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Coroner investigating parents’ role in death of obese boy

Inquest examines parents’ role in obese boy’s death

Obese boy’s death examined by coroner

3 years ago, a 10 year old boy from Newcastle died from complications related to morbid obesity. At only 7 years old, he weighed 50kg (110lbs) and had a body mass index double of what it should have been. A NSW coroner is now investigating his parents for possible child abuse/neglect and the role they played in their son’s decline and eventual demise.

As far back as 2007, the boy had been in and out of hospital with obesity related problems, and his parents had been provided with a weight management plan. Yet he put on an additional 6 kg shortly after leaving John Hunter hospital.

He had been the subject of several reports to DoCS and other authorities because of his parents’ drug use and his obesity-related health issues for which his parents refused to seek medical help. The boy suffered from sleep apnoea (like snoring, but the boy stopped breathing for short periods of time) and appointments were made for him to have his tonsils and adenoids removed, and various other weight management specialists. Β The inquest heard that many of the appointments were missed and that the boy never got the help he needed.

His parents also were slack on his school attendance. In his short education, the boy had missed 103 days of the 2010 school year. The parents blamed his sleep apnoea (yeah cos it’s totally the kid’s fault), but when they were threatened with criminal action, they promised to improve his attendance rate.

The exact circumstances surrounding the boy’s death are unclear, but he was found slumped over on a lounge before he stopped breathing while en route to the hospital. After 12 minutes without oxygen, he had suffered a massive brain injury and was put on life support, where he died a few days later.

Now, I know this may be a touchy subject for the American audience. But here goes…letting your child get so fat that they have trouble breathing IS child abuse! The kid wasn’t out buying the wrong sort of foods, this was 100% on the parents! The parents were shoveling garbage into their kid, enabling the bad habits and then trying to cover it up by keeping him away from doctors and school. Just like how starving a child can lead to malnutrition and other health issues, feeding a kid McDonald’s and KFC everyday will also cause major health issues.

This boy’s death was 1000% preventable.

The inquest continues.

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  1. I don’t think this was a question of the parents “shovelling garbage” into the poor boy. That may have contributed to it, but here in the US kids eat the grossest, greasiest shit any fast-food restaurant can offer and don’t weight 110 lbs. Fuck, I’m 3 times the kid’s age and I don’t weigh that much! And I’m American!

    He likely had a medical problem, which just makes the case that much more tragic. Not treating your child’s illness is horrible and THAT is child abuse.

    1. If there was a medical problem causing obesity, that in itself would have been because of diet. Soy, for example, adversely affects the thyroid gland UNLESS it’s non-GMO AND fermented. (And you can find soy in just about everything.)
      Put sugar in a gas tank and see how far your car can go. Same with our bodies. Put the wrong things into it and things will go wrong.

    2. Doubtful. Medical problems account for <4% of the obese people in the country.

      1. How many 7-year-olds get to 110 lbs. though? I realize the medical problems that cause obesity are rare, but being THAT overweight can’t possibly be just the result of eating too many cookies. And rare doesn’t mean that it doesn’t happen, ever.

        1. I know, but the chances are slim that it actually is medical. And if it is, its usually medical COMBINED with terrible eating habits.

        2. Actually – it can be the result of too many cookies. If your lazy ass parents let you eat and eat and eat, and they don’t care what you eat or when, it will lead to obesity. I spent some time out of work with an on the job injury back in 1996 & 1998, I had nothing to do all day but watch TV(simply moving my head was pure agony, I had to lie motionless as possible on the coach for weeks on end). I saw episodes of talk shows that had these gigantic toddlers whose parents never said no, gave in to every temper tantrum and let the kids eat nothing but pure shit. Oreos, fried chicken, pizza, ice cream, mac & cheese, potato chips and that was just for breakfast. One mother claimed she felt that denying her child anything was denying her child her unconditional love… I’m serious here. This shit happens ALL THE TIME!

          1. I’d let them throw the tantrum. Not only will they figure out Mom and Dad are putting their foot down, but hey, they’d probably burn off some excess weight throwing the tantrum!
            I’ve seen those Maury Povich shows too. It’s not *entirely* about finding the baby-daddy. LOL

  2. they should have been made to follow up on medical appointments. Sometimes obesity isn’t abut over eating, medical issue’s cause it too

  3. “Now, I know this may be a touchy subject for the American audience.”

