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May 14th, 2011 by Dr. Phil

Putting Obesity out of Business

junkFood1I’m worried about kids today for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that so darn many are getting overweight and out of shape. Today, one out of three children under the age of 12 is now considered medically overweight. And the tragedy is that we know that very few of those children ever lose that weight. Seventy percent of those children will become overweight and obese adults and endure all the problems both psychological and physical that come with it. Diabetes and heart disease are exploding among the overweight and obese — so much so that experts now say the lethal effects of obesity are literally greater than cigarette smoke. Are you hearing that? Today, obesity is our number one public health issue above all others.

I lived it personally as I grew up and saw those very disorders present in family members. Both of my parents and all three of my sisters have battled obesity their entire lives. I lost my father way too early due to problems associated with being way too heavy. I have extended family members who are over 500 pounds and had a number of aunts and uncles who were over 300 pounds. I have seen the pain and loss of function it causes. I have had to watch it myself, because I have inherited conditions that make it easy to let it get away.

Which is why if you’re a parent of an overweight child, you have some work to do. It isn’t just up to the child. You are the one who buys, prepares and presents most of the food they eat, or you give them the money to buy what you don’t prepare. You can’t do it for them, but you can sure contribute to the solution!

They have learned what they “like” to eat, and what is learned can be unlearned.

junkFood2I’m committed to helping you with this issue. On Friday’s show, I show you three major mistakes you can stop making today with your children when it comes to their eating. On top of that, we’ve got all kinds of tips to help you on DrPhil.com. We’ve got a lot of strategies on the Web site for those of you parents who also are overweight and out of shape. You’re not going to be able to help your kids nearly as effectively unless you become good role models for them.

I’m so committed to this endeavor; in fact, I’ve asked two people whom I deeply respect — Robert Reames, a certified strength and conditioning specialist who was the trainer for our “Ultimate Weight Loss Solution” series, and Dr. Frank Lawlis, the Chairman of our Advisory Board — to write entries for my blog that will run over the next couple of days, after Friday’s show. What they have to say will go a long way to helping you power up and start making real changes.

Meanwhile, give me your questions and comments. What’s your biggest challenge? What do you need info about to make some real changes? I promise, I’ll do my best to answer your questions.

We can do this, but it starts with one home, one life at a time. Make a commitment to give your kids a different and a very special gift this Christmas. Give them a healthy lifestyle and a chance at freedom from obesity and all the side effects that come with it. Like cousin Eddie said to Clark in Christmas Vacation when he got jerked around by getting a membership to the Jelly of the Month Club, “It’s the gift that will keep on giving.” HA! But this time, it’s true!

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148 Responses to “Putting Obesity out of Business”

  1. Lisa Pruitt says:

    I watched your show on obese children. I am a grandma with a grandson that has just turned 3 yrs old. He weighs aprox 50 pounds. My daughter has taken him to the doctor at childrens and there is no resolving to see whats going on. He also doesn’t talk much just few words. He has some behavior problems and we are at the end and don’t know where to turn next. We live in Dayton, Ohio and wondered if you new of a pediatrican that could help him. Childrens say its a stage he is going through but I am concerned that it’s more than that. He has a sister that is 5 eats the same things and is very tiny aprox 35 pounds. Please Please let me know if you can help..Or what your thoughts are.
    Thank you

  2. ongria odell says:

    What were the blood tests used in Friday’s obesity show?

  3. jennifer says:

    I watched this show and was excited to see that there was a meal plan in place that Dr.Phil had approved. But when I called to order this meal plan I was taken back by the price! $179 week and its only for ONE person?? Who can afford that Dr. Phil?

  4. Laura says:

    I am also interested in the blood test information used on Friday’s show.

  5. stephanie says:

    My son is 6 and is actually smaller than some kids his age, I have been trying to get him to gain some weight but i don’t want him to gain to much weight, i do watch what and how much he eats. I think one key is dont give them more than you know they can handle, they don’t realize it but as parents we should! You have to step in and say you have had enoughThey will eat as much as you let them at some point you just have to tell them no!

