Do you agree with doc's diagnosis of obesity in 87 pound 9-year-old daughter?

Samantha - posted on 11/27/2009 ( 30 moms have responded )

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I took my 9-year-old to her well child check today. She weighs 87 pounds. The doctor said she is "obese" and wants her tested for cholesterol and diabetes. She has never had any symptoms or signs, and is an otherwise healthy and active child. She eats a well balanced diet with no sugar drinks (soda, juice, etc.). Her dad and I do not have high cholesterol or diabetes, and we are tested every year. Depending on what the results are, the doctor may want us to see a dietician so she can eat a healthy diet, but she does not want her to "diet" because that can lead to other medical problems. The doc said she needs to "grow into her height."



Would you get the testing done, and has this doctor gone too far in labeling her as "obese" at 87 pounds. She is 52 inches tall.

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Donna - posted on 12/02/2009

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my daughter is 8 years old and weighs 85 pounds.I dont think that is obese!she is just solid.:) She eats healthy,and is very active.Nowadays doctors are way over conscious about things like this. I could never put and 8 or 9 year old on a diet!Ridiculous!As long as they are otherwise healthy,let them eat its part of being a kid! good luck

Laura - posted on 11/30/2009

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Her weight does seem high for her height. I agree with the healthy eating and being active. Hopefully she will grow into the weight. One thing to watch for in your foods is High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)- try to avoid it as much as possible. It has been shown to decrease the effectiveness of insulin on blood sugar among other things. The foods without HFCS may be a little more expensive but for our family, out health is worth it. And you will be surprised as some of the foods that have it. Some cereals that I always thought were healthy have it but many of the sugary cereals don't. Part of its appeal to food makers, is that HFCS is sweet without adding as many calories.

Valerie - posted on 11/28/2009

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obesity is determined by guidelines...so she probably meets the guidelines...are there exceptions, yes...would i listen to the doctor...yes...and commend him for not turning his back on a growing national health issue...

Anne - posted on 11/28/2009

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Yes, the definition of overweight is BMI of 25 and of obese is BMI of 30, and your child comes in at around 23, which is within normal limits. I would forget all the painful blood tests for now, and make sure she gets plenty of exercise, and sticks to a healthy diet.

Julie - posted on 11/27/2009

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I work for a peds office & it is normal protocol to do further testing. The Academy of Pediatrics is trying to catch obesity in children before it gets out of control. My 7 year old daughter WAS overweight. At her 6 yr check up, she was plotted in the 85 percentile. Her doctor which is my boss had us change her portion of her meals. We switched some of her snacks to sugar free. Like her puddings, apple sauce, pineapples and juice for school that was less in sugar and so on. We increased her exercise without her knowing that she's really exercising. She walks her dog twice around the block in the morning and in the evening. We as a family picked up exercise activities which after a year, the little changes have helped slim her down with my daughter not even noticing the changes. How would you feel if your doctor never said anything?

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Joanne - posted on 11/23/2012

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yes, get her tested!!!! it won't hurt her if she doesn"t have it but will hurt both her and you if she has it and you don't find out, right?

Maria - posted on 10/22/2012

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my daughter is 21 years old and her weight is 86 pounds, what can i do to help her gain weight?

Zaneta - posted on 12/02/2009

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I would have the testung done,it doesnt hurt them. I recently had it done on my 7y/o who is 95lbs. She is very active.We just finished with football season where she was a cheerleader. She p,lays outside all the time. She just eats alot and it's not alot of junk food. She loves rice, bread,and most of all vegetables. She loves salad,my child eats vegetables most kids dont inc. mushrooms and broccoli in her salads.My child likes to eat,I know she's over weight ,I just make sure I continue to take her to the DR. Oh her test came back normal

Amanda - posted on 12/01/2009

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my step son is 8 and weighs 84 lbs no he is not skin and bones like my other two kids but he is not chunky or "obeese" the last time i went to the dr they said i was morbidly obeese i looked at the nurse and said so are you she came back with according to our chats even when it comes to kids 90% of ppl are "obesse" i would not worry about your daughter unless you notice she starts over eating or your having to buy cloths that are way to big for a child her age also as long as she is active there is nothin to be worried about it just a dr tryin to make an extra dollar or 2

Jaime - posted on 12/01/2009

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I haven't read all the above posts, so if my post is the same as anyone else- sorry in advance for repeating.

