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Mom Blogger Face-off: Would you put your child on a diet?

Obesity has become such an epidemic in our society that dieting is a word too many kids know about way too young. The diet game — how young is too young?

Moms facing off this week

Audrey McClelland, founder of Mom Generations, and her friend Leah Segedie, founder of the popular blog, Bookieboo and incredible mom community, Mamavation.

The scenario

When I first decided to touch upon this topic, I wasn’t sure what I would find from other moms.

I posed the question to many of my mom blogger friends and found something pretty astounding — we all felt the same way.

It was refreshing. It was surprising. It was emotional for me because this topic is near and dear to my heart. And it was motivating.

Obesity is an epidemic that is just so wide-spread throughout our country in our children. It’s such a devastating thing to see a child struggling with his weight at a young age.

The question becomes, “What do we do when it happens to our child?”

We all need to take steps together to overcome this battle.

And it starts with us, the moms.

The question I posed this week during my Mom Blogger Face-off, “Would you put your child on a diet?”

Read more about the importance of exercise for children

Audrey McClelland

Mom Generations


I grew up with one of my childhood friend’s being anorexic. It was a horrible thing to see and to witness. She desperately tried to be thin, all the way to the extreme point of starving herself. I don’t know what started her bouts with anorexia, but I can tell you that she had a mother who was very conscious of her weight and put her on diets constantly. I remember being over at her house as a little girl and her mother telling us not to eat too much because that wouldn’t be “good.” We had to be about 11 or 12 years old. Those kinds of things leave an impression. And my friend, well… it was something she battled with for years and finally was able to control it when she was in her 20s. It’s something she’ll deal with forever, and it pains me to think of other young girls and boys dealing with the same issues.

I’m against dieting a child. One-hundred percent against it. I fully believe that it will, someway, somehow leave not only physical damage, but emotional and mental.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I put this question out to some of my mom blogger friends. I kept waiting for someone to have the opposite opinion of me, but I couldn’t find anyone. It’s a subject that we moms get passionate about and feel strongly about for our children and the children of the world.

The only time I feel a child should ever be on a weight-loss regime is if a doctor has said it’s essential. And if a doctor has said this, then it has to be serious. I have always felt never to take weight-loss matters into my own hands, especially (especially) for a child. Always, always, always consult a doctor!

Leah Segedie



It is never recommended to put your child on diet even if he or she is morbidly obese because of the more serious risk of eating disorders. Here are some stats: 12 in 100,000 for diabetes for children 12 and under according to Journal of Americal Medical Association, and 2,700 in 100,000 children under 12 have an eating disorder, according to the Journal of the American Academy of Children and Adolescent Psychiatry.

So with these eye-opening statistics of young children, how many after seeing this would single out their child on a diet?

Diets are dangerous to children.

What is recommended? Family changes.

The entire family must change eating and activity level. Singling out one child is more damaging to them psychologically and that becomes more of a life-long issue. You have to be very careful not blaming the child for the change either. When you get into children being very obese we may be talking about metabolic damage. That means they are hungrier than other children because of imbalance of chemicals in brain that moderate satiation, etc. They are actually doing studies of this at Amgen right now with the “fat rat” and have successfully helped children in the U.K. with some additional studies.

Doctors who paid attention to what the American Academy of Pediatrics said about “diets” three years ago will never recommend a diet. Ones that don’t pay attention to latest research will put your kid on a “diet.”

More on kids and food

Should you put your toddler on a diet?
Food allergies in children
Learn to exercise with your kids

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