  6. melissa tillery says:

    Dr Phil,
    I wanted to thank you for the show you did on child hood obesity! My 10 year old son mikey is 181lbs! We have tried everything from diets to accually locking cabinets and refidgerator because he literally will wait till i am useing the rest room or have gone to bed to come out and shove what ever he can in his mouth before i can stop him! I was beside my self and felt like my husband and I were the only ones with this problem,we have taken him to all kinds of drs. and specialtists looking for the answers but all the genetic test came bake that he was fine! We then cut out the fast food and switched to only crystle light no kool-aid or sugary drinks for he only has one kidney that developed and he doesnt need soda any ways we do let him have some occationally but i dont keep it in the house.My husband and i were also over weight as kids and we also have two other kids 7 and 3 I nor he wants that for them but we only knew what our parents taught us and were carring it on t our kids! So that is why i wanted to think you and to be honest with you I very rarely watch your show but i saw the promo for it and knew i had too.We can’t afford to take mikey let alone to those places you sent the other families too,because i have seizures and cant work right now but i am going to get the book that dr wrote when ever i get a little money! again thank you for showing me how to not only help my self but my family!
    Melissa Tillery

  7. James Elespuru says:

    I am also interested in knowing the name of the boold tests that will identify if you are protein and fat efficient. Thank you

  8. Judy Martin says:

    I also am interested in the Blood Tests that were done on last Friday’s show. What is this lipid test and how in the world do I get it. Please, please, please, give me an answer. Judy Martin

  9. Becky says:

    Easy resolutions to this problem.
    1) Parent cooks 2-3 times a week, healthy source of protein-chick,fish,meat,beans. Available in the fridge, ready for you to serve.
    2) Steam fresh veggies in the freezer aisle
    3) High fiber bread/carbs with every meal.
    4) No carb laden snacks at bedtime…or after 7pm.
    5) Let them have a snack type food earlier during the day-they’re kids
    6) Pack lunches- it takes a few minutes to do this—school lunches are basically not very healthy. Let them buy once or twice a week.
    7) Get them playing outside! That’s what they do best! Let them play!
    8) You’re the parent- Take pride in that. Say “no”…because you can!

    I am a fitness competitor and a mother of 2, as well as an RN. I learned most of what i know about food through school and competing. My daughter takes “protein pancakes” to school and loves them. She also loves chocolate ice cream and gummy bears. We have to allow the to have a “treat”, but that’s why they call it a “treat”, because it’s not in every meal.

    Mom’s and dad’s—I suggest the “Body For Life” book. It is a basic, easy to follow and easy to read book that helps you to understand how eating does not have to control you and how you can control eating.

  10. JoDee Dreher says:

    Dr. Phil,
    What was the name and information of the camp that you sent the children to. My daughter has weight issues that I am trying to help her with but need more strategies.

  11. Liz Trout says:

    I thought this was a good show. I think a stronger impact might be with children who have diabetes. What is involved on a daily basis. If parents had to give their child insulin injections and the highs and lows of blood glucose levels. Worry about activity levels would motivate most people to change their ways. How about being able to complete a school test and check your blood glucose to be able to finish. Diabetes is a real disease and should be discussed more. Type 1 or 2 diabetes each has own concerns.

  12. kelly beare says:

    Dr. Phil,
    I think this is a great show about child obesity. My son is 6 at 98lbs and my daughter is 10 at 120lbs. I won’t mention my weight. I know that myself, husband and children are over weight. My son was in football this year and he had to weigh 90lbs or less to play. It was a struggle every week for the weigh in. He did have to sit out durning one game because he was 1/2 pound over weight. It was hard for me as a mother to watch my son sit on the side lines and watch his friends play the sport that he loves so much. It was also very hard for him too, he started to cry, that was hard for me and trying to explain that to a 6yr old. I mean what do you say? he is now at 89lbs. He was practicing 2 hours twice a week and had a football game ever week. This was not play time, he had a great coach and he was soaked in sweat at the end of practice and games. He always stayed around 90lbs.He wants to play football again next year and the weight limit is 95lbs. Not sure if we will make it, but we sure are going to try. I seen on the show there was a website. http://www.newimagecamps.com I tried to find the site and was not able. I’m not sure if I am doing something wrong or if there is even one in my area. I would like to do a family thing where we all could participate in. If there is something like that avaliable. If you know of a place could you please send me information or how to contact them. I think myself or should i say most people mothers,dads,sisters,cousins or who ever it may be, wants to be healthy and in good shape but just don’t know about nutrition, how to read lables, etc. Everyone knows that a cheeseburger and fries make your fat and you also need to exercise. But my point is what are list of good foods and the bad. We all know veggies and fruit are good foods, but i need receipes and different ideals on what to make so that we don’t get burned out. I am confused on carbs and hidden sugars and all this other stuff in lables. Myself, I think i have to eat these same food all the time and i do for a little bit and then i’m burned out. I think most americans and myself need information that we lack. Information is the key! If i knew how to read labels I would know how to better myself, family and everyone.