My olderset daughter (8.5yrs) weighs about 86lbs, not sure exactly how tall she is (but is taller than her friends) 2 years ago now she had a sudden increase in weight, about 20lbs in a month. She has always been a bigger girl, but this weight change had me worried. I took her to the doctor and had him do a TSH and other blood work. It turned out her TSH levels were through the roof which means she has "hypothyrodism" and is on medication daily. Without her medication she would gain even more weight.

My daughter is very active (dance, swimming and playing outside all the time), her diet is overall healthy she chooses fruit and veggies over chocolate most of the time. Blood work would be my first suggestion, food diary with times of eating, exercise alittle bit more, even if it is going for a longer walk everyday. Keep me posted on your lab results.

Good Luck, don't put to much worry into the clinical diagnosis, Dr's love to diagnos!

Tina - posted on 12/01/2009

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I am not a doctor, I dont know what the weight/ height should be. But having the blood work can help for future level references. seeing a dietitian never hurt anyone either, they have great recipes and helpful ideas for the whole family to live healthy.
my only advice would be in how you broach the subject to your child.. make sure she knows this is not a bad person to go see, that all of this is to make sure she is healthy for her life!!! This is the age eating disorders begin. if you get some good ideas, please share!

Rebecca - posted on 12/01/2009

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my niece has was always on the heavy side (i dont want to say obese and im not sure what word to use?). her mom was thick when she was young and it kind of runs in her family. so she simply made her eat more natural fruit and veggies. she cut out the ice cream and cake and brownies and chose other stuff like yogurt and fat free stuff. Its all about the calories. she coudl be eating healthy but how much are the calories? she also enrolled her into fun stuff like soccer, tball and dance. she is thinner now. i would say yes to the testing. it wont hurt her at all. but maybe not tell her that its because the doctor says shes obese and just tell her its something your family does to make sure everything is ok.

Carol - posted on 11/30/2009

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If her BMI is considered normal don't worry about it. We just had to switch doctors because ours wanted to run tests all the time on all of us. Some were legit but most were just because she wanted the money from insurance. How do I know?...the doctors at the hospital where the tests were done told us that her single doctor practice accounted for over 80% of all tests done at the hospital. She also "lost" a good portion of the tests which meant redoing them at the insurance's expense. Very convinient for her. Ask for the raw data and research the information yourself. I'm not suggesting diagnosing yourself but at least be aware if someone's trying to scam you (or your insurance)

[deleted account]

if you dont like it find a new dr. but they tests couldnt hurt and try to get her into sprots or dance or something where she is moving around alot and if you are already doing a balanced diet she will have to grow into it you make her taller faster ! being a teacher one thing i noticed is that kids who are heavier most of the time are alowed to walk around the house and eat / drink in diffrent rooms ... food at the table only elimantes Bored eating in front of the TV or whatever ... i dont think you should go crazy or anything if you trust and like this dr. fallow his advice if not find a new doc.

Jamie - posted on 11/30/2009

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hello i think your daughter is just fine as long as shes active and my lil girl is 9 and weighs 72 pounds

so its about right depending on mommy and daddys builds

Nikki - posted on 11/30/2009

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thats crazy my dtr is 9 and weighs 105lbs and she is 5' so 6 inches taller and about 20lbs and she is happy and healthy the doctor has told me she is a little overweight but never obese as lond as shes happy and healthy i would not do these test there really isn't any reason to do them and of u fell that there is no risk of her having them than u have everyright to say no to them i love drs that want to run a million tests that r not needed to charge the insurance! if u let a kids know that u think they are "fat " cause thats what they hear there are so many other problem that can come out that there is no way u should risk it i was anerexic and that is way worse than what other ppl consider a few extra lbs as long as u 2 r happy then don't start her down that road!

Angie - posted on 11/30/2009

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Quoting Valerie:

obesity is determined by guidelines...so she probably meets the guidelines...are there exceptions, yes...would i listen to the doctor...yes...and commend him for not turning his back on a growing national health issue...



Amen, Valerie.  I am concerned about  my 11 year old daughter's weight.   She is 54 inches tall and weighs 90 pounds.  I can't fool myself, she is overweight.  Her doctor says not to worry because  girls put on some body fat right before puberty.  In the mean time the entire family has cut out red meat and we all exercise more.  I doubt there are many people in the US who wouldn't benefit with this kind of change.  I myself am obese - 61 inches and 140 pounds.  My doctor won't tell me the truth about my NEED to lose weight, I plugged my info in a BMI indicator and decided to do something for myself.   Doctors these days are too afraid to hurt their patient's feelings and by doing that, people are become more and more obese and more and more ill.......

