03 April 2011

Too Fat?

How do you tell if your baby or young child is overweight? The answer is, of course, that the doctor is to plot the baby's height and weight onto a NATIONALLY NORMED chart.


I know all y'all parents are going YAY! Why should I have to wait until my child is going to school to have him tested and compared to his peers? So here's how we're going to play the "ostracise the fat kid" game: any weight over the 85th percentile means your child is too fat. Don't eeeven think that if the doctor doesn't say anything about your kid being too fat, that it's ok for your kid to be too fat. By which we mean, anything over the 85th percentile. The percentile tells you your kid is fat. I swear I am not making this up.


Now, I know what you are probably thinking. You're probably thinking that if one were to find 100 American children to chart statistically, that 15 of them would be unlucky enough to be in the 85th percentile or above. Let me just tell you, you need to STOP that thinking. The lady in the video is trying to sell you a book and you need to listen up. Anything over the 85th percentile means the kid is FAT, do you hear me? You just nevermind that Americans are racially diverse, that God made people in all colours and sizes, and that a Chinese-American baby is going to weigh farrr less at birth than my average 10 pound German-Irish American baby. The chart just says *my* babies are fat. Smaller babies simply must be "failure to thrive," not "smaller babies." The chart is what is going to tell us these things. Do not use "common sense." The chart is more scientific. It's nationally-normed!


Oh! But it doesn't go to 100 or have a maximum. All of my children - except for my extremely stunted-in-growth-50th percentile ELF - are well above the recommended but very small height. I'm sure something must be done.


I'm not sure (specifically) what to think about the 135 pound toddler in the story. If the kid is eating a few bowls of rice extra, it wouldn't bother me. Or a cabinet full of cookies. Or five bars of chocolate and a milkshake. What would bother me? Finding a car seat for him. Having to teach him to sit on any kid that makes fun of him. Stuff like that. But I don't know why the story about this child from China is in the news. This is news... why?


And do I realllly need to hear about some guy who doesn't feel like getting out of his chair? Um, the guy doesn't want to get out of the chair... the girlfriend is ok feeding him... leave the guy alone. It's his life! Can you blame him for not wanting to go to the doctor? I sure can't! Do you know how embarrassing it is to go to the doctor when you're overweight?? Most of us, seriously, would pretty much rather die.


But if I found MAGGOTS in my chair? I'd cardio all the way to the shower and then go shopping for a new one in my Lark (tm). Just because I'm sedentary doesn't mean my children can study the life cycle of the housefly in my living room.

7 comments:

  1. I am so lucky I've never had "percentile" issues with doctors. Amy was at the 2nd percentile for weight, for a very long time.

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  2. I laughed until I read "maggots".
    Then I shuddered. Ugh!!

    Normal cannot be reliably defined. What's normal for some is not normal for others.

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  3. I am totally NOT going to link to any article that might contain the word "maggots" in it. Sorry.

    Anyway, that game is not called "ostracize the fat kid" it's called SOCIALIZATION.

    Jeez, Mrs. C. Keep up.

    My daughter is in the 100th percentile on weight AND height. My son is in the 25th percentile on weight and height. Everyone says "he's gonna have a complex about being short when he grows up!" and I'm all "not if you morons don't GIVE him one, he won't"

    In conclusion: The charts are stooopid.

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  4. We brought our girly home at 4.5 pounds. She was 9 weeks early. We had to have weekly weight checks until she was 2 months old to make sure she was getting enough calories to sustain her and make her all fabulous.

    By 6 months old, she was on the chubby side of the scale, especially since she was so early. By 9 months old the doctor was recommending I supplement nursing only with bottles of water to make sure she didn't become 'too fat'. She was in the 85th percentile. At 9 months old she was able to wear 12-18 months old clothing, but she was also OFF the charts in height. Her height grew like mad those first couple of years! She evened out once she started walking and has been fine since, but I couldn't imagine if we actually took the docs advice and fed every other feeding as water!

    Sometimes I think Mom's should be the ones' with the medical license.....lol

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  5. My kids were always smaller but I was a very small boned child. Always underweight it seemed. But I was healthy, ran around, played sports. I was fine. My mom seems to forget though and when she sees my kids, she thinks I'm not feeding them. My husband wore Slims all growing up and now has to diet. I get tired of all this weight stuff at times people throw at us. You can usually tell when someone is truly underfed by their energy level, hair, skin, etc. Judging by my kids energy level, they could power a whole city.

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  6. My brothers and I were always off the chart in weight, like we weighed so little that it was not on the chart and in the 5th percentile in height every once in a while the doctor would question but we kept growing so they knew we were fine. And I do believe that lady in the video has it wrong as the pead of the little girl I nanny for told her mom she was fine and not over weight because all her measurements were in the same percentile which is the 99th she is just a big kid, she is not overfeed and she is not over weight for her height. Now if a child was in the 25th for height and the 85th or above for weight then there might be an issue but otherwise the child is fine.

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  7. We had a constant battle with doctors and pharmacists (after moving to NZ) because DD was always hovering at 10% on weight or just below. She drank Pediasure in America (per her pediatrician) which was no problem since they sell it at the grocery store. Here its a pharmacy product and I have had knock down drag out fights with chemists over the quality of my parenting if she had to drink two cans a day--even after the doctor wrote a prescription. We finally gave up and Mom mailed us Carnation Instant Breakfast mix from America until recently. At 3.5 DD has finally levelled off and stays around 40% for weight and 75% for height. There's nothing worse than making every effort to feed your child properly and being really concerned to having an idiot chemist assume your child's need of supplements is a result of your lazy parenting. Oh wait--it might have been worse if she were fat. Then they would assume we were passing on our bad habits. Hmmm...

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Non-troll comments always welcome! :)