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Overweight child who eats good food and exercises loads but never gets slimmer - where do I start?

Discussion in 'Parents' started by georgiak, Jun 24, 2014.

  1. georgiak

    georgiak Gestational · Member

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    Hello. I'm feel as if I'm banging my head against a brick wall with finding help with this so I hoped that maybe some people here might have some insight as to where I start looking for help. My oldest daughter is 7 and has been 98th centile for size since she was born at 10lb 1oz. (Incidentally I had pre-eclampsia with her and was diagnosed with gestational diabetes with my second, so I suspect I may have had undiagnosed gestational diabetes with the first too. My husband and all his family are obese.) She was classified as clinically obese when weighed at school in reception year. She has a huge appetite, but I feed her good food in line with all the advice we are always given about feeding children and I restrict portion sizes and don't let her have seconds. She is also extremely active, doing generally 2 sessions of sport most days and she moves a lot at home and in playtime at school. However she continues to be really chunky with rolls of fat round her tummy and a double chin. I've been to the doctor for advice and she just reiterated the diet and exercise advice. There's very little more I can do on the diet. I can restrict carbs further, which would help all of us eat more veg, but that is about it.

    Does anyone have any ideas about where I can go for help - good websites, any particular type of nutritionist, charities who offer advice on this? Or even the right things to ask my doctor to try to get some help from them? Or, is there little I can do anyway, other than modify diet? Any ideas really appreciated.
     
  2. jim1951

    jim1951 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Georgiak, welcome to the site.

    I have always reckoned I have eaten healthily but have always struggled to lose weight. However, since diagnosed with type 2 a month ago I have switched to low carbs and am amazed how easily weight comes off.

    You might want to ask your question in the food and diet sections.

    jim
     
  3. georgiak

    georgiak Gestational · Member

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    Thanks Jim. My husband is the same, I understand your struggle! Thanks. I suspect even if there is a metabolic reason for her weight, it may not be serious enough to require treatment, so altering the diet may be my only option anyway. I'll have a look in the food and diet section.
     
  4. semiphonic

    semiphonic Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi and welcome georgiak,

    Perhaps you could give us an idea of a typical days food, although we're not qualified dieticians we should be able to advise
     
  5. Totto

    Totto Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I find that when something doesn't work, the opposite often does.

    I assume you have been told to restrict her fat intake, along with the portion control? What if you up her fat intake while restricting carbs, and let her eat as much as she wants?

    I read recently an article about an obese child who had been on an all-inclusive holiday with her very worried parents. The child lost weight during the holiday. And there was food everywhere, all the time.

    Have a look at Dietdoctor, there is loads of good advice on there: http://www.dietdoctor.com/a-low-carb-diet-superior-for-overweight-children-once-again
     
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  6. georgiak

    georgiak Gestational · Member

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    Thanks all. I don't do low fat at all, so there is no restriction on fat per se, but up til now I haven't particularly restricted carbs, just tried to keep them healthy carbs. However, I've been reading about insulin resistance and "primal" diets (what used to be Atkins I guess, which my dad used a lot) and I think that could be the way to go with her. Yesterday, for instance, was 2 weetabix and full fat milk for breakfast, piece of fruit at breaktime (provided by school), pot of homemade smoked mackerel pate and toasted wrap, banana, small pot natural yoghurt with 5 raspberries in for lunch, cheese, crackers and grapes when she got home from school, roast chicken, spinach and new potatoes for tea. That is a fairly good day. We quite often have homemade pizza or mac cheese, pasta pesto etc with masses of carbs in and I am not a complete dictator, she will have a packet of crisps or chocolate bar once in a while. I have porridge for breakfast myself and try to get her to have that when I can. If going low carb I guess I can do bacon, eggs, kippers etc etc regularly for breakfast. Really interesting Totto about that article. Perhaps I need to get all the carbs out of the house, fill it with alternatives and let her have free rein. She LOVES cooking so would if she could help herself to whatever was in the house to make her own tea she would be very happy.
     
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  7. AndBreathe

    AndBreathe I reversed my Type 2 · Expert
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    If she likes cooking, she may like to experiment with some of the stuff on the site. There are lots of recipes for all sorts, including alternative pizza bases, cookies, crackers, casseroles, and so on. If she is cooking it, she might be more enthusiastic about trying substitutes. I don't care for them all, but some are so very inventive.

    Are you receiving any medical/dietician support for your daughter. I'm, personally, a bit fearful of commenting or advising on weight loss for a child.
     
  8. aqualung

    aqualung Prediabetes · Well-Known Member

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    My son was small born but around age 5 started putting weight on. I took him to the GP when he was 7 and they did a blood test. He has a genetic condition that means he has an under active thyroid and has no growth hormone. We were referred to a paediatric consultant who basically said "some children are fat and if he was my child I wouldn't worry" - not very helpful! He referred us to an endocrinologist because he had to but his report basically said there was nothing amiss. It has taken a while but now at the age of 13 my son is becoming thinner as he grows (could be an age thing too). I am not saying that your daughter has anything like that but it may be worth getting her thyroid tested.
     