    What does this have to do with America? If I read this article correctly this happened in Australia. Obesity is also described as an epidemic over there. And where as American obesity rates have plateaued Aussie rates continue to climb. What I am saying is that this is a global issue. Not an American one.

    1. Unfortunately America is notorious in the world view for obese children. America is second only to Greece in childhood obesity rates though – currently around 35% and actually projected to rise Some individual states have reported falling obesity rates which have contributed to the overall median appearing to flatline but overall the childhood obesity epidemic in the US is projected to rise to as much as 50% by 2020. Greece is currently running about 45% but I suppose because the country is so much smaller than the the US it can’t come close for sheer numbers which is why the US gets all the attention. Spain and Italy are the only other two countries which tip into the 30%’s, with the rest of the world in the 4-28% range. Australia is running about 22% right now (current OECD data).

      I am a bit obsessed with childhood nutrition and what we are doing to our kids so please forgive the data stream.

    2. This does have something to do with the American audience, in that the world view is that America has sky high rates of obesity, but are super defensive whenever someone points out the bleeding obvious such as obesity can kill.
      Sooner or later, we’re going to have someone on here defending the parents and saying that obesity couldn’t possibly have killed the boy.

      1. We are no longer tops in large bottoms. Mexico just surpassed the US in lardassiness. Hold on, don’t be so smug there, People of Upside Down Countries – New Zealand and Australia are next, right behind us. (And we all know Australians would be way fatter if they didn’t burn so many calories running away from all the poisonous things constantly trying to kill them.) Of course we all pale in comparison to all the tiny little island nations of the Pacific Islands, where up to 95% of the population is obese. I personally am entitled to smugness as I come from a thin state. Nary a Waffle House or chicken fried cupcake in sight. Yeay us. I think I’ll eat a salad and go for a jog.

        1. I live in a coastal city where, on the whole, people are more active and interested in wholesome food. Parts of Australia aren’t so lucky and have 20 fast food outlets on one block. There have been reports of little chubsters needing XXXL+ school uniforms in some areas like Sydney, where it’s too dangerous to let kids play outside.
          Pacific Islanders have the genetics for surviving famines – their bodies store fat when times are good. Couple that with the availability of fast food and no famines and it’s a recipe for disaster.

          1. People are getting fat everywhere. My husband is from Sweden and the first time I visited his homeland I was expecting to be surrounded by swarms of 6 foot tall super fit blond people. They were just regular looking people, many of them no taller than me. Still not that many fat people.

            I visited recently and they are definitely catching up to the rest of us. I was seriously shocked. I’m overweight so I’m a bit self-conscious when I go somewhere such as Sweden that in my mind has a stereotype that the people are beautiful. So whenever I see a fat person I’m like a little relieved that I’m not the only one. Then…I just kept going “There’s one. There’s one. There’s another one!” Of course silently and in my own thoughts, but eventually I was just like “Okay then, there are actually A LOT of fat people here now.” And I stopped paying attention or caring.

            On the plus side (no pun intended) I had no problems finding clothes. Many larger sizes just mixed in with everything else now. Long gone I guess are the days of H&M putting the equivalent to size 10 in the BBW section.

            This stream of text I think illustrates another issue. People think us fat people are just sitting around shoving piles of fried dough into our mouths while watching TV endlessly without a care in the world as to our appearance or health, but I’m obviously utterly obsessed with my weight and getting rid of it. And other people’s weight.

        2. What the hell is a chicken fried cupcake?

          I’m from the chubby midwest, but I’m working on it. Down 46 pounds since I had my son (he’s 2 – it isn’t easy for me to not be fat lol). 32 more pounds I’ll be at a place I’m fine with, though I might ultimately want to drop another 20 pounds after that.

          And yet, my kids are thin and healthy. Well my son is in the 50th percentile, but you can’t roll him around or anything. He’s super solid. I know how I got here and they aren’t growing up eating the way I did. They also don’t watch nearly as much TV.

          Poor kid. His parents sound like they just couldn’t be bothered. I understand the feeling, but it excuses nothing.