  13. Dr Phil
    Congratulations on putting the problem of childhood obesity
    in the forefront and attempting to let the public know
    that the parents have a BIG part in their
    child’s obesity problem.
    I invested (and lost my pants/shirt and everything else
    I owned) 5years ago ang purchased a franchise that was
    specifically targeted to help curve the growing problem
    of child obesity. Boy was that the worst business
    decision I ever made.
    Dr Phil it was such a hard sell- every membership
    required a dual ’sale’. A sales pitch to the child who
    should be participating in the program and the parent
    who had to pay for the membership drive the child
    and be an active member by providing the child
    healthy meals at home.
    Dr Phil– how sad is it to hear that one of my
    parents would bribe a child with a Happy Meal
    after working out at my gym? Even sadder
    than when we offered our Nutritional workshops
    for the child and family that only 1/4 of the
    members would participate in the workshop?
    I eventually had to close my children’s gym as
    it drained every penny I had.
    I was one of the first franchise locations and in 2005
    alone most franchise owners who opened shop that year
    could not sustain the franchise due partly to lack of
    membership(the franchisor was underfunded and did not
    support our marketing needs) and eventually closed.
    Really with the lack of funding in schools and cutting
    of PE programs within the school system, you would think
    the parents would jump at the opportunity of
    providing an exercise alternative for their child.

  14. Thanks so much for this show. My son is 9 yrs old. A few months ago, he was 150lbs. I know he has gained,because his jeans aren’t fittining him. He wears the same size that his dad does. (34) And his dads 42. Am interested in the blood tests that were talked about on the show. Have asked his doctors before about the weight gain and was always told, that he was a big baby and he would grow into it. But I know now, that, that is just crazy! He also has asthma, and think his weight may play a part in that as well. Is that possible?

  15. Susan says:

    I agree that obesity is an issue. However, nobody talks about the kids that CANNOT gain weight. That is ALSO an issue for children. There are chidren who struggling to gain weight as there are those who need to lose. My son is 10-years-old and 58 pounds. The pediatrician wants him to GAIN weight for when he hits puberty. That is when he is supposed to lose his baby fat. However, he does not have any baby fat. We have tried and tried and tried some more…and he is still 58 pounds. It is a constant struggle to keep him well-nourished. He needs to be at least an average weight to help fight off sickness. No, he does not have anorexia or bulimia…he does, however, have Sensory Processing Disorder so some food he does not like the texture. He just burns more calories than he can take in. We have even tried shakes at 10:00 at night and sending him to bed. Haven’t found anything to put some meat on his bones yet..still working on it.

  16. Krista Burgett says:

    I watched the show on obese children. When my kids were younger I use to get flack all the time about my kids being fat. They hit puberty and shot up and thinned out and then I got flack for my kids being anorexic. My 6′4 son still only weighs 160 lbs! I changed nothing in how I fed them. Oddly, I’m 100 pounds overweight after gaining it after child birth and apparently overeaing and under exercising since. I think so much has to do with metabolism and things that are so beyond me just preparing a “balanced meal.” I do also think some of it has to do with the parents themselves when it comes to children, but I have trouble saying that knowing my kids went from overweight to normal and I really changed nothing in their diets. On a day to day basis while at the store or in a restaurant I see parents using food as bribes or to just get their child to stop screaming. Food does truly seem to be for “comfort” in today’s society. I know that’s why I use it. The question maybe we should be addressing is eating when we really need to eat based on what our bodies need verses eating for other reasons.

    There are how many books on the market regarding what is healthy and what is not and out here sit all of us who are forced to try and sort out whats good and whats bad for us. How are we to tackle obesity if it really comes down to involving doctors, going through expensive test, etc… Surely, diet hasn’t become more complicated in this generation than the previous. My grandparents ate eggs, bacon, butter, and things we are told that are bad, yet at age 86 grandma is still out and about doing line dancing. Sometimes it seems like we just now have more doctors and institutions claiming to know whats best and that they now have a “better understanding” of diet and nutrition. If that’s true, why are there so many variances out there? Why can’t someone just make it simple for the laymen who rely on the experts?

    We push prepared meals such as nutrisystem or BistoMD. This isn’t an option for a single mother of 2 kids to spend $300-$500 a month on meals, nor would this help teach someone how to shop for and prepare healthy meals. Does one need to live on “TV Dinner” type meals and spend $300-$500 a month for prepared meals? I spend $150-$200 a week for 4 people, I can’t spend that much just for myself a week!

    I’m now looking at my need to drop 100 lbs and trying to research the best ways, but it’s no wonder America is obese. It’s just too overwhelming when you finally get the will and desire and go out and try and figure it out! It starts to appear that it may be easier to be overweight.

