Does this sound like you?
- Your child's gaining too much, no matter what you do.
- You blame your kid for overeating.
- You nag, bug, and sometimes scream to get your kid to move. To go outside. To get up.
Eat less, move more, we'll fix this. Right?
And so parents nag their children. And kids can't comply.
Slowly, we’re learning that obesity isn’t a willpower problem. It's a physiological problem. Starving somebody thin works temporarily, but the body is too smart and will eventually take over by lowering metabolism and increasing hunger.
Here’s a quote from a Jan 7, 2016 New York Times interview with Dr. David S. Ludwig who directs the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center at Boston Children’s Hospital and is a professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School.
"Simply cutting back on calories as we’ve been told actually makes the situation worse. When we cut back on calories, our body responds by increasing hunger and slowing metabolism. It responds in an effort to save calories. And that makes weight loss progressively more and more difficult on a standard low calorie diet. It creates a battle between mind and metabolism that we’re doomed to lose."
He goes on to say:
"We think of obesity as a state of excess, but it’s really more akin to a state of starvation. If the fat cells are storing too many calories, the brain doesn’t have access to enough to make sure that metabolism runs properly. So the brain makes us hungry in an attempt to solve that problem, and we overeat and feel better, temporarily. But if the fat cells continue to take in too many calories, then we get stuck in this never-ending cycle of overeating and weight gain. The problem isn’t that there are too many calories in the fat cells, it’s that there’s too few in the bloodstream, and cutting back on calories can’t work."
Getting medical help for a kid that is gaining too much weight isn't taking the easy way out.
It means you're serious about managing the problem. That you want to address the underlying medical conditions and get sustained support so that your child can get better.