          1. “What the hell is a chicken fried cupcake?”
            A joke, based on the sad reality that in certain parts of the country it seems to be a thing to deep fat fry EVERYTHING. Paula Deen, for example. I was watching her Thanksgiving special (back before she imploded) and first she fried the turkey. Fine, people do. I hear it can be tasty. But then she fried the stuffing. Like stuffing hush puppies. As if that wasn’t enough, and I kid you not, she deep fat fried the cranberry sauce. I did not know that was possible. But she pulled it off. Then she baked a beautiful, light sponge cake for desert. Lovely, I thought, maybe topped with some fresh fruit and a dollop of cream. You need a light thing to finish off that heavy meal. Then she took the beautiful cake, dipped it in batter, and tossed it in the fryer.

          2. HAH! I thought the chicken fried cupcake was my own little snarky joke, but I just Googled, and yep! Paula Deen did it.
            Out of respect for the obesity epidemic and not wanting to be responsible for anyone outgrowing their jeans, I won’t post the recipe here.

          3. It’s not that it’s deep-fried, but what it’s fried in. If it’s coconut oil or olive oil, it’s okay. Vegetable oil–not so much.

            I’ve used those oils as substitutes when I baked things.

            I also limit the pop my son drinks, and he’s almost 12 and he’s not fat at all. Looks just right for his age. And he’s active. I give him the “throwback” versions, which have sugar and not HFCS (the fructose is what really packs on pounds).

            I’ve been dropping the weight myself. I’ve been doing a lot of walking since my van’s power steering has issues (fluid leak, too much to fix).

          4. Yuck, I hate Paula Deen. And I don’t get her obsession with deep frying stuff. I think you cross a line when you buy a deep fryer, my great aunt had one until she got overweight and the doctor told her to knock it off.

          5. I’ve seen deep-fried Twinkies and Oreos offered at the concession stands at band competitions when I was in high school. I was like WTF. The band director tried the Oreo and her reaction to it was priceless. She did finish it though, apparently it’s quite tasty in spite of how disgusting it sounds.

            Maybe that’s why I’m yet to reach 110 lbs…

          6. OK – I’m not much of a sweets eater, but we had a charity event to raise money for Veterans and one of the vendors there did the whole deep fried thing, and it was AMAZING! Deep fried Oreos and Nutter Butters, fried ham and Gruyere sandwich, and the chocolate covered bacon with sprinkles… and that’s just the stuff I tried! But I was smart about it too, one bite of each cookie, three bites of the sandwich and one piece of bacon. Sorry to my poor body, but that one was too freaking good to share! πŸ˜‰ Honestly, the food was so good the guy sold out his food truck in about 2 hours and it was a private event, not like he was on a street corner or food truck court or something. None of the other vendors did half as well. I guess us Americans are suckers for fried food!

          7. It must be similar to the mayonnaise vs. miracle whip debate – you like what you grew up with. I can’t stand fried food. (Rarely had it as a kid.) Maybe French fries once in a great while, but I’d rather eat a potato prepared just about any other way. To me, if you’re going to toss food into the fryer, you might as well just skip the middle steps and flush it down the toilet because once it hits the hot oil, it’s crap. Just my opinion, though ; )

          8. Oh I agree, that’s why I only ate bites of them. But I’m looking at the calories, not the taste. I totally understand that you don’t find it appealing, I wish I didn’t! We didn’t have it much as little kids, but when we moved to Georgia as teens, it was hard to find anything BUT fried food! πŸ˜‰

          9. Congrats on the weight loss! That’s a hell of an accomplishment. Did you start an exercise routine, or just do it through diet and chasing a toddler around?
            I hate that communities are built nowdays so that it is difficult to get any exercise at all. In so many places it is impossible to go for a walk without getting in the car and driving somewhere walkable. Diet alone is not responsible for the obesity epidemic. It’s also that we’ve designed our daily lives around the idea of moving less, not more.

          10. Congrats! It’s not easy to do, but SO worth it in the end! I treated myself to an $80.00 pair of jeans when I hit my final mark! (That may not sound like a lot of money, but I’m way too thrifty to normally spend that kind of money on jeans when I can go 15 miles down the road to the Levi’s outlet store and spend $20.00!)

        3. I miss Waffle House… but then again, I haven’t eaten at one in almost 30 years, and I had a chance 18 months or so ago and decided against it, so I must miss the high school memories I have associated with it more than the food? And where does on get a chicken fried cupcake? (awesome mental image there!) πŸ˜‰

      2. They better not show up on THIS site!

    3. It tends to be the Americans on here that get pissy about obesity and people making obvious correlations about how if you don’t stuff your face, and you exercise a bit, the chances of you being obese lessen substantially. I am an American, I’ve also been morbidly obese. It was one of those rare medical issues, but once the issue was finally discovered (after 30+/- years of being sick), I had to still do the work to take those extra 80 pounds off of my 5″3″ frame. I canNOT stand it when obese people whine and want special privileges simply because they are too lazy to do the WORK.

