I got that awkward weightloss talk.

I may not have mentioned it here (firmly implants tongue in cheek) but we’re moving.

Im actually surprised, too, how swiftly we’ve gotten packed-up & organized.

We’ve done a shitton of this:

storage shoe boxes

PACKSgiving this year, ROCKED!

As a result we’re kinda ready…about fourteen days ahead of schedule.

With this gift of time Ive been able to move down my To Do list from procure me some boxes to hit up every single doc for a check-up so we depart the ATX good to go.

My first stop was the Tornado’s pediatric practice for her 7 year well-check appointment.

The only opening was with a doctor I didnt know yet since all I really needed was a stamp o’ health on her forehead (in case it was required for her new school) I happily snagged the slot & off we went.


We waited.

We weighed.

We measured.

We waited.

And finally the doctor came in.

He pronounced the Tornado fit as the proverbial fiddle and then paused to read the paperwork the nurse had left.

HMMMMMM, he murmured thoughtfully.

(of course my heart skipped a beat of panic.)

What? I asked in my most calm, mama-bear voice.

She’s 25% height and 70% weight, he stated in a somber tone.

He then stepped back and looked at her as if he’d not just examined her.

Is this normal for her? He asked.

(here’s where I reveal I dont amble through life having ANY clue what my child’s percentages are.  here’s where I reveal I lied to a member of the medical profession as I saw/sensed where he was headed and, given the fact she was sitting there, I was having none of it.)

Totally, I responded giving him a firm nod.

Still looking at the nurse’s paper he then asked:

So you know about three healthy meals a day and maybe two snacks?

I resisted challenging him to some sort of a physical dual & healthy eating quiz and I nodded again seeing where he was headed and deciding to head him off at the pass.

What do you like to do? He asked the Tornado.

Sensing the oddness of the situation she turned and looked at me (<——– here’s where I resisted looking him dead in the eye and saying SERIOUSLY DUDE? SHE’S SEVEN. SHES NOT DEAF! that came later…).

Tell him what you like to do, I said.  Whatever you like to do for fun!

Soccer, gymnastics, jump on my trampoline, play with my friends, ride my scooter… She responded.

steelers, pittsburgh steelers

She’d sleep on this thing if we’d let her.

OK. He said and turned back to me.  So she does MOVE.  (<———–here’s where I resisted looking him dead in the eye and saying ARE WE LOOKING AT THE SAME CHILD? that, too, came later…)

To that remark I responded not at all, held my hand out for the necessary papers, gave him my best DUDE THIS IS TOTALLY FAKE smile, grabbed the Tornado’s hand, and exited the examination room.

As we walked to the front to pay she turned to me and said:

Well (dramatic seven year old pause) that was awkward.

I’ll happily share details of how I proceeded from here in the comments below.

Suffice it to say it involved lots of subtle (and overt) discussion of this:


As we spent our afternoon frolicking, chatting, and laughing my mind simultaneously mulled a statistic I’d seen in the International Journal of Obesity:

19 percent of Americans say they’d avoid future medical care if a medical professional referred to them as fat or obese.


Now you.

  • Do you think doctors still rely too much on ‘norms’ and BMI to evaluate patients?
  • Have you had that awkward OH CRAP I SEE WHERE THIS IS HEADED moment with a pediatrician as well?
  • Have you been referred to as overweight or obese and not returned to a doctor since?

Please to hit me up in the comments below.

Ill meet you there…




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  1. says

    Wow–that blows me away. I can’t believe you and your daughter had that experience, but I guess it doesn’t totally surprise me. My issue with SOME of the medical profession is that they they tend to not look at the big picture of things. They zero in on a number, stat, ache, pain, etc. and diagnose it as a singular issue. More often than not, there can be a much more complicated/multi-faceted reason. They sometimes seem too “tunnel vision”, if that makes sense. I’m glad you were able to leave the office and have some discussions with your daughter to help her see that we all don’t (or have to) fall onto a chart perfectly.

  2. says

    The BMI is stupid. Kids grow and change constantly. Sure obesity is a problem but those kind of discussions shouldn’t been held within earshot of little ears.

    Yea for Tornado for knowing it was AWKWARD.

    For the record, my little is on the other end of the spectrum. Her doctor doesn’t think she is tall enough or weighs enough so we have to go back in 6 months. I’m not all that worried. I think she’s just her own little unique small self.

  3. says

    Wow….. don’t quite know what to say. I am sorry for that experience… Your daughter is gorgeous and anyone who knows your family knows that she is active and healthy, eats well, and loves life! I don’t want to immediately throw the doctor under the bus… Since he hadn’t seen her before, it’s okay to ask if it’s her normal weight/height ratio because maybe she used to be 50% height and weight last year and now she’s stopped getting taller but kept getting wider and that could be a concern… but I don’t think he phrased it well AT ALL!!! It’s such a delicate subject! Obviously you want your patients to be healthy, but you have to be an advocate for them, not teach them or scold them or whatever he was doing. If you don’t have the patients trust, it’s not your place to start making remarks like that- in my opinion. I wouldn’t talk to someone about their weight until I knew them and felt comfortable about talking about their lifestyle etc..
    But clearly your gorgeous daughter is healthy and totally normal! So his comments were out of bounds.
    I go back and forth with doctors today. Sometimes I am frustrated because we will have 50 year old men who weigh 350 lbs and have a million health problems, and the family doc says NOTHING about their weight- I think that’s bad practice.
    But then other times, you lose the patient because of addressing their weight. What to do????
    Anyways, great post as usual. Good food for thought. Please don’t hate all doctors :-)

  4. says

    I don’t have children of my own, but I’ve gotten the impression that some doctors barely see the patient (child) because they are concentrating on the stats so hard..

    Weird stuff.

    BTW It’s seriously funny that you’re ready to move 2 weeks ahead of time.

  5. says

    I think doctors pay way too much attention to stats. BMI in particular. I had doc that straight up called me fat to my face and said I would never have children (I was pregnant w/ my first at that point but didn’t know it). I didn’t go back to her until after I’d lost 90+ pounds, and she still told me I needed to get down to a healthy BMI, which considering my muscles, I don’t think is possible for me to attain in a healthy way.

      • Sue says

        And if you were a skinny little girl like me (and grew up to be an average 76 y/o adult) the drs. back then tried to get my mother to fatten me up. Everybody tried to fatten me up. “East some more” was all I ever heard. Result: Hated mealtime.

  6. says

    Some switch must flip at 7. I got a letter from school about my son’s BMI. My son, the stick-figure. My son, the one who does 4 sports every season. He plays baseball, soccer, and tennis. He runs. He rides horses. HE’S A STICK. I asked the nurse if she knew my son. (She does…he’s practically the mayor of that place. Everyone from PK to 12 knows him.) I tried very hard not to laugh in her face but it was a struggle. I can’t imagine what will happen with my daughter who is 2 years younger, much rounder, and weighs about the same.

    • MizFit says

      I wonder if there is a magical OK NOW WE GET NUMBERS OBSESSED? at seven too. If anything she visually (?) looks more fit (eyeroll) now than when she was…younger?
      I wanted to say:

      I did not.
      100% because she was right there…and I was just ready to go.

  7. says


    This just totally frustrates me! Why are dr.’s doing this? I mean seriously?! And IMHO if they feel the NEED to check in on how we parent regarding food and exercise…do it without the child.

    This happened 2 years ago with my daughter when she was 11. On top of the dr. telling her she needed to eat less and move more her cholesterol was tested and she told her it was dangerously high.

    So now I feel like THE worst mother in the world(yeah see her having a morbidly obese mom I felt as if I could not speak up)and we are referred to a dietitian. I need to learn how to feed her and she needs to learn how to make better choices.

    Among the paperwork we are handed was a recall sheet to fill out the week prior to our dietitian’s appointment.