  17. marianna says:

    I am amazed when obese people justify the right to be fat because they are healthy, etc. Think of health care workers who have to pick you up and put you on a gurney to get you into an ambulance. Think of poor nurses who have to turn you in bed, I think hospitals should be using pulleys now. There is a nursing shortage in some areas, no wonder! I am about ten pounds over-weight and must do something about that. I don’t believe in accomodating obese people by enlarging seats in theaters or any where else. The only reason people get fat is CALORIES!

  18. Brandy says:

    Wow there are some ignorant ideas floating around.

    Anyway, I know this is old, but I’m hoping to get some help. My 4 year old daughter is overweight already. We’ve had trouble with her diet her whole life because she’s allergic to anything containing any amount of dairy or soy. All diets have dairy/soy. I had to use coconut and rice milk when she was 1 to get her the necessary calcium + fat that most kids get from cow’s milk. I’ve asked several doctors as well as her allergist what I should do, and they always just tell me to avoid them, give her tums (which I’ve since found is not the correct answer), try to feed her as healthy as possible, and keep her active. I could use some real help.

    She’s active, is in ballet/tap, is always dancing around the house/church/school/you name it, plays outside on the playground for hours at a time swinging, running, climbing, etc. She doesn’t drink juice, likes water and sf lemonade, loves fruit (apples, bananas, strawberries). She could eat more veggies (like most kids), likes meats and peanut butter, gets very few sweets and her carb content is generally healthy, though she does have animal crackers and pretzels sometimes for snacks along with almonds. But any breads she eats are whole wheat, no cakes/cookies/pies/etc because they are all made with milk.

    I’m not sure why she’s overweight, other than she eats large portions. This is where I have issues with the school, they emphasize a “happy” (empty) plate in a hurry because eating is a “race”, which makes her eat more than she needs. WTHeck? But, everyone tells me how healthy she eats and how she’s always so active. The other kids in her class are eating honey buns and donuts and pop tarts during snack time while she eats animal crackers and jello with fruit and peanut butter/pretzels. So why is she overweight and they aren’t?

    Sorry this turned into a gripefest. I didn’t mean for it to. I really would like some help with an alternative diet, esp healthy snacks. My 3 month old son is also allergic to dairy/soy and because I’m nursing him (just like I did her) I have to exclude both from my diet as well. Thanks!

  19. betty leap says:

    what ever happened to the saying that everyone is equal. tall, short, fat, skinny, black or white. i have been fat all my life. i do know what it is like to be put on the back burner because of it. but i still have the right to enjoy my life whatever way i want. just because the thin people think they look good. take a good look at the women that try to say they look good because they do body building. in my mind they look like a bunch of over grown mussles with a lot of ugly stranied faces.

  20. Carol says:

    What is so sad these children are loving chidren and if they are teased they truely can’t let out their feelings and that is not fair at all.

    I know what it feels like to be teased to the point of tears on constant basis. The children would tease me about my hair thinking it was not real and pull it so hard I would end up on the ground. They would call me horrible names all the times such as grape face because my face would turn red from anger. Come to find out my twin sister was sending them to me to tease me because she was one year ahead of me and she really hated me and she enjoyed me crying.

    I had a horrible thing happen to me when I was a young teen. My mother had cathered money for me to go to Modeling School and I haven’t a clue on how she did that because we didn’t have money but I always wanted to be model and she knew it.

    Well I went to Modeling School but there was this thing you had to do was to balance a book on your head and walk straight but my head has a funny shape at the top and it isn’t flat so it was hard to do that.

    The teacher told me that I was to ugly anyway so don’t even try to continue trying to be a model I was distroyed what she said to me because people at school at home were all telling me same thing and now this person that knows pretty people were telling me the same thing so I guess I am really ugly.

    So I knw what it feels like to be told things that are just not true but at the time and even to this day it hurts and I am in my 60’s.

  21. Denisce says:


    I just wanted to say that my little girl is 5 yrs old, 4 foot tall and 109 pounds !! IT BREAKS MY HEART EVERY SINGLE MINUTE OF EVERY SINGLE DAY !!

    I was in my mid 40’s when I had her and I suffered with gestational diabetes, which I have never had, while pregnant for her! I literally prayed every day that it would not be passed on – but it did.

    This baby takes injections every day for Diabetes, takes 75 mg of Synthroid every nite (which is more than most adult doses) and takes 2,000 IU of Vit D every day for her Vit D Deficiency along with having Insulin Resistant Syndrome !!!

    She is so active mostly jumping on her trampoline outside until we have to drag her inside at night from it ! We watch literally everything she puts in her mouth and you wont find sweets or chips of any kind in my home! I buy mostly fresh vegies and fruits for snacks or she can have a yogart!