  4. Our cousin owns a daycare. She was sued for discrimination by a parent for refusing an 80lb 2 year old boy.

    I’ll let that sink in a bit. An 80lb 2 year old.

    She refused him because the health problems he was experiencing because of his obesity were too extreme for her staff to care for safely.

    On further investigation it turned out the parents were basically feeding the child a steady stream of pancakes, soft cookies, ice cream, MacDonalds etc. but ALSO were still feeding him infant formula because they thought it was “healthy”. The case was thrown out.

    There are some really stupid people out there.

    I don’t know if this 7 year old’s problems were caused exclusively by bad diet and lack of exercise – although medical problems causing obesity is a lot rarer than people think – but the parents had been given a clinical diet plan which they obviously failed to follow, and they didn’t bother taking him to medical appointments which might have helped him further. So yeah, his death is their fault.

    1. Could your cousin have reported the kid’s parents to Social Services or something? That’s just awful, and for the parents to have the gall to sue because the staff couldn’t care for the problems that the parents caused in the first place…

      1. Unfortunately, as you noted in another comment, many Americans have a propensity to flip their shit if you bring up the fact that someone is overweight, or suggest the proven remedies for this (diet and exercise). This tends to discourage anybody from taking action regarding obesity in children; to most people, it’s just not worth the torrent of abuse they’ll certainly receive from “fat acceptance” advocates.

        1. What fat acceptance means to me: I’m too lazy to do anything about it, so deal with it. And I want special privileges, such as riding scooters intended for disabled people.

          I’m no lightweight but hey, I’m losing weight. I actually look average compared to my fellow Americans.

          It disgusts me seeing people’s behinds draped over the seats of aforementioned scooters. Years ago, I had had ankle surgery and I was on crutches. My husband took our son and me to Lowe’s. This fat woman saw me on crutches–and proceeded to take the last scooter.

          I just tossed my crutches into the cart my husband was pushing and took the wheelchair, figured my arms could use the exercise.

          1. In Australia, you simply can’t get a scooter for obesity. It’s just not on. In NSW, you need a special licence to operate those scooters and sufficient proof that you’re disabled and need a scooter. Arthritis, MS, other joint disorders, heart problems, yes. Stuffing yourself with junk food so that you become too big to move properly – no.
            I do see some largeish people using the scooters, but I always assume they have a heart problem or joint problem and can’t move around so then they gain weight.

          2. Since I’ve lost weight, my bad ankle has hurt less. I’ve found my ankle hurts until I go for a nice walk. Then it stops. πŸ™‚
            I’m probably around 190 now. My heaviest was 245.
            I will not use a scooter unless I’m in a LOT of pain from my ankle. Even then I tend to suck it up and just lean on a shopping cart. But it hasn’t hurt that badly for quite a while now.
            I was born with a club foot and now I have screws, staples, and the like in my ankle to freeze one joint. I can still drive through.
            My dad, who died in 2000, had a LOT of issues–cardiomyopathy, issues with his mitral valve, and spinal stenosis (he could suddenly lose feeling in his legs without warning) to name a few. He needed a scooter. People gave him dirty looks but it seems to be pretty normal for the morbidly obese to wear out their motors!

          3. My grandma uses those motorized scooters when she goes out shopping because both of her knees are bad. The poor woman would love to walk normally. I get pissed off when people use them just out of sheer laziness, instead of a health problem they have no control over.

        2. A few months ago, I happened across a fat activist’s blog. She was in complete denial about what actually causes obesity and had a list of things that you should “never” say to a fat person, including drawing correlations between certain kinds of food and weight gain and suggesting that weight loss was a solution to many health problems. She even said that losing weight was harmful.
          I was absolutely horrified and infuriated at the stupidity of this blogger’s words.
          That blog is on the same level as the “pro ana” blogs you see, it can cause just as much harm as enabling anorexics.

          1. What?! Where is this blog so I can SHIT all over her fantasy world?!

          2. http://lovelivegrow.com/2012/10/21-things-to-stop-saying-unless-you-hate-fat-people/

            Ironically this blog is called “love, live and grow”. Yes, she’s growing – outwards. No, she won’t be living much after a heart attack.

