whose fault is it if 15 yr old is 80 lbs overweight?

United States
January 12, 2010 8:50am CST
A family member is only 15 years old. He is just now relaizing how much overweight he really is. He is about 80 pounds overweight, he's a relaly big guy! Whose fault is it really? His parents haven't taught him how to eat or exercise properly and now that he wants to he has a difficult time because of life skills lacking. Whose fault is it that he is so overweight? I think the parents should have to take classes and an active participation in helping him learn how to take control of himself. What do you think?
2 people like this
27 responses
@cerebellum (3869)
• United States
13 Jan 10
I think the biggest fault is with the parents. They could see he was getting large and kids can be so cruel to keep him from being teased they should have stopped it before it got out of hand. Maybe they are overweight also and don't have healthy food in the house, or exercise at all. If they don't buy stuff that kids shouldn't eat, the kid can't eat it. Probably a lot of it is commercials also. They make all the food look so good. They also make it seem like you have to eat their product to be accepted. I feel sorry for him. Being overweight when your a teen is the worst! Not to mention the health risks! Even if your not really overweight people think they are especially teenagers.
1 person likes this
• United States
13 Jan 10
They should have done something to help a long time ago that is true. Hopefully they will bgin to help him out more that he has decided to make some changes. It's just so difficut for all of us to change life long habits.
• United States
13 Jan 10
It is hard to make any changes, especially as you get older. Hop0efully he will be able to make some changes now while he is younger, It will probably be easier for him if the parents make some changes also. If he is going to start to eat healthier and exercise, it would be helpful to him if they join him.
1 person likes this
• United States
13 Jan 10
It is always helpful if everyone in the else is taking the same trip! I hope his parents will help him!
@sid556 (30987)
• United States
13 Jan 10
Oh yes, I think ALL parents should take health and nutrition classes and be encouraged to teach their kids healthy eating habits as well as exercise. I was a kid that was always underweight. I could and did all that I wanted and never gave it a thought. I got older and was on some meds that caused a weight gain for the first time in my life. That weight gain went beyond what I was comfortable with. I really had a tough time turning around a lifetime of eating habits. So not just for the overweight kids but for the health of ALL kids we should be teaching our kids the value of nutrition. Nutrition and exercise should be part of a kid's habits regardless of being overweight or not.
1 person likes this
• United States
13 Jan 10
"habits" is a key word to what you say! I had some surgeries a few years ago. Since I hadn't been able to really eat for about 3 months I took advantage of the situation and taught myself new habits. Until lately I have kept off almost all the weight I'd lost when I was ill! IT's about changing habits which we all know isn't easy!
@sid556 (30987)
• United States
13 Jan 10
If you make yourself do something once a day for a week it will become a habit. If everyone forced themselves to do 10 mins of exercise a day for just a week then they would find that it feels kind of weird not to do it. The same goes for changing eating habits. If they replaced a soda a day with a tall glass of water and then the following week replaced a candy bar with a fruit and on and on...soon they would be eating healthier and exercising more. it is hard to change old habits but if it is done at a gradual pace, it won't feel so painful at all.
• United States
14 Jan 10
That's all true. It's a matter of making up your mind first!
• United States
13 Jan 10
Thats a hard question. I think it is both of their faults equally. I have always been over weight my whole life. I was over 150+ pounds over weight by the time i was 16 (i have lost 150 so far)I am still over weight. My mother never made me exercise or tried to make food healthy for me. She never really talked about my weight or forced me on a diet. Now that i have lost most of the weight we have talked about it and she feel like it was all her fault. I think its was partly her fault but she never made me eat, she never forced me not to go outside. I think the reason she never tried to help me before was because she didnt want to bring it up and hurt me.
1 person likes this
• United States
13 Jan 10
J's first race - My nephew and myself running his first 5K. It was my second!
Congrats on losing the weight!! You probably feel a lot better don't you? That's one of the main things. My nephew wants to start running (he's run three 5K races with me!) I think the weight became an issue when he wanted to better his own time. Hopefully he will keep pursuing more healthy options because that's what he wants to do!
• United States
13 Jan 10
Thank you! That is great. I'm not going to lie losing the weight was very very hard but I'm so happy i did it. Just give him support and try to help him. I wish when i was younger someone told me to stop eating or offered to take me to the gym or offer to work out with me. I saw the picture of him.... he does look over weight but i'm glad hes not nearly as over weight as i was! I feel a lot better now that most of that weight is gone but its not like you lose the weight and than its over... being over weight changed who i should have been. Its something that is always with me. Its something that i still think about and still hurts and saddens me sometimes. I wish you both the best of luck!
