Help for 400 lb 12 year old??

Sabrina - posted on 08/14/2010 ( 17 moms have responded )

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I have a friend who has a 12 year old son who weighs now over 400 pounds. His mother has tried everything she can think of to get him to eat less, even sent him to fat camp, but nothing seems to work. They can't find anything physically causing the weight gain, they think he just has no impulse control and will eat whatever he can get his hands on. They keep the fridge and cabinets locked, and he breaks the locks or eats from the trash. She found a boarding school in NC, but it costs $26000 for 4 months. Does anyone have any cheaper ideas on what she could try?? The weight causes other isues with his health and we are so fearful of what will happen to him if he doesn't change. Oh, and I am sure someone will mention exercise - she says he is always outside playing, and is actually pretty active, so yes he may need a little more activity, but that is not the bulk of the problem.

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I hope I don't offend you consultants, but Herbalife is not the answer! My parents put me on that in 2nd grade and it was horrifying! I don't know how anyone can choke down those pills and shakes! It was actually traumatizing as a child for me and could actually make this boy's situation much worse.

The problem is is that weight loss is an extremely personal issue. People will not be successful in losing the weight and keeping it off unless they make the choice themselves to do it. You cannot lose weight for any other reason other than to do it for yourself. If this boy is forced into weight loss he will very likely gain it back in the future. The decision needs to come from within. Of course I am not suggesting that the mother back off and leave him alone! She need to stay on top of this and off encouragement and education. This boy needs to understand all the health ramifications that carrying this extra weight brings. He also needs to be encouraged to eat healthy foods and continue to get physical exercise. His parents need to make sure they evaluate their lives too and the example they are setting. I'm certainly not saying they are to blame, but make sure mom and dad aren't eating "junk" foods and then telling the boy he can't have them. Children learn by example. If the parents are a positive role model the child has a better chance of success! And I definitely agree that some therapy might be in order... maybe there is an Overeaters Anonymous chapter in their area? That could be a great resource and starting place!

I am not a doctor (only an EMT) or a licensed psychologist (although I have a psychology degree) but I am simply a mother and a woman who has lost 100 pounds and know just how difficult this journey is. But my journey started from within. Trust me, I wish I knew a magic way to "make" people lose weight as my husband weighs 400 pounds and I am desperate to help him! But I am following my own advice I have listed above and I am making headway with my husband... I have gotten him to give up soda, which is his biggest downfall! I hope this young boy gets on the right track soon! Please let us know, okay?

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Consult the doctors and see what they say. At that size its a much larger problem than simple advice can fix.

17 Comments

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Clayton - posted on 08/07/2013

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Hello,
I am sorry to hear of this situation. I've read all of the comments and suggestions above and I can't agree with them. There is little benefit from fat camps, low-carbs, high protein, medical doctors, or the USDA. These people, organization or the suggestion they make as to diet are all aimed at making money. This is why our country is so confused about health.

I hope this is still relevant, or luckily not relevant if you've succeeded. Please look into a documentary called Forks over Knives, It deals with this exact issue. It may change you life, and your childrens'. It can be found on Netflix or on their website. You child and you can eat as much as you want as long as its on the safe list.

As back up, get their recipe book, buy the China Study by Cambell or How to Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease by Dr. Essylstine. These men, along with few others, have done the research to prove these other diets do not fix these major problem.

Please look into this. I beg you.

Jeannie - posted on 08/31/2010

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I have a 14 year old daughter with a similar problem-- she is currently at 301 lbs. We just returned from the doctors today and he has put her on a strict diet. AT breakfast there must be protein, low carbs. Lunch can be a big as she wants as long as her carb level for the day stays under 25g. At night or dinner time she may only eat foods with a "0" carb count such as eggs and lean meat. Watch fruits and veggies as some of them may contain more carbs ( sugar is a carb) than they need. The US Department of Agriculture has a complete list of low carb foods on their web site. Hope this helps!