    We do this and I somberly take daughter in hand and not letting her see my sorrow for this, we walk into office.

    I forget to register our appointment so I was told I could go do that and she would chat with daughter while I am gone.

    Not happy about leaving her in the clutches of this ogre I go and return 20 minutes later to a happy smiling child.

    See the doc looked at her total cholesterol # and failed to ask some important questions…or look closely at each #! Her GOOD cholesterol # was REALLY HIGH! Which brought her overall # high! The dietitian was totally confused as to why we were referred and told me I was doing a great job!

    She is eating healthy and getting a lot of excise in and that she is at an age that she will “grow into her size”.

    Lesson learned! We have since changed docs and 2 years later she has grown into her size BUT those words still impact her. I hear her refer to her cholesterol and excess weight now and again and I really try to positive reinforce the good overall within her.

    I grew up with the “fat” diet mentality and it haunts me I do not want that for her!

    PS You are MY packing/moving hero! @ weeks ahead of schedule! Total rockstar!!!!

    • MizFit says

      (insert the SHE’S SEVEN SHE’S NOT DEAF crazymamarant again :-))

      and yes.
      I should switch career paths and be a moverpacker…

  8. Renda says

    On the wall of the Children’s Hospital my kids go to (chronically sick child, he is fine, healthy, happy, but stuff happens and you have a lot of time to read the walls) there is a patient’s bill of rights written just for the child. It is basically what adults have in their hospitals but it emphasizes that you won’t be spoken of as if you aren’t there (the child patient) and that questions are being directed to you, the child patient, not your parent unless you want your parent to help you verbalize some things. This is very powerful. All of my kids docs do this, inside and outside of the hospital. Look for something like that, ask about that at your new practice.
    And no, BMI doesn’t make sense. But like a lot of societal evil in this world today, there is an insurance company way of thinking behind this. Give an insurance company a number, a number that, hey, just may be beneficial to THEM as a publicly held corporation who has to do what is best for their shareholders, and they will hold on to that number for dear life. It has permeated the world of adult medicine and if it is good enough to skewer adults with, it is good enough to catch up the kiddies of the world, too. Insurance companies aren’t the only ones who do this, of course. The weight loss industry enjoys the benefits of a faulty BMI as well (looking at you Weight Watchers, which I even like but still, their “goal weights” seem so ludicrous, but I digress). New start, new docs. In the SF area it shouldn’t be hard. You have a year before her next physical, conveniently enough. Seek out a holistic (not as in naturopathic, unless you want to) doctor, one who treats and sees the whole child, who will talk to the child, who recognizes the child as an actual being with a functioning brain who can respond coherently to an adult asking a question about that person themself.

  9. says

    Yup, been there. I avoided going to any doctor for about 5 years. Then a cyst on my ovary ruptured, causing me excruciating pain and landing me in the ER for 3 days. I didn’t even know I had ovarian cysts. Then I was forced to go to the doctor – the lady parts doctor, to boot. All because I was so ashamed and so embarrassed about being morbidly obese.

  10. says

    At some point medical school has got to incorporate HOW to talk to people. On the one hand you have your experience…how terrible. On the other hand I have my experience of years of trying to talk to doctors about my weight and they not being really interested. I have now released over 80 lbs and have yet to go to my doctor about it.

    In your situation…it is bad enough how girls start to feel about the way they look–no matter how awesome they look–it is terrible that it would come from a doctor!! We spend so much time with our girls to work on the right body image…last thing we need is a stranger messing with that.

    So did you ever talk to the doctor about what he said?

  11. MizFit says

    I didnt. 100% because we are moving.
    Im not proud of that either.
    but it’s the truth.
    My priority was her.

    • Amanda says


      Could you please? On behalf of all the (now-grown-up) kids of the world who developed eating disorders in part because of what people said to us as kiddos? Anorexia is something I’ll struggle with for the rest of my life, and there’s a large part (always too large, of course) of me that thinks it never would have been an issue if some of those things just hadn’t been said.

      Don’t do it for Tornado. Do it because you’re grateful she has a mama like you to keep her safe from that crap, and because you know not all moms are as vigilant.


  12. says

    Honestly, I think many doctors just follow charts and formulas. Obviously, if he would have looked at the tornado first rather than the nursing notes, he would see she is a healthy weight.

    I’ve had the flip side experience with one of my kids. She’s underweight according to the charts and percentages. They keep suggesting I supplement her food with weird things to bulk her up. They don’t seem to understand that she eats like crazy and is a small frame. She’s normal if you look at her rather than the chart!

  13. MizFit says

    SO TRUE. That the flip side happens as well. A friend shared that with me after I relayed the story to her and I could COMPLETELY put myself in her shoes.
    and it’s really not different at all…

  14. Tracey says

    I think the Tornado should’ve challenged that doctor to a scooter race.

    I am a preschool teacher and we recently had a children’s chiropractor come speak to our group about biomechanics and all the cool stuff she does. She stressed how she NEVER discusses a child’s condition or what is “wrong” in front of the child as she finds it inappropriate. She says that in “traditional” medicine there are a lot of questions about billable hours when you are discussing a patient and the patient isn’t there. All about the $$, appropriateness be damned.

  15. says

    I sometimes think doctors….ok I always think…
    .doctors look at numbers and not composition and activity….I’d kill for all families to be as active as yours!

  16. says

    I loathe drs!! prob why I dont go to them
    and my daughter who’s almost 17 is 5’3″ and 96 lbs and yet healthy! though I did have to take her to a dr (merely to get a stupid dr excuse to miss school when she had flu) and they lectured me on eating disorders, unhealthy weights, etc…I WENT OFF! no control here…not to mention said teen was only 4 lbs at birth (preemie by few months) and she’s totally healthy…been dealing w/this for years…
    and OMG hats off to you cuz I”d have gone off on said dr…I have mentioned I have no tolerance for ignorance especially from those who ‘think’ they know more than we do…

  17. says

    she’s 11! there is no correct % for that. It’s that stage and she is active. Ugh, i hate it that we examine everything by numbers and not quality of life and happiness. I think thats more important. I would have kicked him in the shin. Mature, right?

  18. says

    I am glad you just refrained from bringing points up back to him about bmi weight activity etc… Sometimes people who are in positions of authority dont want to listen they want to tell… your kid is healthy and fit.. anyone looking at HER over a chart would know that

  19. Evin Cooper says

    I was 350 lbs and felt pretty okay. I didn’t gave diabetes or high blood pressure. But every time I went to the doc for a complaint, they told e to lose weight. They refused to run tests, treat me, or do anything but lecture me on my weight. So I just stopped going. Now I’m much thinner but it as thin as I could be so I still avoid the doc because he’s just going to tell me I’m fat and send me home. No thanks.

  20. MizFit says

    thank you for saying that as it was a choice I had to make quickly in the moment. I knew getting into a debate with him THEN with HER THERE helped no one…

  21. says

    Ay, yi, yi! Fromt the way you told it, it sounds like he had no concerns until he saw the numbers. Then maybe he switched into “auto” mode and gave the spiel he is supposed to give to parents of all “overweight” kids. I see how it is misplaced here, and soo inappropriate to speak that way in front of her, but childhood obesity is a huge problem and some parents don’t know how much their kids should be eating (and what) or that they really do need to push them out to play instead of letting them sit in front of screens all day, and the only person who can bring that up is the pediatrician.

  22. says

    The daggers my eyes would have been shooting at that doc!!!!!!! I used to read those same weight/height/percentage charts to the families I counseled at WIC and you know what — I would have shown the chart and proclaimed that it’s a normal freaking range!!! She’s beyond fit, and healthy, and still growing strong! *cute dietitian hissy fit* I’m so sorry that you had to deal with one of the clueless docs that obvi need a bit more training in how to discuss a child’s growth. Gah!