• United States
13 Jan 10
It is a difficult job at best! It will take all of us working together!!
• United States
12 Jan 10
There are a lot of factors that can lead to obesity, and it doesn't really help to point the blame at any one person, especially if there are other factors at work besides overeating, not exercising or eating the wrong kinds of foods. I would be more concerned about why this teenager's doctor has not mentioned that he needs to lose weight and tested him for diseases and other genetic factors that can lead to obesity. Once that is done, then the doctor can properly suggest a diet and exercise routine that will not only be healthier but also help the boy to lose the weight and tone up his muscles. I would definitely suggest that the parents take this boy to the doctor and have the doctor give him a physical and do other tests before they try putting him on a diet or any kind of exercise routine. If there are underlying causes for his obesity, then they can be made a lot worse by improper diet (even though it might seem "healthier") and the wrong kinds of exercise, and it could lead to worse health conditions and greatly increase his risk of a heart-attack, even at such a young age. The parents may have helped contribute to his obesity due to their diet and family routine (lack of exercise), but that does not mean that they are the sole cause of it. If they ignored his doctor's suggestions, then I can definitely understand holding them accountable for his situation. He is also old enough to shoulder some of the blame if a doctor has stated that he needed to change his eating and exercising habits. He did not get to be eighty pounds overweight over night or even in a couple of months, however, so I would be very worried about why a doctor has not addressed this issue with the parents. If he has not seen a doctor in a long time, then that would greatly concern me, especially since most schools require physicals on a regular basis.
1 person likes this
• United States
12 Jan 10
You are right. He needs to be tested for diaetes and similar ailments before hitting any kind of tough regime! But, anyone can start eating healthy and learn to make health choices. I think he is just figuring out that he has options and that it is pretty much on him since his dad and step mom aren't up to helping him. They tend to blame him - while laying on the same couch! It will take all of them to help him get better and be able to make wise choices!
1 person likes this
• United States
12 Jan 10
Macdingolinger, yes he can start making healthier choices right away, such as not having a second helping of supper or not eating that double-cheeseburger, fries and a shake from the fast food restaurant. Even moderate walking is suggested for heart patients and people with similar ailments, so he could start by doing more walking, although I would not suggest anything too strenuous. I was not suggesting that there aren't steps that he can start taking right away that will help him. A major change in diet or exercise, however, especially if he is drastically changing his calorie intake at the same time, can have negative affects on his health if he has certain health conditions, such as diabetes, which you mentioned. If he does have diabetes and drastically changes his diet without consulting a doctor, it can throw his sugar levels way off, and he could end up in the hospital. That is one of the reasons that I strongly suggest that he go see a doctor, because the doctor can help with his diet and let him know not only what foods are healthy for him to eat but also how much of each type of food he should be eating each day.
1 person likes this
• United States
13 Jan 10
True points. However, there are really good, healthy habits and not endanger his health at all even if e has diabetes. If he eats six small well balanced meals a day it will actually set him up just right whether he has diabetes or not. Getting off all the starches and sugars can't hurt him either as long as he eats healthy. I am hoping his dad will help him with this as he (nephew) is very conscious of the situation.
• United States
12 Jan 10
I think it's a combination of himself, his parents, and his teachers. His parents should teach him how to take proper care of himself, and so should his teachers, but he has some responsibilities of his own when he's 15.
1 person likes this
• Indonesia
13 Jan 10
yes,i realy agree for y're opinion
• United States
13 Jan 10
Well that's good. I hope it all goes well for him.
@jdyrj777 (6541)
• United States
16 Jan 10
In the younger years of life he can be taught the correct foods and exercise to do. Later its up to the person alone to keep things in check. Its truely not the fault of the parents. It more the fault of the person it happen to. Lame to put the blame on someone else.
1 person likes this
• United States
17 Jan 10
I guess he's sort of in between. He wasn't taught when he was younger, but now he's old enough to know he needs to change. It difficult, but do-able!
@jdyrj777 (6541)
• United States
17 Jan 10
Once we are aware of what we need we are responsibe for ourself.
@livewyre (2455)
13 Jan 10
As a 15 year-old, he is really only emerging from childhood, which is why he is just starting to realise his predicament. He has probably been overweight for years which indicates that his parents/guardians have not looked after him properly, and taught him to eat well and got him into good habits of exercising. It's easy to blame the parents and they clearly take the bulk of the blame, but I would point out that anyone (friends and family etc..) that had the chance to do or say anything and yet didn't... takes some of the blame. Anybody can be a parent, you can't make them take classes, and if it were voluntary, do you think the lazy parents would bother going to the classes?? It's not rocket science, you don't need to be taught that healthy food and exercise is good! It's just easier to feed kids cr@p foods to keep them quiet - plain lazy...