          3. I don’t think she could have pointed out more if she tried that “Fat and health are two different things”.

            Me, I admit I’m getting fat solely because I eat too much of the wrong stuff and I don’t exercise as much as I should (sometimes not at all). I definitely don’t feel as good as I do when I reign in it.

          4. You can eat whatever you want, as long as you move afterwards :-p

          5. Oh. My. God. I don’t even know where to start πŸ™ So sad.

      2. Social Services were involved, although I don’t know if she reported the case or if they got involved when the parents sued. I wish I knew the end result (other than the case being dropped), I couldn’t imagine an 80lb 2 year old despite her description. It sounded horrific. She said he could barely walk.

    2. That’s so sad. My tall healthy 4 year old boy is 40 lbs. 80 at 2 years old? That’s child abuse.

  5. obesity couldn’t possibly have killed the boy

  6. I wouldn’t be surprised if his parents went beyond “enabling bad eating habits” but created them. Their dereliction in other parental areas indicates they just “can’t be bothered”, and a lot of people use food to “shut a kid up”, keep that mouth busy n’all, and/or by using food as a reward-punishment system because that doesn’t take as much energy and focus as more appropriate discipline methods.
    Eating issues suck, and those are profoundly set by parental demonstration/interaction… (Speaking from experience here)
    I do feel, from personal experience (admittedly, personal anecdote=/=valid in the substantiation department) that underlying issues may actually be more common than originally estimated, and the world would better be served by thorough medical investigation instead of the “they’re just lazy” default.
    That being said, I know that doesn’t make a lick of difference in cases of willful neglect, and these two qualify for that. πŸ™

  7. http://www.theherald.com.au/story/1816039/obese-childs-death-before-inquest/?cs=303

    A paediatrician gave evidence today, saying that there needs to be a greater communication between health services and government agencies relating to child protection issues.
    The inquest is expected to end on Friday.

    1. I hate fat ass parents with fat ass kids. They might as well be injecting the kids with heroin as far as I’m concerned. I’ve worked in the field of metabolism and nutrition for 11 years. Its a sad state of affairs.

      1. This is where Australia’s privacy laws are particularly annoying. I really want to see pics of the family. I will not accept medical condition as an excuse with out a doctor’s confirmation, and especially not unless the rest of the family is fit and the child is the only one with a weight issue. If your child had a condition that predisposes him to weight gain, yet you lead a sedentary lifestyle with an unhealthy diet, it is not the fault of the condition that the kid is fat. If he does indeed have such a condition (which is extremely rare, especially in young children) than it is a parent’s responsibility to be especially careful about diet and exercise, and following through with medical care, so that your child does not end up the size of a large sperm whale.

        1. Right, I was telling Muggle below- medical conditions account for <4% of obesity cases in America. And there are people with those conditions who ALSO eat poorly. Then you have a whole other set of problems… makes me sick. Type 2 diabetes is preventable, curable, reversible and treatable with exercise but the people who have it are lazy fat asses who don't care.

      2. You work in the ‘field of metabolism and nutrition’. I hope you don’t have actual contact with people who need help. It would be painful to be ‘advised’ by someone with your attitude, but no doubt there are zillions out there that share your sentiment. It truly is a sad state of affairs.

        1. So what do you suggest? The “softly, softly” approach, telling them it’s not their fault they’re fat and that they shouldn’t have to change their ways?
          Sometimes, people are so far in denial that you have to be blunt – as in put down the fucking fork blunt.

          1. Lol. Don’t be so judgmental. It’s just that I REALLY like potato chips.

          2. Lol I eat more food than what’s good for me. But most of the time, I do try and make it somewhat good for me. I also go to the gym once or twice a week.
            For dinner I had a couple of slices of corn bread, some home made chicken nuggets and chased it down with a beer. I regret nothing πŸ˜›

        2. Luckily, I only worked with actual patients for a year. I had to get out of the front line because I just couldn’t handle the excuses anymore. I wanted to scream at people for their lack of commitment to things, so I went back to the lab.

  8. Wow as an American I find the first few sentences of the last paragraph pretty rude.Do you really think all of us have no clue about nutrition and or a proper diet?usually its a rant about how the parents were douches and why we should be angry at them and what should be done but instead its some sort of cheap shot at our whole country.The subject is not touchy just your choice of words.I wont be back to this site.Usually I check to see if there are new stories in here everyday but no longer feel welcome here.

