Olga Bolga

An alarming number of American parents are so concerned about preventing their babies from becoming obese that they are taking the radical step of placing their babies on diets. This has its roots in the statistic that 10% of American children under two years old are overweight, and this percentage is getting higher every year.

Paediatricians have revealed documents explaining the ways how parents control their babies’ nourishment. Dr Blair Hammond, of New York’s Mount Sinai Medical Center, stated that some parents admitted they were thrilled when they were told their children were thin. “There are some parents who are very pleased when their children are thin, a lot of fathers even. They’re like: ‘Yes! My daughter’s thin!’”, Dr. Blair told ABC News.

Illustrating this, Mrs Hasan, mother of 18 month old Maya, fears to see her baby as an obese adult and so she is painstakingly controlling Maya’s diet. She claims that the way she approaches her baby is because she doesn’t want to see Maya struggle with her weight like she has for her entire life. She thinks serving every one of the meals as a variety of fruits and vegetables is enough for her baby. “Mrs Hasan was not concerned when Maya, who is at the low end of the recommended healthy weight bracket for her age, had not gained any weight between check ups,” said Dr. Hammond. According to Mrs Hasan, dieting the baby was very much about her child gaining self confidence, and making her healthy physically and mentally. In other words, she believes that if her daughter is thin then she will have good self-esteem.

There are plenty of other cases in the news about parents who are forcing their babies to go on diets. Another example is, Brittainy Labberton, who was charged with child neglect for starving her baby for long time. She claimed that seeing her husband having a hard time by being overweight led her to preventing her baby from going the same way by controlling her food intake. “These parents attitudes were unnecessary, and made unhealthy role models. You don’t want to project a lot of anxiety and stress about eating to your kids and how many mothers are stressed and dieting all the time and their kids get that as a role model,” concluded Dr. Hammond.