1 person likes this
• United States
13 Jan 10
you are right about the parents. They won't even take him to couseling sometimes because they are lazy! He is emerging and seems to be trying to learn how to make wiser choices regarding eating and exercise.
@livewyre (2455)
13 Jan 10
He will need some positive role models - I hope there are some prepared to step up to the mark..
@mlhuff12 (798)
• United States
13 Jan 10
I don't think there is a need to point the finger. All that will do is hurt somebodies feelings and possibly ruin relationships. What is important is that they are now realizing there is a problem. Only now can they, as a family, move forward and learn together how to eat and live a more healthy life.
1 person likes this
• United States
13 Jan 10
True. It is important that they all move forward together. The parents hopefully will provide healthier choices too!
@mlhuff12 (798)
• United States
13 Jan 10
Pointing fingers will just hurt people's feelings.
@dawnald (84199)
• Shingle Springs, California
12 Jan 10
It's probably a combination of things, including an unhealthy diet, sedentary parents, etc. But it could also at least partly be genetic or due to a medical condition.
1 person likes this
• United States
13 Jan 10
It could be genetic, but it doesn't seem to run in the family. However, there's always safety in checking with a doctor no matter what!
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84199)
• Shingle Springs, California
13 Jan 10
Yep, can't hurt, might help. And if it isn't medical, a doctor can still give some advice as to exercise and/or diet.
• Philippines
12 Jan 10
Hi macdingolinger! Being obese or fat is sometimes genetics... Or there is imbalance hormone or something... I think the child should be checked by a proffessional doctor... The child should also have the initiative to lose weight and the parents should give constant reminder and support to the child. Both parents and child has someting to do with it... it is not right to point fingers....
1 person likes this
• United States
13 Jan 10
You are right, it won't help anyone to simply point fingers! I think if there is a hormone imbalance or anything it's probably caused by poor diet for all these years. But it certainly wouldn't hurt to see a good doctor.
• Philippines
16 Jan 10
Doctors has the best explanation to it and best solution too... My cousin is also fat and it was not because of her eating habit. She eats good and healthy food, however she is still fat. She consulted an OB and was advised to take pills to balance her hormones...She had a medication before when she was young and that certain medicine caused that thing... I was young also back then but as I understand, it has something to do with her white blood cell...
@jaiho2009 (38995)
• Philippines
14 Jan 10
hello macdingolinger, I think it's all about the family matters. What kind of food the family serving to their dinner table. What kind of diet the family has had. Well,the parents needs to talk with the boy...and will help him to have a diet and loose program. It would be very harmful to his health if he won't stop his eating habit. Being obese will cause a lot of health problem and complications too. No one is to be blame...it is a matter of self discipline. Partly the parents were to blame...but,the concern person also had fault why he grows that big. Have a good day always
1 person likes this
• United States
15 Jan 10
That is true. He has become concerned and our hope is that his dad and step mom will step up to bat and help him out! I hope he will begin to make healthier choices from now on!
@nemrac12 (388)
• Philippines
14 Jan 10
hello macdingolinger, i think something wrong with the metabolism of that boy why he became so overweight and not able to control his appetite. parents should bring the boy to an expert doctor or to an Endocrinologist. family lifestyle is also consider as one of the factor . if the members of the family eat lots of oily foods. sweets, salty foods.. and not eating a balanced diet.. definitely the boy will become overweight.
1 person likes this
• United States
14 Jan 10
I think it's not a bad idea to get him checked by a doctor. However, I think most of the problem comes from lack of control for most of his life. His parents have not taught him the proper eating habits.
@saphrina (31733)
• South Africa
13 Jan 10
Unfortunately, it is a big problem. Most of our children are really overweight. I would say it started with the parents. It is any parent,s responsibility, to make sure that their child or children eat healthy and have at least one activity. You do not have to become a superstar and what you do, just get some exercise. But teenagers, should also realize, as they grow older, that they have to start looking after themselves, as well. It starts at a young age and it is harder as you get older, but parents need to make a point in giving children healthier food and attention when they see that a child is getting chubbier. (no offense intended)
1 person likes this
@getpaidsz (180)
• Italy
13 Jan 10
I think it is not his fault alone. His parents and even the society are responsible for that. Technology is going to make everything easier and easier so that there is no need to move yourself. Works and jobs are moving from the hands and feet to the brains and tongues. In such a modern world one should be careful for his/her health. Even walking for half an hour per day or some light exercises at the weekend is better than just eating fast foods and looking in the monitors.