    1. I put that there because I have faced backlash before for even JOKING about Americans being fat. It’s no lie that some (not all Americans) have no clue about proper eating and exercise. Take the US government for example, when they classed pizza as a vegetable.
      Sorry, it is how others see your country. Just like how everyone thinks Australians are rude/racist/lazy etc.
      The obesity problem in America is plateauing but it does seem to be a sensitive subject still.

      1. not so rude american

        Wow, way to promote the ‘rude’ stereotype you’ve got going on there…

        1. I have said not all Americans are fat. But if their own government have no idea what constitutes as a vegetable, one can’t help but tar the whole nation with the same brush.

        2. Are you really offended? As soon as I get my fat ass off my Cincinnati couch I’m gonna take my kids to preschool. Just kidding its closed because some assholes in DC can’t get along.

      2. I thought we saw Aussies as drunks and trained to deal with all species of dangerous animal. lol

      3. Well I will be back. I’m an American and I love to stereotype ;-p

    2. Not too long ago there was a huge backlash on a story here and a bunch of thinness-challenged people came on here and talked about fat-shaming when the article was about a dead child. I think that’s why Aussie said what she said. You shouldn’t take stuff addressed to the world so personally. It wasn’t intended as an insult to you or to OUR country. It was intended, I believe, to tell the idiots whining about fat-shaming to go pound sand…

      1. Here is the site’s official stance on being offended by what one of our writers posted.

        *ahem*

        I believe it was the Malevolent one who once said “Put on your big girl panties and get over it.”

        Thank you and good night.

        1. I love that saying! My Mom’s been saying that for all of my 43 years! πŸ˜‰

          1. Clearly this deserved a d-v… stalking asshat…

  9. I’m an Australian and I have an overweight child. He doesn’t eat junk food other than the rare occasion and I have begged for help from health professionals that keep telling me that he will grow into his weight. It is so frustrating. The poor kid suffers from clinical depression and the weight and the depression are a vicious combination that we battle with every day. He wants to trim down, I want him to trim down and we are trying our arses off to make it happen but it is not moving the way we want it to. I feel like the worst kind of parent but I am trying so hard. His sister is not over weight and she’d live on sugar if I let her.
    I’m not posting this in defence of the family in the article, more to share our position.

    1. You are not alone. I am going through the same thing with my daughter too. No mater how healthy she eats we just can’t seem to keep her weight down and she does eat healthy. My son could live on cheetos and candy on the other hand and never have a weight issue. It is child to child but I agree with the arrival if you seek no remedy to the issue especially to the point of harm that is absolutely abuse.

      1. See my comment above, Ashley. Remember that puberty and hormones complicate things and by the middle of high school a lot of kids thin back out again. You said your daughter eats healthy, but I just want to make sure you don’t think eating fruit is being healthy. Insulin is the reason most people get big, and your body needs to produce a lot of it to break down fruits. Exercise is the most important thing. If you’re exercising then your insides are happy πŸ™‚ Good luck!

    2. Can I suggest a site? mercola.com. Dr. Joseph Mercola.
      Hint: Do NOT let “experts” tell you what’s healthy (at least not the “mainstream” ones). I’ve found that they’re full of misinformation. Low-fat and low-calorie do not work.
      Also beware of MSG and artificial sweeteners. They’ve got people looking at the calorie count and ignoring what’s actually IN it. Those will put on pounds.
      I hope you find helpful information there. And there is a LOT of it.
      I’ve lost weight replacing two meals a day with raw goat milk (despite what you’re told, it’s not hazardous–it’s all in how it’s handled, like any other food item). I dropped like 50 pounds in a few months and felt better.

    3. While diet is extremely important; exercise is even more important. He needs to be moving around, strenuosly, for an hour a day. That’s the first step. Diet should be second. Whatever you do, AVOID FRUIT. Fruit is mother nature’s candy. While humans tend to think its harmless and loaded with vitamins, they couldn’t be farther from the truth. Your body needs just as much insulin to break down a banana as you need for a chocolate bar. That’s my two cents. Good luck in your crusade! Veggies veggies veggies!

