Would You Put Your “Fat” Baby On a Diet?

Some parents would surprisingly say ‘yes,’ according to a new report from ABC’s Good Morning America. As Goodyblog noted in our Daily News Roundup on Tuesday, eating disorders among children under the age of 10 are on the rise. Sadly, America’s obsession with the notion that “thin is in” is being heavily projected onto even our youngest members of society—including those under a year old.

Dr. Jatinder Bhatia, who chairs the nutrition committee of the American Academy of Pediatrics, told GMA that many fat-fearing parents are projecting their own physical insecurities onto their small children: “I have seen parents putting their infant and 1 year old on diets because of history in one parent or another.” He recommends that, instead of putting an infant on a diet, parents breastfeed and and schedule regular visits with their child’s pediatrician in order to give babies a healthy start.

The GMA report goes on to mention one extreme couple in Seattle who went so far as to put laxatives in their infant daughter’s bottle in an effort to prevent her from gaining weight. They were eventually found guilty of starving the baby, and according to court documents, after the little girl was placed in foster care and was able to gain weight, her mother responded by crying, “Oh my God, she’s fat” and “I have a fat baby.” Proof, if you needed it, of Dr. Bhatia’s earlier point that a parent’s personal issues with weight can seriously affect and/or influence that person’s children.

For helpful information on weight and infancy, check out:

Smart Answers to Common Feeding Questions

Quiz: Baby Nutrition Test

Can a Baby Be Too Fat?

Your Guide to Baby’s Weight Gain

Where do you stand on this issue? Have you ever worried about your baby’s weight and/or would you go so far as to put your little one on a diet? 

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  1. by Kathleen

    On December 2, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    I don’t think babies should be put on “diets”; I believe that if you are concerned with a child’s weight once they are a toddler THAT would be the time to deal with it. At that time I would simply be sure that the child has a healthy balanced diet and gets enough exercise – that should take care of a healthy weight for your child, NOT dieting.

  2. by Tackling Childhood Hunger | GoodyBlog

    On March 22, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    [...] a country where both fad diets and the obesity epidemic consistently top the list of newsworthy topics, it is easy to neglect to [...]

  3. by Michelle Smith

    On July 28, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    This frightens me. My mother – under physician’s orders – put me on a 1200 calorie/day diet when I was 7. I remember her measuring out all my food. I also remember going to bed hungry. I learned to ignore my body’s hunger cues, and by the time I was a teen I was consuming 3 pieces of fruit and one small meal a day. I now have type 2 diabetes – and such a sluggish metabolism that nothing seems to speed it up. I definitely think that if you are feeding your children healthy food, they should get to eat as much as they want to feel full, and should never be forced to eat something if they are not hungry.