    I’m raging over here for you. Love you mucho!

    PS: 100 bucks says the tornado is fitter than the doc. Just sayin’! =)

  23. Jackie says

    Oh my life, my life! All 3 bacon bits had their check ups last month and all 3 are somewhere in the 90% on height and weight. Every time I go in I just wait for the questions…. Do they get exercise? How much are they eating?
    I’ve become good and the “fake smile”. If you could see how tired I am at night you would know they never hold still. If you knew how much money I spent on apples, I really should have an orchard.
    And to top it off every time someone goes there with Bit #1 replay… You do realize he’s autistic, non-verbal, has sensory issues, and his BMI is on the top of your list of concerns?!
    And yes, we did switch doctors over the issue. Bit #2 went in with a temp of 103 and before even asking about the the Doc asked if I knew his BMI! Not off the top of my head but I do know his Temp so could we work on that?! He was 2. :)

  24. MizFit says

    Okay so it’s kind of funny that I will be back *later* to chat because we are off to playplayplay :-)

  25. says

    I maybe would have punched that doctor.

    I’ve had that experience, though, recently. I went to the doctor for a yearly physical (for my insurance) about a week after I ran my first marathon, and the doctor was like, “maybe you could lose a few pounds”, and I was all like “are you for real?? I just ran a marathon!”. Kinda made me mad.

  26. Alexandra says

    Luckily I’ve never had issues with the girls doctor, even when the big had gained 8 lbs this year in the course of 6 months… she assumed what I did- that the big is about to have a major growth spurt. 3 weeks later, no shoes fit and skirts are looking dangerously short all of a sudden, Haha!! :)
    But I LOATHE going to the dr because mine always tried to push pills on me for weight loss instead of recommending healthy alternatives… And now that I’m down 125+ the natural, healthy way (food and movement), I kind of want to go tell him where he can put those pills!

  27. says

    BMI is not a concern for my pediatrician. He looks at their height and weight, says as long as they are eating healthy and getting exercise, it’s all good, and moves on. He’s right.

    One checkup does not show where a child really is on any “scale.” The fact is, sometimes they will put on a few pounds right before they gain a few inches in height. It’s normal, and if you give them a few months, they even out.

  28. says

    I was obese as a child. I was the fat girl. Not one doctor could tell me what to do to loose weight. I had to grow up, then finally figure out that grains and sugar were trigger foods.

    The line of disapproving people stopped when I lost the 72 pounds. All that effort is worth not having every single person lined up to tell you to do ineffective things to solve your problem. 40 years and I dismissed the line.

    Catch 22. The subject must be discussed. Its the solution – eating whole , unprocessed foods that is rarely offered. Topic is near and dear to my jr family member.

    When we eat/buy whole Unprocessed foods we are our kids role models. I suspect you’ll find a great Peditrican that will handle the topic better in the Bay Area.

    Safe travels. I don’t mind the talk if a real solutions are offered.

  29. says

    Oh Miz…you know I have two girls…and you could probably expect me to say I’m taken aback by this. What is it with the docs and their “charts”?? (For the record, both of my girls hit around 90-95% for their height and 50-60% for their weight and will most likely be nearly 6′ tall.) I know that because of their activity levels and the way they eat, they’re healthy girls, and we never ever approach food or fitness or anything from a weight standpoint. For a doctor, who knows nothing about her, to see YOU and to see HER and how healthy you both are and still ask if it’s NORMAL is absolutely ridiculous! Hi, didn’t he check out her medical history before he saw her? Wow, wouldn’t that be something?

    To answer your questions:

    Yes. General doctors, including pediatricians, normally do NOT have any qualifications that deem them great sources of nutritional/weight control advice beyond the obvious. (Hell, I have a friend whose doctor told her that it’d be wise to go on Slim Fast.) General doctors specialize in general health, not nutrition, weight control, or fitness. (Unless, of course, they actually DO specialize in it.) I think most general doctors absolutely follow the BMI chart without understanding what else to consider as a part of that “standard”. BMI is strictly meant to be a guideline. Not an end all be all.

    Fortunately, no, I have never had a moment like this with a pediatrician. If I did, I wouldn’t be as calm about it. Approaching ME about MY weight is one thing, but approaching my daughters so vaguely and suspiciously without knowing anything about their lifestyles (and without checking their medical history) is another. I could go into body image here, but I won’t.

    If a doctor told me I’m obese or overweight, and I am, then no. I wouldn’t. If my daughters were and he/she said something, then no. (Although, I would prefer the doctor to say something to me privately.) If my “stats” aren’t perfect but my body says otherwise and it were a doctor who hadn’t seen me before and never got the deal on my lifestyle and called me obese or overweight based solely on a chart, then yes, I would. Absolutely. And he/she would hear exactly why.

    And PS: LOVE her response. LOVE IT.

  30. says

    I just came across your blog and I love it! You’re so funny!!

    I have two kids and both of them are underweight (I swear I feed them!) so I never had to deal with the whole “overweight childhood obesity” epidemic. But honestly, your daughter looks perfectly fine to me! She looks like a healthy and happy 7 year old!
    My doctor always said that as long as my kids fell on the chart above %5, they were fine. I think 70% is pefectly fine. Maybe because she falls lower on the height side it affects her weight? I don’t know. But I think she looks fine!
    P.S. I did have a physical therapist tell me that I was overweight. I wanted to punch him in the face, but I still went back to him and then I lost 30 pounds.
    Sorry for the longest comment ever.

  31. says

    Ugh! She looks completey healthy to me. My son is small and has always been small. Blame it on genetics. But the fact remains that he is healthy for him regardless of what his percentages are!

  32. MizFit says

    it goes without saying–but I be saying :-)– PLEASE DISAGREE WITH ME IF YOU…DISAGREE WITH ME.

    I loved this facebook comment:

    I should have been told by doctors to lose weight but never was. I don’t think it’s bad for him to ask if she’s sedentary — childhood obesity is a huge problem (no pun intended) and unless he reads your blog or follows you on FB, he wouldn’t know. IMO, he should ask everyone, regardless of weight, and I think his bedside manner could have been better, but I don’t think he asked inappropriate question

    I disagree (MamaBear much? I know :)) as for me it was the word choice (OK SO SHE DOES MOVE) and the TONE but the commenter makes a strong point.
    New doc.
    Doesnt know me. Doesnt know US.

    • says

      The commenter does make a great point, and if a child is obviously struggling with his/her weight, then yes, attention must be paid and the doctor should talk to the parents. You’re right, though…the bedside manner was terrible. She’s very obviously healthy…and like I said before…if he’s new to you and your daughter then he should have gone by her medical history. That’s why it’s recorded.

    • says

      So I kind of agree with the commenter. I used to work with an organization around looking at childhood obesity issues and agree that it’s an big issue that needs to be addressed in our country. And yes, doctors and physicians clearly have an important role to play in that.

      Mainly, I take issue with his bedside manner and how he totally and completely treated the Tornado as if she wasn’t there. I think that he should have started off by asking the questions – to the Tornado – about what she likes to eat, what she likes to do for fun versus focusing solely on the BMI numbers. Our society is so stuck on numbers and BMI is a convenient (and quick) way to make a judgement but doesn’t tell the whole story.

      Clearly the doctor doesn’t know you or your family – ironic that it was you and your family that the doctor was worried about being sedentary. Ha!

      • says

        I agree with Christine on this as well…I couldn’t have said it better…

        My sister dealt with something similar as well. My niece is 4 1/2 – a very healthy, active little girl. She’s almost off the charts in both height and weight and her dr was concerned about her weight being so high. My sister’s argument was that her daughter is taller than most 5 yr olds and is about the size of most 6 yr olds…so why shouldn’t her weight be in that realm as well?

        There’s NO reason why the doctor has to start putting thoughts in your daughter’s head regarding her weight. Our society does that enough in other ways.