    4. Have you had his B12 levels tested? That ended up being my medical issue. I have juvenile pernicious anemia and a lack of B12 can do some scary things to your body. It can affect your immune system, your energy/metabolism, your myelin to protect your nerve endings and your memory. It doesn’t usually manifest until puberty, but it’s a thought… Good luck!

    5. The things to say is eat healthy and exercise. But I really do believe there is something else going on in the body that doctors have not figured out yet. Whether it is how our food is grown or if it is a defect that we are born with. I am not defending or not defending. I have a niece that can out eat me any day and she is a thin wonderful happy girl. Her brother is active eats better then she does and is over weight. I really do feel that in years to come they will figure this out. Just like Autism and ADHD which now they now have a name for but not a cure. They will come to a realization that the body itself is not working properly. Just my opinion. I do have a beautiful young daughter 9 who is not over weight but I have had a good friend of mine loose her son to suicide recently because of the picking on him. I really feel that people need to blame instead of really looking into the body chemistry.

      1. It has a lot to do with the way we are growing our food these days- genetically modifying and adding growth hormones. These things were never meant to be ingested by humans, therefore our bodies are reacting the way they should to these foreign substances.

  10. Thank you all for your comments and suggestions. I’m glad I am among such supportive people on this site. Sorry for railroading the comments Aussie but the advice and support is amazing. He does love his fruit so that is something I can immediately correct and monitor. All his blood work was normal but it will be something to be mindful of and recheck. Exercise has been a challenge, his depression makes him very reluctant but he is now playing soccer and takes it upon himself to make sure he plays active games when at school.
    Ashley, fingers crossed we get our little ones back to healthy weights. I’m not going to give up.
    Thanks again to everyone. I truly appreciate it. Xxx

    1. It’s really hard to get motivated to move, but ironically when you do- the depression lifts. It’s just getting started that is so hard… good luck and I’m sure it will be ok!

    2. Good luck to you and yours; weight is a merciless opponent sometimes.
      I know this might sound dorky but another exercise option could be DDR (dance dance revolution). It’s a video game in which you stand on a floor pad with four directional arrows. Corresponding arrows fly down the screen and you have to step on it at a Verrry specific time to score. I got addicted to that game when I was younger. I lost 15 pounds just by having fun with it.
      You could also play the “cute girls will dig it” angle, lol. (Hey it’s true; there are even national “dance-offs”) πŸ˜€

      1. Thanks,! We have a dancing game at home that I had forgotten about so we will bust out some moves. We went for a big long walk after school today and he stated he was proud of himself. Yay!

  11. I will have to do more research on this story more. I find that if the child weighed 110 pounds at the age of three there has to be a medical problem. There is no way I could have even forced fed my daughter at the age of 3 with all the junk food I could and have her weigh that much. I thank god that I have a happy, healthy child. I am sure I think diff then most but the attendance of the child could more be from kids picking on him. Yes you have to watch what you child puts into their body but it just seems to me there is more of an issue how his body was taking in the food and how his body reacted to the food. That’s my thoughts on this one. Its a sad story no matter what the problem really was. Was it the parents or was it medical?

    1. I think what we’re all failing to recognize as a possible problem is simply genetics. Some people are genetically wired to pack pounds on in good times in case of famine, some people couldn’t put on weight if their lives depended on it. We’re always bringing up genetics as a reason why most women can’t look like 6 foot tall, 100-lb. supermodels.

      I think it was likely medical, but genetics probably didn’t help at all.

      1. It is absolutely true that some people are genetically predisposed to carry extra weight. However, the child in question could not gain pounds for calories he didn’t eat. He would have had to both have a genetic tendency towards weight gain AND eat too many calories. And since he was a young child, his parents had to buy and feed him every one of those calories. A child with a bad genetic history but who is fed a healthy diet and made to be physically active may grow up a stocky kid, the kind Pop Warner (American Football for kids) coaches love, but he would not have been morbidly obese. And he would not be dead. Again it goes to parental responsibility. If you have a kid who is at risk, you need to be extra careful. If you have one of those lucky kids who can eat everything and be thin, you can be a bit more relaxed. And the time to start the at risk child on the road to good health is when they are young. By the time they get to their teens, and are old enough to make their own choices, it’s a lot harder to get them to make good ones.

        1. Exactly. Even if the kid did have a severe genetic disorder like Down Syndrome or Prada-Willy that either causes them to gain weight like crazy or to eat nonstop, it’s up to the parents to keep weight in check, even lock away food in the case of PWS. This is still on the parents, either way you look at it.

