Is this mum right to be concerned about her daughter's weight?

A mum has divided the Internet after raising concerns about her daughter’s weight [Photo: Getty]
A mum has divided the Internet after raising concerns about her daughter’s weight [Photo: Getty]

A mum has ignited a parenting debate online about whether or not she should be worried about her daughter’s weight.

Taking to parenting site Mumsnet the woman explained that she was feeling ‘a little bit sad’ for her daughter.

“She is 7 and 138cm and 32kg. Not fat but not going to have slim frame ever,” she wrote.

The mum went on to explain that her daughter’s dad is 6ft 5 so she expects her to be tall, even though she herself is just 5ft 6 and 9 stone.

“People assume she is 10,” she continued. “She wants to be good at gymnastics and dance but isn’t the build for it but I encourage her anyway.”

The woman went on to say that she also watches what her daughter eats because she “loves food and has a large appetite.”

“I don’t mention her size in a negative way at all and big up the tall said of it but everyone [sic] and then I notice how much taller she is than her peers and she sticks out,” she continued.

“I’m hoping she will stop growing earlier and everyone will catch up,” the mum finished her post.

And forum users were quick to step in and offer their opinions on the topic.

Many couldn’t see what the original poster was concerned about.

“According to the nhs website her bmi is healthy,” one user wrote. “In fact she’d have to gain quite a bit of weight to be in the “overweight” category. I can’t see the worry.”

“And why can’t she do dance or gymnastics? She’s 7. She can do anything she wants to. Quite frankly I think you’re being ridiculous,” the same poster added.

“I think this is a matter of changing your negative view of her size than her health,” another user wrote. “You clearly place worth in women being small and you say you watch what she eats, which for a healthy bmi child is wrong.”

Other users expressed concern that the mum’s actions could encourage her daughter to develop a negative body image.

“I am more worried about your attitude and the fact that you are likely to leave her with some form of eating disorder and esteem issues,” one user wrote.

“Isn’t the build for it? Unless you want her to make a living professionally from dance or gymnastics, (which is incredibly unlikely) PLEASE don’t discourage her from doing things she loves just because of the shape of her body,” another agreed.

Childhood obesity is on the rise [Photo: Getty]
Childhood obesity is on the rise [Photo: Getty]

But other parents could understand the mum’s concern with some even praising the mum for keeping an eye on her daughter’s weight.

“It’s not unusual at all to be worried about your daughter being large I don’t understand why people are pretending the don’t understand what she means,” another parent wrote.

“My niece is very tall and I know it’s an issue for her. Of course her parents worry. My DD has a large build and I do worry it will cause her issues. It’s totally normal.”

Others picked up on other users’ criticism of the mum watching what her daughter eats.

“How can it be wrong?” one mum wrote. “It’s probably one of the reasons her child has a healthy BMI.”

The topic of childhood obesity has been causing much controversy recently.

Latest figures have revealed that unhealthy eating and a lack of exercise mean one in three pupils are now overweight or obese by the time they leave primary school.

Further stats revealed earlier this year that one in 25 children in England aged 10 or 11 are severely obese.

Measurements on children’s weight and height show the number of children classed as ‘severely overweight’ rose from 15,000 in reception to 22,000 by their final year of primary school.

The data was collected as part of Public Health England figures, and was analysed by The Local Government Association (LGA)

In January, Public Health England encouraged parents to count the calories in their child’s snacks.

Each year, children consume almost 400 biscuits, more than 120 cakes, 100 sweets, 70 chocolate bars and 70 ice creams, washed down with more than 150 juice drink pouches and cans of fizzy drink.

Because of the alarming figures, the health body called on parents to be tougher on their kids snacking of sweets, cakes and fizzy drinks between meals.

Back in August it was also revealed that parents are feeling guilty about what they put in their children’s lunch boxes.

A YouGov poll for the Action for Children charity revealed that the most important factor in parents choosing what to put in a packed lunch was whether their child would eat it, not if it was healthy.

And back in July experts revealed that Britain’s obesity crisis could be starting as early as birth, with some suggesting that as many as three quarters of babies are being fed too much.

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