        I’m so sorry you had to go through this.

  33. says

    Bleck! So sorry you went through this (and oh the irony that you did!)

    Honestly, I appreciate where they are trying to go with BMI, but I think it’s a stupid measurement. I have a male friend who is extremely lean and fit, and yet his BMI is not perfect. totally illogical.

    Good for you for turning on your heels and heading off. I know you’ll keep the Tornado safe from any ill effects from the visit.

  34. says

    70% sounds rather average to me….I agree that docs focus way too much on the numbers. Obviously she’s in great health….she has amazing parents who don’t obsess over health/fitness, but instead show how awesome it is in other ways. You handled it well if I do say so.

    And I avoided doctors like the plauge for MANY years because they always wanted to discuss my weight….I knew I was obese…..just didn’t need anyone else to tell me. Lol

  35. says

    Aurg! That fires this mama bear up too!! I do know that there are SOME children and certain situations where the “talk” would be necessary. I mean you can SEE it on SOME kids. But at 7 many kids still are holding on to their ‘baby fat’ and it is totally okay.

    Good for you for standing up to the doctor… and holding yoru tongue.

    I am NOT a fan of the BMI scale (for personal use) for this same reason. I am STRONG. I am HEALTHY. I just have a bit more weight to my frame than the recommended buck twenty five. 😉

  36. tj says

    WHAT??!! Oh & I love your child for saying what she said. & you did a great job biting your tongue!

    Me- I’ve scheduled appointments concerned about my weight and had a doctor say HE wasn’t concerned. I’ve gone in to another doctor and upon being diagnosed with an ear infection had her tell me I could stand to lose a few pounds.

    Every body style is different. I will never be a size 4 (6 or 8 either!) I was not meant to be that size. I believe in being healthy, but more so happy. I thinkI would have slapped that doctor If I was you. He’s lucky I wasn’t there. lol

  37. says

    BMI in kids is a little iffy.

    Many parents with overweight kids are in denial of the fact.

    Bashing doctors is becoming all too common. Most are trying to do their best with a very trying health care system!

    Time will tell how a child turns out. In spite of a parents best intentions, the outcome is never certain.

    Being a parent is the hardest and most important job out there.

    God Bless every parent!

  38. Rachel says

    Ugh, what a bummer. I think you absolutely did the right thing by getting the heck out of there without losing your cool. I can see two sides of this so clearly though, and I’m torn. On one hand, I think that the doctor shouldn’t be blamed–he was doing his job and probably doing the best he knew how to do. I think doctors aren’t taught nearly enough about bedside manner and *especially* about how to approach situations like yours (unfamiliar patient, young child, sensitive topic, etc), so we can’t expect him to know how to handle it. (Apparently they were too busy teaching him about medicine in med school…haha). And that’s a shame!
    But I have to be glad that he was *trying* instead of ignoring what he saw as a problem. I’ve had doctors ignore things (hello, crazy fluctuating weight and sky-high cholesterol due to a binge eating disorder) even when it should have been apparent that something was wrong, and that did neither of us any good in the long run.
    ON THE OTHER HAND, I can very clearly remember being at the pediatrician’s office as a kid (probably several years older than the Tornado) and hearing the doctor tell my mom that I was too short for my weight. I know they told me that it was okay, but I don’t remember anything else from the conversation and I don’t think my mom talked to me about it afterward (I could just be forgetting though). But the part that stuck with me was that I weighed too much. Did it contribute to the binge eating disorder I struggled with for most of my adolescent/young adult life? Maybe. Regardless, you and the Tornado are worlds beyond where my mom and I were at that time…you’re prepared! You’re building her up to be strong inside and out so that even IF something like an eating disorder were to creep up, the two of you have the relationship and the ammo to smash it to bits before it can take over. And the Tornado will always have you to thank for that!

  39. says

    I was a child athlete so my mother got this one often. In those days it was hieght and weight and that was it. Of course I was muscular. I kept being put on a diet to slim me down which would just have me getting in trouble at practice for not paying attention and making mistakes.

  40. says

    I think the attitude of that doctor (and so many others like him) is what has contributed to the huge problem of body image. Being healthy has zero to do with any numbers!!!
    I admire the way both you and your daughter handled yourselves – I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have had the control you did!!

  41. Noelle says

    I have 4 boys and the oldest ones, 5 and 7 years old, I was told their BMI was on the “high side of normal” whatever that is. They’re crazy tall and crazy thin. Maybe they’re like little hulks and it’s all muscle? haha. Anyway, I said to the doc, “o, okay. I’m not going to do a thing about it.” Ironically, my 4 month old is at 90% height and 24% weight and the good doc thought that was just fine. Interesting double standard.

  42. says

    Obviously I never had that talk. But the Tornado is an active little girl, and of a genetic heritage that lends some stockiness to her. She looks perfectly healthy.

    (what was that doctor’s problem).

    My parents had that talk with my doctor when I was kid (in the opposite direction: when will this girl ever gain weight???) Fortunately, this was before all the anoxeric thing… so he just dismissed my horrible skinniness and said I’d gain weight when my body was ready.

  43. Maria @ lift love life says

    Whoah. You are much nicer than me, I probably soil have given him a verbal spanking. Too many medical professionals are focused on numbers and not actual facts. As long as your child is active and loving, who the eff cares what her number is?! And who the eff says this in front of the kid!? I’m pretty sure kids are a lot smarter than what they credit them for. Kudos to both of y’all for handling that peacefully. This rages me.

  44. says

    I think it has to be a tough line for doctors. First, they aren’t really trained well in nutrition unless that is their specialty. On the other hand, I think weight is a sensitive subject whether you are a child or an adult.

    At least he actually did look at the chart and didn’t just blow off a typical well visit, like so many doctors do. I think his question at being 70% and it being normal was in the realm of “is this an issue we will need to nip in the bud now, or is the the track she has been on?”

    Not that is was probably phrased very well, but they don’t really teach bedside manner in school. (which they should).

  45. says

    Awkward times 1000.

    I would sit down and write a letter to the doctor, letting him know how dangerous making comments like that is in front of a young girl. Even if it doesn’t lead to him changing his behaviour, I would feel like I had done something to prevent the same situation arising again.

  46. says

    I’ve been in this exact situation…but I was the child. Years ago I remember this same discussion with mother and my doctor…with me in the room. It didn’t hit me hard, but it did make me aware of the situation. I was the “fat” sister and have always known this. It didn’t matter that I did the same activities as my sister and was active as all get out. The situation stood. With my personality (being a perfectionist that wants to make everyone happy) it “encouraged” me to take accountability for myself. This lead me to reading labels. I guess this could be considered a good or bad thing. Quite honestly, the changes that were made weren’t the ones that made me lose weight. The baby weight fell off in time naturally.

    I don’t agree with what your daughter’s doctor did by any means. Should he have done it with her present? No. But I would like to play Devil’s Advocate. Nowadays obesity is at an all time high and I feel that it’s been made to be at the forefront of most doctor’s minds. Of course he doesn’t know your healthy living situation but he knows that it’s something that needs to be discussed with the majority of the population, hence his actions. Just my thoughts.

  47. says

    Well, you know my take on the joke that is BMI. I had that same experience with me after I’d lost weight – the (new) doc didn’t LOOK at me, just his charts and my weight/height. It’s very frustrating and certainly puts you on the defensive at a place where you weren’t expecting to have to be.

  48. says

    My daughter is the opposite end of the spectrum. She’s in the 70th percentile for weight and the 10th percentile for weight. My pediatrician says not to worry about it, that some kids are just naturally thinner than others. He also notes that he only considers weight/height as one indicator of health and takes it into consideration with other factors. Still your story makes me wonder what he would say if my daughter’s weight/height ratios were reversed.