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  9. georgiak

    georgiak Gestational · Member

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    I understand, I am a bit wary too. However, I tried to get help from the doctor a week or so ago and she just sent me home with another "change4life" leaflet like the one I got with the letter telling me she's obese. I just don't know where to go for some help and practical and moral support. This thread has already been more helpful than anything else, thanks!
     
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  10. georgiak

    georgiak Gestational · Member

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    So aqualung, is there any treatment for having an underactive thyroid and no growth hormone or do you just live with it?
     
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  11. jack412

    jack412 Type 2 · Expert

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    that's enough, you knew what to do all the time :)

    this is what I would do and may or may not be applicable.....
    I would try diet first and go private for a dr who can help with LC, I would want a Dr overview. he will order the blood tests for thyroid etc if he think diet isn't enough.

    I would tell the 7yr old she has a grain allergy, something she and the other kids can understand. That will cut a lot of carbs and the bean flours are better for her anyway. Wheat gluten powder is low carbs and gives them good texture. lots of lc recipes that it will help (the lc crowd are too gluten is bad to use it, going by recipes)
    toto's diet dr link is a winner. school lunches are going to be hard, it's very carb. See if you can find a private LC Dr who will run with the grain isn't good for her and write a letter to the school. She can grow out of the grain allergy later.
     
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    #11 jack412, Jun 24, 2014 at 3:20 PM
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 24, 2014
  12. aqualung

    aqualung Prediabetes · Well-Known Member

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    thyroxine for life and growth hormone injections probably for a few more years. I had to push for something to be done as like you I was told to change his diet.
     
  13. georgiak

    georgiak Gestational · Member

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    that's fantastic jack, thank you! as you say, I know the way I have to go...... she's on packed lunches anyway (even though I hate doing them) so that I know what she is getting. this needs a few evenings research and work learning what ingredients I can use and finding recipes and menu planning, and also some research to see if it's possible to get a doctor or nutritionist who can help. I probably need to give it a hardcore 6 months of low carb (which will be great for my husband too as he struggles with his weight) and if no positive results then look for help on other possible issues.
     
  14. jack412

    jack412 Type 2 · Expert

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  15. Mushroom

    Mushroom · Well-Known Member

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    Certainly, don't tell your child she has an allergy or food intolerance unless you actually have her tested and find out she has. Better to be honest and explain about food content and nutrition and why it may be a good idea to try - goes a long way to educating and helping her manage her weight later in life. These things come back to bite you years later when they find out the truth!
     
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  16. phoenix

    phoenix Type 1 · Expert

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  17. georgiak

    georgiak Gestational · Member

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    mushroom, I can't lie to her anyway, she is far too sharp! I am very happy to explain why we would all be eating more of certain things and less of others. Thank you phoenix. I agree that I would not want to completely remove a whole food group without knowing that it wouldn't do worse things to her than being overweight! Thanks for the link, really helpful.
     
  18. Totto

    Totto Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I assumed she had been tested for thyroid and as she seems to be and active and energetic child I also thought undiscovered hypothyroidism unlikely.

    If a new take on diet, as LCHF or at least strict low carb doesn't shift her weight you should ask to be referred to an endocrinologist, I suppose there must be paediatric endocrinologists. But a child who has a malfunctioning thyroid or pituitary has other symptoms too, apart from weight. Tiredness for example, thin hair, constipation, doesn't grow as fast as expected. I shouldn't worry about that now if she otherwise is a healthy child.
     
  19. gfmoore

    gfmoore Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I've been reading Fat Chance - The bitter truth about sugar by Dr Robert Lustig. He has worked with extremely obese children and has great insights into the medical and biochemical/hormonal responses of the body to food. It is at times quite deep into how the body works, but very readable, political and deeply disturbing about the power of the food industry in promulgating sugars - corn syrup/fructose in particular. BUT some of the cases he describes from his own medical experience with obese children may? give you some insights.
     
  20. Dee_226

    Dee_226 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I agree with Totto, my initial thought was hypothyroidism and its still worth insisting on getting her thyroid checked even if she isn't showing all the classic symptoms. We knew my daughter had it by the time she was age 7 as she was short for her age and overweight for her age (add the two together and she was very overweight) but the docs would not do anything unless they could get blood from her and she wouldn't let them. Two years later we moved back to UK from Germany (although using british military docs) and she was referred to hospital within two weeks where they were going to take bloods even if she said no. 4 hrs later we had a doctor at the door with tablets and a discussion on what was wrong and how to treat it. I must state that by the time she was 9 and diagnosed she was in a very bad way but at the beginning there were no other signs except being overweight and shorter than others of her age. By the time of diagnosis she was sleeping 18hrs a day, it took over 6 weeks to start to see the improvements (she is now 26).

    Ask for blood test and insist on it if you have too, but in my mind its always best to get things checked.
     
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