1 person likes this
• United States
13 Jan 10
It is difficult to get exercise worked in each day. And you are right, we must be careful about eating and exercise. It is easier to run through a drive through rather than cook a meal and sit at the table together. That's always something I required when my kids were at home!
@nrn2003 (669)
• United States
13 Jan 10
I feel horrible for kids in this situatin. This is 100% the parents fault!! That ist he major problem with our society. Kids aren't taught how to eat properly or exercise properly and they become overweight. It is sad. Dont they realize that kids pick on other kids for being different.
• United States
13 Jan 10
Other kids do pick at him because of his weight! It's a matter of not learning the basics in how to properly care for yourself.
@rose66 (378)
• China
13 Jan 10
i think the kid should take the most resposibility. is he a boy who likes eating very much? i know a philipine boy who likes eating very much. he's 13 years' old and he know he needs to lose his weight and his parents also ask him not to eat the snack at night. but he also buys and eats some when his parents are not at home.
1 person likes this
• United States
13 Jan 10
Although making healthy choices available and teaching him good habits is the parent's responsibility. But you are right that he will still have to be in control! He can indeed sneak a snack or find other options if he wants to. So it does rest mostly on him! thanx
@DenverLC (1146)
• Philippines
13 Jan 10
I think the parents should not be blamed. The parents only wanted the best things and foods for their children. They provide all the nutritious foods for healthy reason. That is one way of showing how much our parents loves us, that they care much about our foods. However, they did not teach us how to become over weight of course. Being over weight is a personal choice. It is just a sign of a weak self discipline to control ones apetite. Regular exercise and proper diet is the best remedy, not pointing out the blame and yet you keep eating much.
1 person likes this
• United States
13 Jan 10
the parents haven't always provided those healthy options. They have gone for fast and easy rather than nutritious. Hopefully he will begin to cut back and the parents will step up to the plate with healthier options!
@unique16 (1531)
• United States
13 Jan 10
Macdingolinger, Is he still growing? Because he is only 15 years old does not mean he stopping growing taller. Is his parents overweight and tall? Sometimes all he may need to weight training to tone up the muscles and loose some weight. It could be heritery in the family genes etc... Now if the parents are average weight or thin... then I do not think it is genes and he needs activities like baseball, football or hockey to use and redistribute that weight in the right way. He is young there is hope for him and his diet should change too. These are my personal opinion Thanks and have a great day Sincerely Unique16
• United States
13 Jan 10
He does need ativities. He is actually starting to do a lot more. He likes weightlifting, running and soccer. That all helps, plus he will grow in height until he is like 21 or so! Hopefully in the process he'll learn good eating habits!
• Philippines
13 Jan 10
First of all, I guess we cannot blame in entirely on the parents just because they have not taught their son good health habits. The son is also to blame for allowing himself to get into a situation wherein he has ballooned to more than 80 lbs his weight. But the nice thing is that he has acknowledged to himself that he has gained weight. That is a start. I would like to ask if he loves to eat the starched and the sweets and simple sugars? Some products that even claim to be fat free have some hint of the simple sugars in them, so better be careful. Some families use food as a reward, and some families have comfort foods, that when you tell them not to have it, he has a possibility to resist dieting because he is feeling deprived. Sweets are comfort food. If he wants to lose weight, then he should stay away from the simple sugars, and the potatoes, and the ice cream, and the cake, and the softdrinks, and rice. I have stopped eating rice, simple sugars. I have lost the weight.
1 person likes this
• United States
13 Jan 10
It does take careful planning to take the things out of our diet that are high stach, fat even sodium. And you are right that we need to read labels and not just grab stuff that claims it is "fat free." Good points! thanks
@lelin1123 (15635)
• Puerto Rico
13 Jan 10
To me it starts in the beginning teaching children how to eat. So I blame the parents because they let this happen. When I was growing up I had to get permission to go into the fridge or pantry. We were not allowed to eat whenever we wanted to. Having a glass of chocolate milk was a treat for us. We would have breakfast, lunch in school, a small snack when we got home from school, dinner, and maybe a dessert depending on our behavior. We didn't eat fast food, only home cooked meals. There was never junk food in the house. Our birthday parties consisted of cake, ice cream and soda, but that was only for birthdays. So its all the parents fault as I see it. They really need to change the kid's eating habits for good and get him into an exercise program. What a shame!
1 person likes this
• United States
13 Jan 10
We didn't have snack foods at home either! But our meals at school were somewhat healthier. I think there's a move to help povide healthier options at schools, but they mostly are still high fat and high calorie with tons of sodium!