  49. MizFit says

    I really appreciate all your insights. Actually, in a way, when you disagree or play devils advocate I appreciate more. I realize I was far too close to the situation to see clearly. MamaBear if you will :-)

  50. says

    Oh that infuriates me! Of course, I have a hot button about this too. When I had my daughter and she was only a few months old the doctor started lecturing me – LOUDLY – about over feeding an infant with formula and baby food and that she was too fat, and mixing formula too densely, and on and on about child-adult obesity. When he finally got done (I had given up on trying to interrupt) I looked him dead in the eye and said “I’M NURSING HER. That’s it! No formula, no solids, no juice, NOTHING but my milk.” I got a “Oh, a baby can’t be overweight on just breastmilk…” No apology, but then he moved on and started making sure I was feeding her often enough since it was just nursing. ARGH!! (for the record, she shot up, and is perfectly fit and fabulous as a 14 yr old now. She just was a marshmallow baby, who refused solids of any sort for 13 months.)

    For myself, I don’t let a doctor weigh me unless it’s relevant (dosing considerations, etc.) Because they are not the weight-police. I know what I weigh, I know how to eat, and if I’m not doing it right – I KNOW that too. I had one doctor lecture me about the evils of running, while dusting powdered sugar off his mustache and giant belly. Doctors are just people too, and I think that there is often a feeling of power over a patient when they have the opportunity to lecture that is a payoff for them personally, not the patient.

    I know a lot of adults don’t get it, but I do. If those adults feel being called fat or obese by their doctor would help, that’s fine, but I am not motivated by people trying to shame or lecture me. I certainly won’t tolerate it towards my children.

    I think the only time it’s acceptable for the doctor to mention a weight problem is if the patient truly is oblivious to it (it does happen with some people, although I think it’s more about denial) or it’s in direct relation to a health issue. I don’t know why doctors have been crowned as the weight police when society spends plenty of time cramming it down all of our throats. But if they’re going to wear that cap, they need to have more information than a statistical chart.

  51. says

    Shame on that doctor for trying to give your 7 year old a complex. Little girls have enough body issues–they don’t need a doctor telling them they are overweight when they are simply a KID. And your kid eats healthy and is active. Maybe it’s just “baby fat”. How rude.

    I had a doctor tell me I was morbidly obese (I was) and her tone and manner inflamed me. I was angry and offended. Eventually I calmed down and realized I needed to lose weight but I wouldn’t say that doctor nurtured any good feelings about weight loss in me.

  52. says

    First, I am sorry that you and your sweet daughter had to experience that, and glad you never have to see that sad excuse of a pediatrician again!

    I have 12 kids – 9 that my husband and I adopted. We have kids that are African American, kids that are Ethiopian, kids that are Vietnamese, kids that are South Korean, and kids that are a mix of Irish, Polish, Italian and all sorts of other stuff (our 3 bio kids!) They all eat the same meals. They all live the same lifestyle. They all have the same parents and are being raised the same. And you know what? I have kids who are off (those stupid) charts they are so tiny, I have kids who are considered over weight, I have kids who are super tall for their age, and I have kids who fit nicely in the middle. The thing about averages is that it means there are plenty of kids on either side of that average. We were all created differently, we are all different genetically, and it is just stupid to expect everyone (especially kids!) to fit in to a percentage or be on a line on a chart. Dumb.

    Since several of my kids have special medical needs, I have unfortunately become way too experienced with doctors with terrible bedside manner (and worse). You handled it just right! You cut him off and didn’t let it get any worse or let your daughter hear anything that could stay with her and upset her long term. Parents HAVE to be proactive in their child’s medical care and stand up for their kids when necessary. Great job mom!

    Ok, off my soapbox! :)

    Thanks so much for the comment on my blog. It means a lot! Hugs!

  53. says

    When I was about 15, I had an appt w/ my doc (still hitting the pediatrician at that point) and my mom was there.

    After the doc tried to convince me I should confess to her (with my MOM sitting there) about all my sexcapades (of which there were NONE!), she told my mom, in front of me, that I was very overweight and that if I didn’t lose 15 lbs quickly, I’d likely get diabetes and die (or something – it’s been 20 years, I don’t remember the exact convo – just the seething).

    And my mother – A MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL – listened. I was put on a strict diet. I was the only one in the house who had to drink skim milk and couldn’t have dessert.

    When I was 15, I was 5’2″ (that actually hasn’t changed) and weighed 120 lbs. I was also a D cup. The weight/height chart said I needed to be 105 or less to be healthy.

    Strangely enough, after 3 years of forced dieting (I never lost the weight), I went to college. And gained the Freshman 75. Eventually I topped out at about 210. The freedom to eat whatever I want did me in. I can’t say I avoided doctors, but I think that incident + the parental enforcement of the diet directly contributed to my obesity. I never struggled w/ my weight before, and have ever since.


    SO – good for you for redirecting your doctor.

  54. says

    Unbelievable. I absolutely hate the BMI scale. Not only does it not take into account things like muscle mass, which leads to many athletic people being lumped into the overweight category, but it’s a serious roadblock for people who are recovering from an eating disorder as well – they end up wanting to reach the minimum ‘healthy’ requirement and not progress any further.

    I mean, I understand that doctors like to have standardized measurements so that they can get quickly breeze through as many patients as possible, but it’s that kind of lack of deeper attention that leads to so many problems down the road.

  55. says

    When I was a teenager I had asthma. At my yearly physical my doctor asked me about my activity level. After I told him about how active I was in spite of having asthma, he told me that was great and to keep it up! Those words stuck with me, and a few years later I kicked that asthma to the curb!

    The reason I think that many doctors have poor “bedside” manor is not from lack of being taught how to do it, but rather a product of the type of individuals that are accepted to med school; all brains and no feeling types.

  56. says

    People REALLY need to bone up on MUSCLE WEIGHT. Your daughter OBVIOUSLY is super fit and healthy. Duh. I sincerely hope that doctor is young, so he’ll learn. Maybe he’s just not used to seeing kids that are that fit (i.e., muscular).

    My husband had a similar experience. He had to go to a new doctor, years ago and, like your daughter, was weighed, etc., and waited. The doctor walked in staring at the chart and, BEFORE LOOKING at my husband, said “You’re obese.” Then looked up at my husband, who is muscle-bound German-farmer-heritage guy w/4 foot wide shoulders and can bench press 220, and said “Oh, you look alright.”

    Good lord, people. Weight is not MEANINGFUL. Body composition & cardio fitness are. I am SO glad your daughter has YOU, a superstar, for a mom. =) Superstars beget superstars.

    And you also showed your daughter how to control your anger and be polite, even if someone is being doofus. ALSO a great lesson. Nice work!

  57. MizFit says

    reading and rereading all your comments. AND SO APPRECIATE your honesty and the time youve spent on them.

  58. says

    I am one of those parents that takes my kids in for the needed exams, but I don’t put any pressure or weight on most of what the doctor’s say. We are not a “one size fits all” scenario and I hate when kids are clumped into groups based on ridiculous “rules”. I also hate the questions they doctors ask the kids. my kids are active in there own ways and aren’t on any sports teams. They aren’t competitive so they play games with each other or run outside. The doctor asked Max the last time we were there what sports teams he plays on. Seriously! We all have to be on sports teams to be considered healthy active kids? UGH!!! I’m sorry you had to deal with that. It’s just not right and sends out a horrible message to young children!

  59. says

    OK…Here we go…I have time now.

    1st thing that caught my attention in this whole thing…The awkward comment by Tornado. From what I read about your relationship with her. YOU.DONT.DO.NUMBERS. No scale, etc. You instill a lifestyle of FUN and MOVE. Perhaps all she picked up was Momma feeling awkward. Those numbers.Those comments. most likely meant diddly to her. She was probably focused on what the two of you would be playing when you got done.