    I feel sooo guilty every day for passing this horrible disease onto her – she is just a baby and has been struggling with this for the past 3 years !! It took thousands of doctor appointments, multiple meds, etc until we finally went to the doctor she has now who is absolutely the best and she loves him!!

    But worst of all – is how cruel the other kids are to her. Its not the kids in kindergarten with her but the older children at her school (beginning about 5th grade to 8th – which is where her school ends) that give her the “looks”, make unnecessary comments to her, etc !! IT BREAKS MY HEART MORE THAN I COULD EVERY SAY !!!

    Of course she is only 5 yrs old, but we have explained her medical diagnoses to her along with her injections and meds and why she has to take them. We have told her since infancy that we love her more than life and that she is the most beautiful girl in the world. We tell her when others say horrible things to her that God loves all of us and that he made all of us in the world different so we would not be bored cuz the world would be so boring if we all were the same size, had the same hair color, had the same eye color, etc !! that God loves her just like we do – unconditionally !!

    But since there are so many people who have made bad choices and unhealthy decisions in their lives and become obese, those with the medical diagnoses are also looked down upon and it makes me angry !! My little baby did not make bad choices and she did not make unhealthy decisions – she is a very sick little girl who will have to have surgery if the current medication she is taking does not help her – we have about 2 more months to see if surgery is going to have to be an option for her!! What a horrible thing to have to decide for a 5 year old !!!!

    We are at the end now and it hurts my heart so much!!! But on the other hand it makes me soooo angry because this was not HER CHOICE !!! For most – it IS and WAS their choice !!!

    thanks for listening !!


  22. dAL says:

    2. LOSING IT

  23. Judy Hill says:

    Dr. Phil,

    I viewed Part 2 of the show that aired this week about obesity.

    As an overweight adult individual that has been overweight as long as I can remember I felt compelled to share my thoughts on how I was affected by the program.

    One thing that we have been brought up to believe through the media that our school’s lunches are responsible for the obesity epidemic in America. School lunch accounts for one meal in the day and from what I can remember growing up it was a moderate serving. I believe what is responsible for the increase in obesity in America is abundance of advertisements for food for children for e.g. even things you think may be healthy like fruit snacks are loaded with sugar, more time spent on computers and poor eating habits. Children are most likely exposed to fast food restaurants to provide many meals opposed to eating at home so that parents are able to juggle their children from their many must have activities (dance, karate, music, etc.).

    As far as the three individuals that advocate for healthy lifestyles and are appalled by obese people, I don’t feel all the information they have given us as health experts is covering all aspects of obesity. I don’t know if anyone of them have ever had a weight issue as I believe some people genetics account for their weight and health. The gentleman that owned the gym I found the most offensive along with the other women that wrote a book. I can also have the feeling that others that are obese are unattractive, unmotived individual and I am 75 pounds overweight. I am 5 foot 1 inch tall and I was 200 lbs.

    The women that stated they were happy and did not want to be judged by their weight I believe are not being true to themselves completely. I understand they want to be accepted and respected as a valuable human being but they truly are saddened by this access weight.

    I’d like to share to you about myself and I hope you read this and have some insight to a person that has always been uncomfortable and unhappy about being overweight her entire life. Being overweight is one huge aspect of my entire life that I think about nearly every day of my life. I wonder if I had an actual factual chart of the amount of days I have thought about my weight in one way or another if it would be since the time before first grade that it would amount to 95% of the days since I realized I had a weight issue. Whether it be my clothes are uncomfortable, how unattractive I felt, the fear of health issues I am or may be faced with, the dream of being transformed into a healthy indivdual permanently, looking at others and wishing I had their body, etc. to name a few. But I also think about the joys of motherhood, marriage, family, nature, arts, gratitude, mysteries and miracles of life, etc.

    My name is Judy and I am married to my husband Darryl and I have a 13 year old daughter that I would like to see through her teens, friends, activities, going to high school, marrying, grandchildren and just be there and share her life with for many years. My father passed away when I was 13 and my mom when I was 41 and my daughter was 5. My mother had diabeties and lost both her legs. I had gestational diabeties when I was pregnant with Haley. I also have a history of heart disease and cancer in my family. I think of losing weight, being healthy, attractive, confident as winning the lottery and I do anything to obtain it accept developing a healthy lifestyle. Developing a healthy lifestyle is being sarcastic because I am so frustrated. I have done very few fad diets. I remember reaching 183 pounds in my junior year in high school and I lost 37 pounds first by eating one small meal a day until after a few weeks my body must of lacked proper nutrients and and I need a pillow to sit on because my body felt bruized. The I think I started eating more but did not eat processed sugar. It felt like at 135 pounds I was attactive and confident, but it only seem to last a very short time and I believe I starting gaining 10 – 15 pounds a year and in my early 20’s rached 189 pounds. At that time I lost 14 pounds by eating better and going to the gym. Once a month I would crave a pizza and some large desert but I stayed that weight for a few years and then me my husband in my 30’s and lost weight by attending weight watchers. I thought I would never gain the weight back because I loved to exercize and eat well. After I had my daughter at 36 and became a school bus driver when she was in first grade I could not believe the scale hit 239 pounds. In between when I was gaining this weight I had tried a couple of fad diets Atkins but I could not keep because I needed my gallbladder out and something with eating tuna, vinegar and taking a supplement. I also seeked professional help because I was out of control. I attend Emotional Anonymous meetings in my 20’s thinking this will solve my weight issue, because of my emotional eating.

