‘Stressed’ mum sparks online debate by contemplating putting her five-year-old daughter on a diet

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  • A mum has caused a divide amongst other parents after admitting she was considering putting her five-year-old daughter on a diet.

    The ‘stressed’ mother took to the forum pages of Mumsnet to ask for advice, and posting under the name ‘Purplesky2’, explained: ‘I’m getting stressed about dds weight.’

    ‘She is 5 next week and very tall 122cm. She weighs nearly 25kg (24.7kg on my scales). On then nhs bmi calculator that is just about fine but in some of the others she is overweight. She looks solid – no fat on body but I would like to help her drop 1kg or stay static for rest of year.’

    ‘I’ve started watching her diet a lot more and she has started school now so not with me constantly asking for food and I think school dinners are less than the hearty meals her private nursery gave and loved to feed her seconds. She has a hearty appetite and loves food.’

    ‘It makes me sad to be stricter but it is for her own good. AIBU trainable to be so stressed. My slightly older boys are skinny but different build so I have never had to worry before!’

    According to the post, the little girl is tall for her age, at 4 foot, and weighs around 3 stone 9lbs – which, according to the NHS BMI calculator, means she falls into a healthy range for her height.

    Some commenters hit back at the suggestion of monitoring the child’s food intake, with one writing: ‘What are you worried about? You said she was ok on the nhs one so why did you keep checking? Bmi is a load of crap anyway. She sounds fine, leave it. She’s 5 don’t make her self concious about her weight.’

    ‘You would not be unreasonable to improve her diet – and the whole family’s in fact – but you would be very unreasonable to try and put her on a diet or get her to lose weight. By all means have a family lifestyle overhaul. Most of us eat far too much crap. But you do need to let go of the BMI calculators and the weight issues you have in your head, otherwise you will set your DD on a lifelong path to an unhealthy relationship with food and with her own body,’ another added.

    However, others were quick to defend Purplesky2: ‘Oh knock it off with the giving her a complex hmm’, said one such commenter.

    ‘If she just ignored it and let her gain and gain the OP would be judged for that too.’

    ‘OP she sounds fine but I think it’s fine to make sure kids are getting enough exercise and having healthy portions etc. We all should! However I don’t think at this age they’re supposed to lose weight unless there is a serious problem, which it doesn’t sound at all like there is. You just help them stay the same or gain a bit more slowly as they grow.’

    What do you think – too much too young, or responsible parenting? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below!