          1. I don’t disagree that this is totally on the parents, I’m just saying that there are more factors that cause obesity than just eating too much junk.

          2. Correct. The only other factor is laziness. Eating junk is secondary to laziness. If people exercised they could eat as much junk as they want.

          3. Again, genetics. I eat quite a bit, I don’t exercise much but I’m 5’3 and 105 lbs. Yeah, it’s going to catch up to me someday, but it’s easy for me to manage my weight. Then again I do try to eat healthy.

            This is very much not the case for other people, who eat even healthier than I do and exercise more.

          4. I don’t know anyone who eats healthy and exercises AND is fat. Do you? If so, they are in the <4% minority of people with genetic problems that contribute to obesity.

      2. I wish my oldest daughter could put on some weight, she’s skinny as a rail, unfortunately, she has bad genetics that make it difficult no matter what she eats… I had the same issue as well as my mother and it took me having two babies to even get to a healthy weight… But it really p*sses me off when I read about parents either starving their kids or over feeding and causing them to have severe health problems

    2. Parents. As I’ve stated below, I have a graduate degree in nutrition and metabolism. Genetic disorders account for less than 4% of all obesity related issues. If someone had a genetic disorder it would be easily traceable in the family history, as well.

      1. Thank you Jessie. This is just so sad.

        1. Indeed, Patty. It is. I think we will see a turn around though. Most kids don’t WANT to be fat and therefore will start exercising so they can “fit in” with the rest of the group.

  12. People (the author of this article included) lack reading and comprehension skills, and yet they have the nerve to malign fat people. This is an Australian child, not American. The opening paragraph states Newcastle, NSW, but most of you probably have no idea what that means. Plus, the parents are drug addicts, (no doubt that went straight over your heads as well), so they probably weren’t concerned over their child’s welfare.

    1. Actually I think most of us are perfectly aware of all of that (especially since several of the regular posters live in Australia including, surprisingly, Aussie Sabbath). If you follow the discussion (I know Disqus doesn’t always order posts in the most easy-to-read fashion so you might have to work at it a bit) you’ll see it ranged into involving America because of Aussie’s comment towards the end of the article. That was inspired by previous BB stories and comment threads where Americans have got hugely bent out of shape about articles involving obese American children. There’s a history here.

    2. Ohhhhh -let the American take a stab at it… New South Wales??? Home of Sydney? Surrounded by South Australia, Queensland and Victoria by land and the Tasman Sea to the east? Discovered by Captain Cook? I could go on, but I did all of this without the benefit of Google too. I guess my reading and comprehension skills must be pretty good, since I learned all of this about 35 years ago in the 4th grade…

      1. I live in Ohio and I have friends in the Sidney, NSW area.

        1. Cindy C up there just irked me no end. Commenting on our lack of reading and comprehension skills, especially that “but most of you probably have no idea what that means…” bullshit so I had to show off my slightly encyclopedic brain when it comes to geography. No one on here said anything about the child being American, yet her supposedly superior reading and comprehension skills missed that completely. I could have also mentioned that I read 1596 words per minute with a 97% long term comprehension rate and a 98% short term comprehension rate but I didn’t want to be a complete bitch! πŸ˜‰

    3. Skye Belle Matilda Brand

      No one is maligning fat people here. The simple fact is that allowing your child to become so fat that they die is child abuse & you should be imprisoned!

  13. http://news.ninemsn.com.au/health/2013/10/15/09/12/hopkins-offends-again-about-obese-kids Slightly off-topic but English social commentator Katie Hopkins states that behind fat kids are fat parents. Somehow people get offended when the truth comes out…

    1. Skye Belle Matilda Brand

      It’s a interesting theory. I myself am overweight (losing it slowly but safely) but I’m very careful about what I allow my children to eat. 90% of what they eat is home cooked, from scratch meals made from produce that is either home grown or purchased from farmers markets & farm gate stalls. I allow treats but most of those are home made too. I’m not so strict that I won’t allow them to attend parties & the like. I pack food for my toddler as she is allergic to wheat but I check with the host & try to pack similar food to what she will be serving (wheat free sausage rolls & fairy bread for example).

      Anyway, that’s my segues for the morning!

  14. I totally agree – don’t be FAT & don’t let your kids be FAT WTF?! There are starving people on this Planet

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