    Six years ago when I hit 239 pounds I joined weight watchers because I beleived it was the healthiest method. I thought about gastic bypass, but I was afraid of complications and still believe it is developing healthy habits. I have yo yo’d my entire 6 years and have gone down to 184 but and currently around 200. I get up each day and try not to give up hope. This morning I ate cream of wheat with non fat milk, o.j with a vitamin at 6:00 a.m., at 7:15 a.m. I had a cup of coffee with non fat creamer. at 9:30 a.m. I ate 10 carrots with hummus, at 12:00 I ate a cup of brown rice with 1 teaspoon of oil, garlic powder and salt, at 4:10 p.m. I ate a cup of fresh cut up fruit (mango, pineapple, grapes, peaches) at 5:30 I had a sweet potatoe with 1 teaspoon of olivio and 4 ounces of pork loin and this evening at 9:00 I had a salad with chicpees and oil and vinegar. At 1:00 on my second break I was as quickly as I could to change my metabolism, clear my mind, help my heart. I did exceptionally well and am trying to get some good days under my belt as I thought I would be thin this time last year and didn’t have many flattering options for our 89 degree day. I had just had a 2 lb gain on Saturday at weight watchers and overindulged on Saturday and Sunday of Easter weekend. Getting back to this day of eating and excercizing that is how most of my days are and then after dinner I emotionally eat may be because of stress or exhaustion or lack of discipline if I had a few drinks. Then I beat myself up and then I pick myself up again. I truly try to believe that I can do this there is not reason why I can’t I try to vizualize because I heard that was a key to success, but I truly have difficulty with that one. I try to read and think of inspirational quotes to to keep me motivated such as learn from my mistakes if I continue to act in the same way I will get the same results.

    I believe that part of my obesity is genetics as both parents and 4 siblings are morbidly obese and habit. If I have had a long day which I start at 5:30 a.m and sometimes may end at 9:30 p.m. after taking my daughter to her youth orchestra, I will try all the way home and say either eat a piece of fruit or a bowl of cereal to go into a full binge. I try not to rationalize as Opera herself has said if money could by thinness she would be. It had always been a lucrative industry. If it were so easy to be thin, there would be a lost less obese people. I watched my mother lose both her legs and it is certainly something I don’t want. It really upsets me when I hear the quote if you want something bad enough you’ll do it. I don’t consider myself and uneducated or lazy individual, but I have had the most difficult time replacing my habits that prevent me from obtaining optium health with ones that will.

    I did agree with the panel when they criticized the black women that holds a position who is trying to fight obesity in young children that it is difficult to honor her word when she herself is at an unhealthy weight. I have a 13 year old daughter that her pediatrican states that she is the highest weight in her healthy range that calls herself obese and ugly each day. I want to be a role model for her and I get so upset that I cannot overcome this challenge a lifetime dream and goal.

    I thought the person that inspired me the most was Kelly Osborne I was in awe of her maturity and perspective.

  24. Hi Dr. Phil. My story is one that everyone needs to hear!

    With obesity being the number one public health problem facing the world today, finding long-term solutions has become the focus of many who face weight issues.
    I have been in the same place, and my long-term weight loss success story, achieved with the benefit of gastric bypass, proves that people can take control of their lives and can overcome obesity for the long-term.

    As a 300+ pound 19-year-old, having gastric bypass surgery was a daunting and difficult decision for me to make. Post-procedure, I did not know what to expect in terms of my future health or my ability to control my weight, but I knew for certain that my life was never going to be the same again. And it hasn’t been. Now 30 years later, I have absolutely no regrets, because my 125 pounds is still off. At 49 years old, I still weigh 175 pounds. My decision to have the surgery, combined with my long-term commitment to health and fitness, paid off and has changed my life immeasurably.