    Height-Weight measurements are a long time standard as a TOOL started from the Prevention of Disease control…the BMI got added by schools and medicine as yet another tool because body fat is so difficult to measure. They have to go to the least common denominator…a standard NOT a concrete diagnosis. And they are ethically obligated to provide that information to parents.

    Where it all falls…is on the parents. Not just what they feed them, how active or sedentary they are..but in their reactions to information. A child that watches a parent constantly on a diet or struggling with their own weight picks up on those messages.

    Lastly…my own experiences with the doctors are long..and many. But the one that affected me the most was when I was sent to see an OB/GYN for a bladder issue. The solution to that problem was surgery. She told me that my weight was a part of the problem, and then if I lost weight, it could be POSSIBLY be manageable without the surgery. We discussed, in detail, about my treatment for binge eating and THEN she recommended a medical weight loss, about 18 months in duration, beginning with low calorie meal replacement (approx 600-800 cal a day)….
    Needless to say..I declined…only because I didn’t react and found a different approach…

    HUH…just told you I had an eating disorder??!!

    Doctors are NOT experts in ALL things medical…We have to check with ourselves first, teach our children to trust themselves…because they trust us first..

  60. Missy says

    Wow. If doctors are STILL doing that to children then YES some are clearly obsessed with what’s NORMAL and bmi.

    That reminded me of my childhood dr visits. I loved to run and play and was quite active but my weight was “not normal” for my age. Unfortunately for me, my mom listened to the doctor she got hard, really hard, on me about food and exercise. I started sneaking food, eatting junk at friends houses, moving less, etc, etc. And ended eventually ended up where I am right now, overweight but working on it. Looking back at childhood pictures I WAS FINE. On the side of slender even. But too “heavy” my doctor decreed to my mother every single visit as he shamed her for her parenting with me sitting there wishing I was somewhere else. It ended up becoming a self-fullfilled prophecy. I wonder if my mom had just told him off, or talked to me, or switched doctors or something if maybe things would have been different.

    Now my doctor is my cheerleader as I’m trying to get healthy. She pushes me but gently, makes suggestions, celebrates my successes, and so forth. She actually had me in tears when she told me that she cared about me and wanted to help me get as healthy as possible and she was there for me. she’s never refered to me as fat or overweight, she’s always just talked about my health and how my excess weight is impacting it. But if a doctor acted like yours I’d switch doctors.

  61. says

    I know everyone’s said it before, but I cannot believe that he had the insensitivity to have that kind of conversation in front of her… We wonder how kids end up with eating disorders!

    And yes… I often put off going to the doctor when I need to because of THAT weightloss talk.

    Even now I’ve moved I need to find a new doctor and should do that before I need them, but am not sure I’m prepared for the ‘let me weight you and lecture you about food and exercise’ situation!


  62. Ann says

    It’s my understanding that doctors get little to NO training on nutrition. I completely agree that they are focusing on numbers and not worrying about quality of life, strength, energy, etc. I remember asking a doctor for weight loss advice several years ago and he suggested switching to low-fat snacks, like lite wheat thins. They’re not the worst things you can eat, but in my opinion those are still junk food!

    And obviously there’s no sensitivity training either. Sheesh! Didn’t you have a similar encounte a year or two ago with a different doc?

  63. says

    No, they are not deaf and can pick up on social cues faster than we can! Little ones are very observant and know exactly when you are trying to hide something through unspoken (or whispered) words. I don’t like how he brought this up in front of the Tornado…at all.

  64. Amanda says

    This plucked every one of my heartstrings. Even when I’ve found a doctor with decent bedside manner, I feel as if they don’t understand what our best interests are to US. If your daughter has those stats, it’s because she’s a fit little chicken who’s got some awesome muscles. I was the same way when I was little – born two weeks late and put on muscle super easy, and my mom always said I was dense like a brick. All muscle! He should have been commending her as a model of child fitness and not being an awkward ***hole. What a fart!

    The reverse has actually happened to me, as well. I recently gained some weight (no explanation, except that I was recently diagnosed with Celiac and my intestines healed, etc. – same calories and exercise), and to me it’s a MASSIVE crisis. Will it get worse? Will it get better? What am I doing wrong? It wears on me ALL DAY. And my doctor acts like it’s NBD. Don’t they understand that when that door shuts, we have to go live our lives? We have to be comfortable? I am not a box on a checklist.


    I’m sending hugs to your daughter. I know she’ll never get an ED because she has you as an awesome example, but I want to punch people like her doctor who promulgate this ****. What a turd.

  65. Leigh Ann says

    I struggle with this as well. We’ve never had this talk with a pedi, but my fear is that I have twins and one is a few pounds heavier than the other, which can make a big difference in 4 year olds. Of course they’re 2 completely different people, but as twins, they’re set up for a lifetime of comparison, and I fear the day that THAT comparison is made to their faces. Because no one would think twice about it of there wasn’t another girl that looked just like her standing right next to her.

    So sorry this happened. She’s an awesome kiddo.

  66. says

    I do not understand doctors sometimes. I have chronic daily headaches. I was finally seeing the 7th (yes 7th) neurologist who after doing the neuro checks and blood pressure (all perfect) told me there was nothing he could do. He told me to lose weight. I told him I had been working out and had lost 15+ pounds (and I know I have more to lose, I’m not stupid or blind). He looked me up and down and told me to try harder. I explained how it wasn’t always easy to do *anything* let alone workout with the pain I experience and he just sent me off and told me there was nothing that he could do. I filed a formal complaint.

    I know obesity is a huge issue, but not every issue is related to it.

    I’m sorry your 7 year old (and you) had to deal with that. Just not right.

  67. says

    even i being an occupational therapist was taught to tell parents that the percentile are nothing to fixate on. i assume they learn that too in medical school. to be honest this kind of thing gets me fuming! i would like to have a doctor who takes his time to find out who is sittig in front of him.
    i understandd that the medical system ist complicated, but once you choose a difficult job like this you have a certain responsibility towards your patients! ( gets off soapbox..)

    great blog miz!

  68. Janis says

    I’m of two minds on this — people are NEVER going to react well if a doctor checks on things that doctors are supposed to check on. It’s fine until it’s your kid, then people’s fangs come out. I know that doctors can have better communications manners, but there is a point where they HAVE to bring up touchy things or else they aren’t doing their jobs. You are one of hundreds of people that doctor sees; they aren’t going to realize that you’re a special snowflake. Just answer the question and let go of it. I had a doctor once give me a syphilis test; I didn’t care. I knew I didn’t have it, but I’m sure she had patients before who insisted that there was just no way AT ALL!!! they could have condition XYZ, and as a scientist, she couldn’t be 100% confident in her information until she saw that test.

    She did the test. I understood where she was coming from, and I simply did not give a damn.

    Lastly, “19 percent of Americans say they’d avoid future medical care if a medical professional referred to them as fat or obese” means nothing to me. 100 percent of human beings will avoid going to the doctor for any reason whatsoever if they think the doctor might tell them that something’s wrong. You know what? Grow up and go. Past the age of about 8, no one should be avoiding discussions with authority figures because they might tell you something you’d rather not admit.

  69. Mallory says

    All I have to say is that I cannot believe that with you in the room (have you seen your arms?!) it would cross his mind that you didn’t have an active child. It’s like hey look, clearly fitness is a priority for me, but I just let me kid sit on the couch eating candy and popcorn while watching TV all day. I think not.

    Like some of the other commentators, I think I could have been helped by some better guidance from doctors as a kid/teenager. Problem was, I was also very active, played sports year round in school. Problem was I didn’t know how to eat well, so my poor eating habits were ruining all the good exercising I was doing. Who knows what would have happened if I didn’t do sports. I would have benefited from a trip to some dietitians, especially because I had great insurance as a kid. Later in life I figured out how to get the information myself, but not without significant cost. Bad habits were formed and are now harder and harder to break/change, and certain services I may have gotten for free, or covered by insurance, I know have to pay for.