Sabrina - posted on 08/31/2010

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Thanks for everyone's advice. Unfortunately she has tried most all of this and it just doesn't work. He's been seeing a psychologist for years now and seen so many doctors it's crazy. I was there when a cardiologist told him he was going to die early, but he just doesn't seem to care. I have told her to try Dr Oz, or Jillian and see if they will help. Thanks for that link. We'll certainly try.

Krystel - posted on 08/28/2010

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Boarding school is not the answer. Talk to the doctor. they have different things they can help him with.

Sherry - posted on 08/27/2010

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have they talked to a medical doctor or had their son evaluated for other possible issues, like thyroid or other hormonal problems? if it's his eating habits maybe they can contact an interventionist and have an intervention. what a great friend you are for having such concern and seeking out answers. i hope and pray that their son gets help.

Kimberley - posted on 08/27/2010

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He is sooo young and so obese. That is difficult for just one answer. Psychologist would be a good idea. I suggest food management as well. Maybe more activities and go to see a food specialist. It is actually in the brain from what I have heard. So I have no real answer just a bit of what I would do if it were my child. Good luck to your friend.

Joyce - posted on 08/26/2010

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Rebecca and Sabrina, I agree with Lynn Fulton about the Herbalife products helping the children stay full and lose weight in a very healthy way. The program is easy to follow, the only challenge is sticking to it. I have coached over 200 people in Weight Loss Challenges and have been amazed with the results on the Herbalife program!! The best part about the program is having a coach that will work with the child and parents daily if necessary! Please contact Lynn or myself ASAP to get these children the help they need. After all, children are our ONLY future....
I am sending out prayers to both your boys and the entire family that each will make the right choice....soon.
Wellness Coach and Mom,
Joyce :)

Lynn - posted on 08/25/2010

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Wow. I pretty much agree with everyone else. There is an underlying problem that this family needs to get to the root of. Are the parents overweight also? There should not be anything in the house that is bad for him. He should be encouraged to drink a lot of water throughout the day. His meals and snacks should be planned out ahead of time. Have lots of fruits and veges around for him. Mom can cut them up for him, making them easily available to him. I can help him stay full and lose weight with Herbalife, however he really needs a lot of therapy. If he doesn't find out what makes him eat, he will never stop! This is a perfect example where the Dr. will suggest surgery and I disagree whole heartedly! Even with surgery, I have seen people go right back to there obese size, because they haven't dealt with the reason they were obese in the first place. Your friend is very lucky to have you care so much about her son. I hope that she is as concerned as you are!

Rebecca - posted on 08/23/2010

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I have a 13 almost 14 yr old that weighs 385 lbs and we just found out he has diabetes. He has always been a big boy but he does have way too big of portions when he eats. He is active and plays alot outside also. I guess I really dont have any good advice for you but it did scare my son when he was diagnosed last week. He has to prick his finger and take pills as of yet but the scare has him cutting down on his eating and the levels are coming down. So for health reasons, he does need help. Good Luck

Shana - posted on 08/19/2010

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I had the same problem with my son. He did not weigh 400 pounds but he was getting really fat. He was always outside playing but he just kept getting fatter. I stopped buying sweats. And I got him involved in picking out foods that he liked and that was healthy for him.He started watching the carbs that were on the package. He even started helping me cook. When he was 12 he weighed over 200 pounds now at the age of 181/2 he is 6 ft tall and weighs around 150.

Cheri - posted on 08/17/2010

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He seems to have an overwhelming obsession with food. He may benefit with seeing a psychologist.

Maria - posted on 08/16/2010

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I hope you don't take this the wrong way, but your friend needs intervention for her son. He does need to see a certified personal trainer who is experienced with children, their nutritional needs and as well as physical needs. The way I see it, her child may be an emotional eater, and if he doesn't like himself or what he sees in himself, or gets ridiculed by others in school, he turns to food and binges. Your friend has to realize that her son, even at this age, may be causing his heart to work double time, because he's breathing twice as hard. For his health, she may seriously consider Jenny Craig or other Nutritional Plans with experienced consultants. Then, he can get into the physical part with a personal trainer to help alongside losing weight.

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