problems that I had: the self-consciousness, health issues,” says Jodi Hasan, who carefully manages her 18-month-old daughter Maya‘s diet because Jodi herself has long struggled with weight issues. “I want her to have good self-esteem.”

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Jodi feeds Maya a well-balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables and no junk food, which has little Maya in the 25th percentile for weight for her age. But she might be going too far scooping out the center of her daughter’s bagels. During a recent checkup with the pediatrician, Jodie was pleased that Maya hadn’t put on any weight.

“I have seen parents putting their infant and 1-year-old on diets because of history in one parent or another,” says Dr. Jatinder Bhatia, who chairs the nutrition committee of the American Academy of Pediatrics and is chief of neonatology at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta.

Another doctor, Dr. Blair Hammond of the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City, went even further, saying, “There’s some parents who are very pleased when their children are thin,” Hammond said. “A lot of fathers, even, they’re like, ‘Yes, my daughter’s thin,’ when the daughter’s like 5 or 6 months old.”

A mother forces her daughter to live on 700 calories a day. Is this child abuse?

But do you really want a thin child at that age? With eating disorders in children under 12 on the rise, at what point does the obsession with weight become dangerous?

Dr. Bhatia believes, “We need to stop the notion that fat, cuddly, cute babies are a good thing,” but, at the same time, he doesn’t recommend drastic measures. “Breast-fed babies tend to gain weight faster early on and then slow down in the next six months,” he says, before adding that formula-fed babies tend to continue the rapid weight gain as a result of overfeeding or inappropriate feeding by their parents.

Would you try the baby food diet to lose weight?

While the debate rages on, Dr. Hammond believes that there is something just as important as your child’s eating habits when it comes to how they will develop: your own eating habits, as well.

“You don’t want to project a lot of anxiety and stress about eating to your kids, if that’s possible,” she says. “But, that being said, how many mothers are stressed and dieting all the time? And their kids get that as a role model of how to eat.”

So that might be something to think about, HollyMoms. There’s a lot more to your baby’s eating habits than what they put in their mouth.

–Roger Singer

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Posted at 1:26 AM on March 26, 2011  

Parents who obsess with childerns weight because they have problems with their own weight need help. My mother kept every bit of junk food away from me when I was little, and while I agree kids need more healthy than junk food, completely keeping them from it can cause problems later on, one being lack of self control when they get their hands on the candy, chips, etc. My mother was chubby pretty much all her life and when she had me,she tried to make me thin. She under-fed me as a baby, and I was never able to have any kind of junk food. And if we were at a cookout she would watch me and after I ate a few bites of food, would tell me that was enough and took my food away. When I went to my dad and grandparents house, they didnt restrict me, I had things like candy in my reach and could have it whenever I wanted as long as I still ate actual food. And guess what? I never had more than a piece or two. I didnt go crazy because I knew I could have it. But once I started to stay home alone at my mom’s and she had food there I couldnt normally have, I admit I over ate. Because I didnt know when I could have it again. My mom would even sit there when I was a little girl and wave clothes that were too small in face and taunt me with things like “see you could fit into things like this if you didnt eat all this crap” while holding a piece of candy in front of my as well. My mom even told my grandmother that she didnt have to worry about boys finding me attractive or wanting anything more than friends to do with me because of how I looked when my grandma tried to show her an article about girls developing at younger ages more and more ( I was about 10 or 11 at the time). I was always brought down about my weight, even though I also have a medical conditon that makes it slightly more difficult to lose weight, and while she hardly ate anything after my brother was born and began to take medicine that she didnt need that caused her to lose weight quicker(she still does to this day and she is beyond thin and it she doesnt look healthy at all). But see here I am almost 20 years old and I’ve been with my boyfriend for 4 years. We are planning on getting married and plan on starting a family. And he loves me no matter what even though I am chubby. Yes, he supports me in my decisions to exercise and eat healthier because he wants me to be healthy and not have so many self esteem issues, not because he’s obsessed with looks and wants a skinny girl (even though he himself is thin). My mother to this day (and since I began dating guys and had actual relationships) seems to be jealous of what I have, even though I look the way I do (as Im sure you gathered, in her mind the only a way a woman is desirable to men is if they are thin). And to this day she cant hold a steady relationship and pretty much said she was a whore, then laughed about it. She will take physical attention wherever she can get it, whether its a player, married man, or someone who truly cares about her (in which case she strings him along then causes problems to make the man seem like a bad guy so she can kick him to the curb). I honestly feel bad for her. So, to the parents who focus on thin your kid is, and are only happy when your kids are thin, you are actually doing more harm than good. Some of you will get lucky and raise kids who have the healthy habbits and are comfortable with their body no matter how they look. But most of you parents will either A) succeed in having a thin kid, but will mentally mess something up and cause more harm than good. or B) your child will end up becoming what you dont want them to be, and will be overeat the junk food, because of how much you stressed over your child looking thin and looking how the world thinks people should look(in which case you are shallow) and how you completely tried to keep some small goodies here and there from them. They might even have no self control, and develop real eating disorders. You probably are messing them up mentally and destroying their self esteem. And that isnt what a parent should do. They love their child no matter how they look. To this day when I visit my mom, i still feel she is thinking mean thoughts about me when she sees me. I had hardly any self esteem until I moved out of her house. How could any loving parent put their child through this kind of distress? There is a fine line with giving your child and healthy balanced diet, and obsessing over their looks and their body image. Sometimes it seems like some of these parents base how much they love their child and give them postie attention and affection based off of how thin they are and how they look. Truly sad.

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