    I had my old school roux en y in 1980 in the state of Maine. The procedure was fairly new at the time and was frowned upon by society and medical professionals. It was very controversial and considered extremely dangerous. But, after years of dealing with childhood obesity and what seemed like a thousand failed diets, I felt I had no other recourse. I didn’t agree with those who said that bariatric surgery was a cop-out or the easy way to go. I was one of those people who needed a catalyst to begin a successful long-term weight-loss journey – many people like me do.

    Back in those days, there were no nutritional evaluations, psychological counseling, or post-surgical support systems available to bariatric patients. After the surgery, I was sent out into the big scary world completely on my own. Because I couldn’t afford consultants like trainers and nutritionists, I had to invent most of my habits for success on my own.

    My long-term success required a fundamental commitment to changing my habits and my lifestyle. But, don’t be fooled, it hasn’t been easy. I continually develop my own health and fitness program and I work it every day; I qualify every decision I make about what I eat and when I exercise. Over the years, regardless of life’s ups and downs and constant change, I have managed to keep adapting and keep control.

    Whether your viewers are surgical weight-loss patients, candidates, or are managing their weight by other means, my practices would prove successful for anyone trying to lose weight and manage long-term weight loss. I am hopeful that people will read my story and then go out there and make a total success out of their own stories. People have what it takes and they can do it too.

    Andrew Leon LeClair

  25. Please help us! Just a reach out so I know you are getting this would help. My husband beats up on me everyday and last night was no different. I want to see my children grow up and have children of there own. I know if I have to stay here that will not happen. I do have some faith but it is going away. I have been in one bad relationship after another but this relationship is different I married him and his children. I cant call the police he takes the phone and when ihave gotten to the phone and called I got beat up after they left because I imbarrssed him. My children deserve better. I derseve better. Please contact me threw email or phone.

  26. Bernadette says:

    I saw the show today on the 17 day weight loss program. I have a problem with this and most other diets because I am allergic to diet foods and drink. I am allergic to Aspertane, sucralose etc, and therefore cannot do the diets that require you to eat or drink these foods. Any suggestions?

  27. Mindy says:

    Dear Dr Phil,

    I am 38 and I am considered morbidly obese, I fight PCOS everyday of my life and it seems to be winning. In May I had to have a D&C done because I have a-typical cells in the uterine lining. I have tried many different diets and none of them seem to work because of the PCOS I have many chemical and hormonal imbalances that do not respond to these “fad” diets.

    Atkins seems to be the only thing that ever works to get weight off, but again that is a dangerous diet for your kidneys if you are not careful. Most doctors do not even understand PCOS and seem to not want to. They just look at you and say you need to lose wieght, well duh I know that.

    I have very little self esteem with the way I look physically. I hate the way I look. As a child I was small for my age and thin until I hit puberty and then life did a big 360 within 18 months I went from a size 8 at 10yrs old to a 16 husky at 12. I grew 15 inches in that 18 months also.

    Now I face the fact I will never have a child (I can never be put on fertility meds due to it causing uterine cancer) and will spend the rest of my life alone. My Gynoclogists says I need to drop weight (my only chance left for a slight possiblity or conceiving) or I will have uterine cancer. In today’s world I can’t even afford to eat the things I should. Depression has set in I believe and I am to the point of it is not worth it anymore, I just have no fight left. I am not the suicidal type I could never do that but I just no longer have any fight to even try. How do I fix that? How do I find some self belief that I can do it. I manage to start for a few days and then my body thinks it is starving and I lack energy because no carbs and even if I eat them it turns them to fat.

    I guess I just want people to know that sometime there is a legimate reason for obesity and it is not thier fault. People should not judge until they know who you are on the inside not just the outside.


  28. taylor made says:

    In today’s world I can’t even afford to eat the things I should. Depression has set in I believe and I am to the point of it is not worth it anymore, I just have no fight left. I am not the suicidal type I could never do that but I just no longer have any fight to even try. How do I fix that? How do I find some self belief that I can do it.

  29. Ando Stra says:

    When you sit down to dinner, as a family, without TV, you can regulate what your children eat , the proportions and the proper amounts. If they are sitting in front of the TV, how are you going to know if they ate their broccoli or the dog ate it? In some families the parents are working two jobs or odd hours and the only time they can see the kids is if they let them stay up late. If they stay up late that means less sleep, more treats and TV. Bad, BAD and more BAD. 10.5 hours a night gives kids the rest they need to be energetic and active the next day. You can’t pay attention in school if you stay up late. We have all heard the evils of TV all our lives but what does that have to do with being obese? If you are sitting around watching TV you are most likely, if you ‘re a kid, not doing any type of exercise. You are probably snacking and your probably staying up late. All together now bad, BAD and more BAD!