    BUT YES, Docs can be nicer about it, and ask better questions. I would have loved a question like, would you like some more information about what to eat to become a better athlete, or things you might do to increase your performance. I did have to go for a sports physical annually in high school.

  70. says

    I kinda sorta felt like I’d been kicked in the stomach when I read this and it took me a few seconds to understand why. It takes me back 40+ years ago to the day my pediatrician told my mother I was chunky and her shock/horror/guilt reaction. I know NOW that back in the 60s no one had a freakin’ clue and I don’t blame the doctor or my mother, but when I read about this happening now, I feel sad for all the little girls and boys who don’t have mothers who have a clue like you do.

  71. says

    Haven’t we gotten to the point where it’s NOT all about measurements? Haven’t we determined yet that everyone is going to have unique measurements and NOT be the same as another person? Grrr!

    I feel like we’ve reached this point of hysteria in our society where we need to freak out about weight if our measurements are slightly different from where they *should* be. As long as kids are running around playing, pretty happy, and getting the necessary nutrients, I don’t see why they need to be scrutinized and put on diets and all that.

    Sounds like the Tornado has a pretty level head on her shoulders and isn’t going to be concerned over something silly that doctor said though 😉

  72. says

    UGHHHHH. I’ve never looked at a tornado pic and thought anything but what a healthy, happy looking kiddo. Maybe if there were other problems, but again…ugh…

    As a kid I had high cholesterol and various other problems and was within my weight range. Now, I have zero and am technically overweight. My doc just looks at my weight, my body comp, and says “you look like you’re gaining muscle, good on ya, what are you training for this year?” and leaves it at that.

    And love the ready 2 weeks early for a move. I’ve never had a night before that I’m not shoving things into garbage bags, lol.

  73. Laurel says

    My most difficult pediatrician situation was when, right in front of my then 14 year old daughter, she point blank asked me if I had talked with her about my ED. I had never, ever discussed that with the dr, but she knew enough to see it was an issue for me, and stepped up to make sure my daughter tactfully know what I faced and that it wasnt worth her going through it too. I certainly wasn’t expecting it, but it was just what both of us needed.
    They’re [doctors] not all oblivious, but kudos to you for walking out on this one. I’m kind of drawn to the female pediatrician – especially ones who are mother’s themselves and have some experience with a brain. Nothing against the males… I prefer them for me… :)
    Good luck in your move.

  74. says

    I was told I was “too heavy” to be a runner and that is why I got injured. That I needed to drop a lot of weight… hello doctor, that is one of the reasons I started running!
    I wanted to tell him off, but instead I happily proved him wrong and myself right, Little Miss Marathoner now sees a different doctor who loves that I try to run and be healthy.
    Need me to take someone out for you, even better, I played rugby for years. I’ll teach tornado how to tackle and she can take him out. We will show that doctor what fit looks like. Get him Tornado.
    You’re child is fabulous, energetic, and amazing. It is my professional opinion (I decided I can say that since I work with over 100 kids a week) that she looks wonderful and is more active than 99% of them.

  75. says

    stats are crap, just crap I tell you! Every time I go to the doc’s (which is not often), they STILL say I’m borderline obese for my height (5 feet) and I’ve even lost 40 pounds. (not because of their request, bc my own personal choices) They all have their dollar sign blinders on and go by the books no matter what. It’s such a shame that it’s happening at younger and younger ages. She is gorgeous and moves more than most 7 year olds!

  76. says

    Love Tornado’s response…

    When a doctor addressed my weight, I didn’t mind. What I did mind was that she assumed that I was eating fried foods…

  77. says

    I actually had an almost identical experience when my girls were only 4 months old. They were premie and very low weight and length. By 4 months they were really chubby and healthy and I was so proud. Their Dr commented that based on their height v weight they were obese. Keep in mind all they were consuming was breast milk. Kids gain weight then they grow up, then they chub, then they grow. At least that is what mine do! Thankfully mine were way too young to understand. Can’t believe the Dr would say that to you guys let alone in front of your daughter. She is absolutely gorgeous and looks very healthy to me!

  78. says

    I’m not siding with the Dr. here, just being Devil’s Advocate…This Dr. doesn’t know you from Adam, per his Hippocratic oath and malpractice insurance, he is practically required to ask. I’m sure that if he was familiar with her and her/your lifestyle, this would have gone different.
    Props to you and Tornado for handling it like champs!!
    I do agree his method and bedside manner could have been better!
    Love your Blog, BTW!!!

  79. says

    I think BMI is a relatively outdated concept. The military still uses that for height/weight measurements. My husband routinely fails and has to be taped because his muscles put him over the weight. If you have seen my husband (which you have in photos) you know he is incredible fit and in shape. It cracks me up.

    I think there is a time to be concerned among some children given the rates of being overweight young and the fact that cholesterol problems are showing up in very young children. However, the Tornado most obviously does not fit into this category. Plus, I don’t think it is good practice to discuss weight in front of children. It should be done with the parent only. Sometimes there are issues that need to be addressed: IE diet and lack of movement. Again, a non-issue for your beautiful daughter. My dad and I had to have this talk about my younger brother. Sad but true. :(

  80. says

    WOW. I’m so proud of you! You handled that WAY better than I would have. Did he even look at your daughter? She looks very healthy and happy to me! Does he realize that muscle weighs more than fat? My height/weight ratio has always been over the limit since I started lifting heavy weights when I was 14. He should realize that he can’t go by that alone. You have to measure body fat. I’m 5’2, although I’m fat as a bear now since having my son, before I got pregnant, I weighed 170 pounds – obese by the charts, but my body fat was 20% or so – “athletic” according to the charts.

    How that doctor treated you and your daughter offends me for both of you. Should you decide to mail this post to the office so he has something to think about, feel free to include my comments. 😉 Congrats on your move!

  81. says

    I think a lot of doctors don’t know how to approach the topic of weight loss, regardless of if the person is a child or an adult (this is just a general statement, I don’t think tornado needs to lose weight!). This is why I’m an advocate for having an Psychologist and dietitian on staff – unfortunately, I know this would require a lot of changes in the healthcare system and thus not happening anytime soon, but I digress. There’s an appropriate way to talk about weight and not make anyone feel bad. I think it’s great that docs find out what physical activities kids like, but why not open with that and make it fun? Like you said, kids can HEAR! And obviously tornado knew there was something awkward happening in that office.

    As for the BMI, it’s a dated tool of measurement. It doesn’t take into account muscle mass and as we age, weight circumference is a much better measurement.

    Oh and I totally know people who switch doctors if they feel they are or their child is being called fat… even when if it’s a true statement, people don’t like to hear it, especially if the doctor doesn’t approach the subject appropriately.

    Okay, I’ll be done talking now!

  82. says

    Oh good Lord, don’t get me started on what I think of most dr.’s they use their “normal range” chart for everything. This linear way of thinking is what is wrong with health care these days. I finally found a dr. that is Johns Hopkins trained but is a “wellness dr.” not a “treat symptoms” dr. He uses the chart and explains that every human being is different and this is simply an average. My family and I have never felt better.

  83. says

    If my 6yo daughter had heard something like this at the doctor, directed at her, it would lead to a lot of questions. I would resent the time spent discussing a doctor’s derogatory, “Hmmmm” I would SO appreciate a bit of private discussion/questions before addressing her. Send the girl with the nurse to get some stickers for a moment!

    Funny (not ha-ha) how the whole visit could have been changed with the doc looking over her growth curve over that past years, or finding a way to ask questions that weren’t condemning.

    I do appreciate that weight discussion has a place during an exam, as it is central to our health. Discussion is tricky as it is so emotionally charged. As patients we need to be able to discuss it practically as well without being defensive. Patients who refused to be weighed at a doctor’s visit mystified me.