Traci - posted on 11/30/2009

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Hello Samantha. I am Traci. I have a daughter who just turned 8. She weighs 87 lbs. I have been concerned about her weight for the past 2 yrs, because she was "normal" weight untill she started 1st grade. Thats when her weight nearly doubled. I am hoping that she will "grow" into it too. Like your daughter, mine eats a fairly healthy diet, and actually is a very picky eater. She drinks a lot of water too. She could be a little more active, she tires easily when running and playing. We got a trampoline and she is on it all the time, but unfortunately I havent noticed a difference in her weight. I am taking her in soon to have the same type of tests done, even tho she doesnt have signs of diabetes either. Her doc told me that she is perfectly healthy, and he would rather see kids come in looking like her, than too skinny. He says its in our eyes, and we are the ones who see the weight as a problem. I guess my point is.... I definately do NOT think that my daughter is obese by any means, and I dont think your daughter is either. Its always a good idea to get the tests just to make sure there are no thyroid problems or anything like that, but I do not agree w what your doc says. I am hoping that as she grows taller she will grow into her weight too, and it sounds like the same thing for you and your daughter. I am mainly worried for a little more down the line... when they are teen's, kids can be so cruel, and although I dont think they are obese, my daughter definately stands out a little from other girls her age. I just try to remind her that everyone is different, and she is beautiful no matter what! I guess I just wanted to write to you and let you know that you are not the only one going thru this. I'm sure you are doing a great job, and there is nothing that you are doing wrong, or that is your fault, so dont let the doc make you feel like that. Good luck too you and your daughter! Traci McCormick

Lynette - posted on 11/29/2009

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i have the same problem with my son...he is 11 and he weighs 150 pounds but the drs have never said anything about it..i worry about him being big like that and wish i knew what i could do to help him loose weight cause everyone teases him about it..

Amy - posted on 11/29/2009

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If it were my child I would say get the testing to be sure. I was always overwight as a child and as an adult. My parents always nagged me and put me down because of my weight. They belittled me. They would embass me in front of there friends and mad me feel horrible about myself. Do not do that to your dausghter or she will hate you for it. I love my parents but when they did that I became very angry. It really hurt me and I would eat over it. I have an 8 year old son who I love dearly. I watch what he eats and what time he eats. If you feed her at ten at night and she goes to bed it all turns to fat and sits in her stomach. This is because at night she is not active. We do not keep junke food in the house. We get a little bit once a month to satify all of us and try to get sugar free. My husband and I are both heavy and we are trying to loss the weight. As you get older the weight is harder to take off. But please do not get on your daughters case. That will hurt more. Plus I was verbally and mentaly abuse in all areas of life growing up.

Leslie - posted on 11/29/2009

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she is not obese, just 14 pounds over weight. Everyone including doctors are going crazy over children and adults being overweight. It is a good idea to have her tested for diabetes and cholesterol, not because shes a little over weight, even under weight kids can have these problems.
Her doctor has gone way to far for saying she's obese. Obese people are extremely over weight or 20% above their normal weight. There is a huge difference between over weight and obese. My 9 year old son is 87 pounds. He use to be under weight. My daughter is 10 almost 11 and is 110 pounds. Both of them are only 10 pounds over weight. Their doctor just told us they don't need to gain any more and to play outside more and less tv.

Kekua - posted on 11/28/2009

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No. Not at that age. Obviously if she's looking at a screen and eating cookies, burgers & fries, and fried chicken every day you know what the problem is and need to cut that stuff from her diet but if not then leave her alone. As she grows her height will catch up to her weight. If she's active and she's eating healthy I wouldn't put her with a dietician. If you start making her worry about food all the time and her weight, you might as well just sign her up for life with an eating disorder.

