Kids and the Weight Issue

Does your doctor handle a weight issue with your child in a delicate manner? Some doctors believe that is important.

11/14/20231 min read

Aside from taking the usual measurements like blood pressure, height and more, most doctors will weight your child and tell them the number. But there is a doctor who believes this is too traumatic for heavier kids to deal with and another method is required.

For this article I would like to give credit where it is due. On the site 'Romper', an article by Meaghan O'Connell dated November 8, 2023 entitled: 'How Pediatricians Think About Kids & Weight Now' in which the author states: "When a kid sees a doctor like Susan Sugerman, a pediatrician and adolescent medicine specialist, their parents are sent ahead to the exam room while a medical assistant takes their vitals.

Blood pressure, heart rate, and temperature are recorded for the doctor while Mom waits in Room 4. The assistant then asks them to step on the scale backward for what’s called a blind weight. The child will never face the scale numbers.

When a patient asks their weight, Sugerman tells me, her first response is to ask them why they want to know. “What does it mean to you? Are you going to feel good or bad about yourself if I tell you it goes one way or the other way? What are you going to do with the information after I give it to you?”

The discussion that follows is seldom about numbers; it’s a long conversation, and one that Sugerman thinks should be standard practice."

She goes on to indicate how it is handled tells the child their weight is a problem and needs to be handled or it is good. Now they feel they are a statistic that needs medical attention since in the last 30 years, rates of childhood obesity have tripled.

What needs to be done is an extensive collaboration with the family that involves home environments, family dynamics and motivations for change. Too many pediatricians only deliberate for 20 minutes and end up giving out medication, information on weight loss exercise classes, behaviour modification, etc.

Part of the issue stems from the fact that parents are reading weight guidelines rather than looking at the individual child and their specific needs and attributes. There needs to be a holistic approach taken catering to that child and not what general guidelines indicate. That is apparently happening now which gives new hope for parents. Read more in the article.