    This does make me appreciate our family physician and our interactions as my weight has fluctuated through three 40-lb pregnancies and my children’s weights as we work our way up the growth curves. I am glad these discussions have never been derogatory.

  84. says

    Wow…talk about lack of tact. I’m sure as a physician he feels obligated to check, but there has to be better way to do it. He had here chart – shouldn’t he read it before he assumes and uses BMI charts? There are so many ways to check a child is eating well and being active…This guy is why they do a lot of roleplaying and training with med students now at our school on how to deal with people.

    Tornado is healthy and active, so there’s no issue here. I was a fat kid who was not healthy and active…having people talk about me in front of me did nothing to make me feel good or change me…I wish people realized the effect their words could have on little people

  85. says


    NOT surprised that you powered through packing! AM surprised that ANY doc would look at Tornado that way! It’s muscle doc! It weighs more than fat, but YES, you were totally on track with not getting into this one.

    You could have…had the right…would be in the right, BUT, it wouldn’t really accomplish anything but to waste your time, so good job! :-)

  86. says


    I am new to your blog and just read this post…and it totally feeds into my rants about why women and girls have the body image issues they do.

    Your daughter looks vibrant and healthy! And since BMI was developed for insurance companies, it’s not really clear to me why a physician would use it.

    And his bedside skills are obviously lacking – a seven year old is intelligent enough to discern when she’s being dissed.

    Great blog!

  87. says

    But she’s perfect. She’s gorgeous and strong and full of energy. She’s THE TORNADO. How could he be in the same room with her and not see it? So flipping weird.

  88. says

    I can see the value in numbers for adults perhaps but to rely solely on them for children who constantly evolve and grow seems ridiculous. I have said that if doctors have concerns about a child they should first consult the parent then ask the child additional questions. The “she does move” comment was absolutely uncalled for and I would have to call back or go in and speak with them immediately about that type of behavior.

  89. Natalia says

    I admire your restraint. Thankful that your daughter has you as a parent and that you are her advocate and supporter.

    I don’t remember any doctors visits, though I’m sure there were some as I remember being put on WW when I was 11. But I do remember in high school they lined up the whole freshman class and nurses walked along and pulled out anyone that was overweight to take their blood pressure. Yes I was among the 10 or 15 students pulled out…oh the humiliation! I tried to laugh it off… unfortunately that’s a prominent memory from my high school years!

  90. says

    Wow. That *was* awkward!

    As t the BMI, I think for most adults it may give a good *guideline* but its nothing set in stone and its certainly not right for judging a child. As others have stated, they are constantly growing and changing!

  91. Phoebe says

    Reading about your experience really touched me emotionally. I wish all kids could have parents that always have their back.

  92. says

    Oh goodness. I can’t believe you and your daughter experienced that! That Doctor. Wow, this is why some Doctors need to be more educated!! Hello, body image issues!! This drives me slightly insane. If a Doctor did have a problem with weight, it should be discussed with the parent first, and do not involve a child who is developing still! That’s just not okay in my mind. You handled that in a great way. By looking at pictures of your daughter, she’s a blessing, beautiful, healthy child!

  93. says

    I’m so glad your daughter had the good sense to recognize that awkward and weird situation for what it was, instead of taking the doctor’s word as gospel truth. But sheesh, talk about lacking in interpersonal skills…

  94. says

    I would have been totally appalled. I would have stewed silently while coming up with comebacks hours after the fact. Then I would have been thankful that their regular doctor knows them better than any substitute doctor ever will.

  95. says

    To this day I can remember the visit to my pediatrician when she began asking “what do you like to do for fun” and “you know its important to eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, right?” Every kid goes through a phase before a growth spurt when they’ve stopped getting taller and have continued to grow wider, but that in no way means they’re overweight. It must be tough for doctors these days as the children in this country have a major problem with obesity, but it is clear the kids who are unhealthy compared to those who are healthy. He definitely should have kept his mouth shut on this one as your girl is perfect and in no way looks overweight.

  96. Madge says

    I have been reading this blog for a very good although. Keep up the wonderful job you are doing here.

  97. NA says

    What’s a doctor to do nowadays given that kids are getting fatter and fatter, and their parents are increasingly failing to recognize when their children are overweight and/or unhealthy? Kids are getting adult-onset diabetes now, high blood pressure, cholesterol… and their parents think there’s nothing wrong, that their kids eat well, that they exercise enough. We have a major perception problem in this country, and doctors are trying to address that. But how do they do that when patients get so offended and angry at the mere question of, “what kind of activities do you like to do?”

    It’s easy to slam doctors for being insensitive, but honestly, dealing with patients is not as easy as you think. I’ve had people tell me point blank that they eat so little and they exercise so much, they don’t know why they’re over 300 pounds. People are in denial. They don’t want to hear the truth. They don’t want to deal with it. They just want to hear that everyone is okay and nobody has to change, that their weight is completely independent of their control and they bear no responsibility… but when children are getting diabetes, when heart disease is ravaging millions of people, when the rate of extreme obesity (we’re talking 300, 400 pounds here) is still skyrocketing… something needs to change.

  98. says

    I hate to say it, but I’m not shocked. I think medical professionals are missing the big picture and focusing in on a number. My neighbor’s son is tall for his age, incredibly active and got a letter home from school that he is overweight and his parents should consider changing his diet. When she told me about it I was shocked. I know what her kids eat and their lifestyle, and it was totally out of place. At least our kids are happy and healthy, let them save those letter and questions for someone else!

  99. says

    i was the looking for the same and related info, what you describe on your article. And found you through google search. Its helps me a lots and i understood that you are one of skill article writer/ blogger. I have book marked your blog and hope to visit again to learn more. Thanks for your valuable efforts and time.

  100. says

    Superb read, I recently passed this onto a colleague who has been performing a little research on that. And the man really bought me lunch because I came across it for him smile So allow me to rephrase that: Appreciate your lunch!

  101. says

    My son has CF, which hits the pancreas so it doesn’t digest fat, so gaining weight is a problem. So he’s constantly pressured to eat and gain weight, has to eat high fat, high calorie stuff. I know it sounds like heaven to a lot of people, but it can be a real struggle and very frustrating. He’s now 23yo and has finally been able to gain weight and we are REJOICING that he has a belly on him. For quite a while, he was 5ft10in and 100lbs. Not good. My adult daughter is underweight, too. She’s had a lot of problems with how doctors treated her, too.

    I recently had some blood work done and was discussing with my doc’s PA who said my liver levels were a little high. I asked what could cause that. He said “If you are fat.” I stared at him. (I’m almost 6ft tall and around 170lbs, so not fat) “OR???” I prompted. “Or if you have hepatitis B or C” I just kept staring at him. He didn’t offer any other info. He mentioned other tests he wanted run and when I asked why, he failed to explain. I switched doctors, and went back to talk to the doctor and told her WHY I was switching. It was hard to get an app’t with HER and I was NOT going to go back and see that PA idiot again! Plus their location was too far and really inconvenient.

    LOVE my new doctor. When we discussed my depression and lack of appetite, she didn’t prescribe a medication, she said she wants me to set a timer and FORCE myself to eat, concentrating on protein and salty foods. I also have low blood pressure and high heart rate, so I need the salt. She’s willing to look at naturopathic answers and even recommended yoga, so I am a lot happier with her. It’s the first time I actually TRUST the MD in my life. I’ve always trusted my chiropractor more. :-)


  1. […] There’s NO WAY that I’ll blame any of my issues, short-comings, struggles with food on my family. I’m a 29 year old woman who makes daily decisions about the relationship that I have with everything. However, this memory was sparked by Miz’s run-in with a numbskull doctor who questioned her 7 year old daughter’s weight in front of…. […]