[deleted account]

I have been going through this for years with my daughter, since birth she has been in the 90th percentile for weight and every year her dr suggests we cut certain things out or get her more exercise, she is 8 and weighs 70 lbs. She eats almost no junk food, we don't buy soda, ice cream, chip, cookies. We buy everything sugar free that we can, limit what she eats when she eats carbs and she gets a lot of exercise, she is not a video game kid, she rides her bike all the time and runs around like a nut. This year her dr said because she is getting taller it's not so bad but to still keep an eye on things. At the same time i have a 10 yr old son who eats like a pig and would rather eat yogurt and raw veggies over candy and i am told he is slightly underweight, i can't win. If it was me, as long as my insurance covered the testing i'd get it done, what's it going to hurt, if anything if it comes back perfect you can give the dr a great big told ya so.
:)

Michelle - posted on 11/28/2009

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Whatever you decide on the testing, the main thing is to get her involved in Healthier eating, being active, and portion control. My daughter is borderline overweight and she has enjoyed helping our family switch to non-fat and low fat or low sugar and 100% juices items. She is also slowly becoming aware of being full, which took quite some time. Most times if she askes for seconds, I don't allow it. I tell her that I gave her all she needs for her body on her plate in the first place. All of the small things suggested add up. Mostly I would say it is important to be on you childs side.without making her feel bad about herself.

Rebecca - posted on 11/28/2009

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This is a good time to start teaching your child about healthy living. Making the right food choices along with portion sizes. Not allowing seconds or thirds at meals or giving her adult size portions. Get her active if she isn't or more active if she is. Sports, riding bikes, outside playing with friends or even working out with you. I know my kids get a kick out of doing a workout video with mom or seeing how far they can run with me. The main point is to teach your kids how to live a healthy life younger in life, so they won't have to struggle later.

Nicole - posted on 11/28/2009

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I have the same issue with my nine year old daughter. She is 85 lbs and very active. She plays basketball and softball and she is always playing one or the other outside. She is round in the middle and her pants are starting not to fit. I am hoping though that she will grow into it like her sister before her. I would hope that size wouldn't be the only factor that the doctor was looking at when advising these. Additionally I would want my doctor to notice these things, however hopefully he was tasteful about how it was presented to her. You would be surprised how many eating disorders and things are started by well meaning people (and yes for a close friend of mine it was a doctor) suggesting there is a problem with their image. Just continue to give her good food choices and as others have suggested make sure that she stays active in some way. I would do the tests if YOU are concerned about it but if it is only due to size I might hold off. My oldest daughter was the same way. She is 12 now and she has gained several inches in the past 3 years and is now taller than me and a size 3 adult in pants. By no means is she heavy any more and I am ashamed now about some of the thoughts I as her mom had when she was younger and I was considering modification of her diet and all kinds of extremes and she didn't need them. BTW a BMI of 22.7 is considered normal. Obese is a BMI of 30 or greater. Therefore she would not be considered obese. Oh and yes I know what I am talking about I work in healthcare and spent the summer doing this type of work for a health department.

Christie - posted on 11/27/2009

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Doctors sometimes loose heart when it comes to clinical words. It's somewhat surprising what is considered obese. I wouldn't let you daughter ever know that or make her knowingly exercise or eat less. If she's not involved in a sport or dance of some kind I suggest that. With the right kind of activity the eating is not such a big focus especially if she's not over doing it. But her getting a "sport" or activity is very important now so she's able to get to the acceptable weight and not go the other way.

Kristine - posted on 11/27/2009

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I wouldn't say she is obese. My daughter is 8 years old and from what I last remember she is about that same height. I know she is overweight and I believe the last time she went to the doctor she weighed about 100 pounds and she was probably at least 2-3 inches shorter than what she is now. The doctor told us that she was a little overweight but just to get her excercising more and not to worry about it so much and she was probably going through a growth spurt in the eating area and just not growing taller yet. I wouldn't worry so much as long as she exercises regularly and eats healthy without a lot of junk food for snacks. I would say though that it doesn't hurt to have her tested for those things just to be sure though.

Sharolett - posted on 11/27/2009

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I don't think she is "obese". I would go and have the test done if it where me just for peace of mind. I wouldn't worry. Just change things up! Find something for to do that is different change her food up or put her in a dance class. Something she likes to do and will stick to it. Good luck

Angie - posted on 11/27/2009

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According to an online pediatric BMI calculator, her BMI is 22.7 and she's in the 95th% for weight. The caluclator says she is at risk of becoming overweight. I'd say, have her exercise more and cut out unhealthy foods (we all eat them) and see if she "grows into her weight". One thing that is helpful is to keep an eating diary for her. You might be surprised at what her food choices are and what her portion sizes are. Try not to get hung up on the "obese" label, it is simply a medical diagnosis.

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