  30. Obesity is a matter of growing concern. It is noticed that more and more children are becoming couch potatoes. After school,
    many of them relax on the sofa with packets of chips, cool drinks or
    chocolates while they watch T.V. 30 % of the kids below the age of 19 are
    considered overweight, and about 15% of these are obese. An after school
    program ensures that the child shakes off his lethargy and keeps himself
    busy. This also helps to reduce the child’s fascination for T.V and
    computer games.

  31. Cathy says:

    I have been searching for help for my daughter and have tried what the nutritionists have said and have still had no luck. I know I must be doing something wrong I just don’t know what it is. My daughter is 10 and weighs 150lbs. She recently said to me “Mommy, I feel like I’m wearing a fat suit, because my big belly gets in the way” I cried, what mother wouldn’t? My husband and I are both overweight due to our sedentary lifestyles. He works in an office on two jobs and I am a stay at home mom who spends a great portion of the day in the car driving the kids around and running errands. Our son however is underweight so putting the whole house on a diet has been a difficult idea. I have considered ordering the 17 Day diet book however I need to know if it’s a diet that’s ok for children too?

  32. @taylor made: It so true, Man. I’m totally agree with you.

  33. Ralph Waldrop says:

    Dr. Phil,
    Watching your show today is creating in me the desire to help my granddaughter attend one of the weight loss homes. She is 18, 5′ 11″ tall and weighs 300 pounds. She is the most kind hearted and sweetest young lady you could ever5 want to make friends with. Just yesterday she donated all the money she had in her bank account to the Red Cross for aid to Japan. She suffers from ADD and she is Bi-Polar. Her parents are struggling to raise 2 other children so she lives with us. Is there anything you can do to help her and her weight problems?

    Thank You,
    Ralph Waldrop
    A loving and caring grandparent

  34. nan says:

    I am very disappointed in this episode. All you did was scold those poor parents who are doing the best that they can to help their daughters. This also sent the wrong message to those girls. I could see how they were feeling vindicated, which will only serves to enable them. Perhaps the parents should just let them go on eating themselves into an early grave? All you did was talk about what they are doing wrong but offered no advice as to what should be done to help these girls. I have never seen anything like this. I will not be able to watch this show anymore as I will always think back to his episode in total disdain. Not everyone can just send their children to Structure House ,so Dr Phil, what exactly should a parent do???

  35. Athena says:

    One simple thing you can do is this, buy fresh, go to your local market ones or twice a week, leave out the prepared/ cut up foods. Stir-fry a lot, that leaves in the nutrients. For breakfast leave out the cereals with added flavourers and sugars, instead give them yoghurt with fruit or 2 slices of wholegrain bread with cheese and meat. For snacks give them nuts and dried fruits or make a yoghurt cake. And with all sit them down at the table so they take the time to eat, don’t give them fruit juice or soda to drink with their meals, but water. Make sure they eat a good evening meal but don’t allow them snacks after, if they’re still hungry afterwards, that means they haven’t eaten well enough, well that’s to bad, they’ll not starve and can have a good breakfast in the morning. One more thing you do not need more than 80-100gr of meat/fish or chicken a day and can even leave that out ones or twice a week. Make your own puddings with dark chocolate sauce (look for chocolate without sugar added) Use low fat, but for kids leave out the no fat, they do need a bit of that. Don’t use animal fat when cooking, but instead olive oil. There’s a lot you can do, which will not cost you much more then you’re spending now, but you’ll need to be creative and spent some time on it. Good luck

  36. Kimi says:

    I was mildly overweight as a child, and I am mildly overweight as an adult now. I don’t think it was lack of nutrition by my parents, but more so the fact that I didn’t exercise or run around as much as I should have as a child. I am a lazy adult now, and don’t work out as much as I should either. I think of people got up more and worked out and exercised, we wouldn’t have as much obesity in this world as we do now. Granted, there are medical conditions that cause people to be overweight and those people can’t help themselves, but the other majority of obsese people are from over eating or not exercising enough.

  37. Dr. Phil, I love your show, and of coarse your family. (Baby Averi is the cats meow). With that said. I must tell you that I have watched prob. every episode of the Dr. Phil show thats out there… I have leaned so much from watching you with other families and I take to heart what you tell these families to do. I do not however, have the means to drop my job and go to a spa where they can make me thinner and beautiful. I would just like my cloths to fit me right. Other then the scrubs I work in.. I have very few decent cloths to wear . LIke on a date with my loving husband. Could you hook a sister up with a wal-mart card pr a Jacy-Pennys Card. So I can go get me some cloths that fit m body like they should?? THANKS SO MUCH FOR YOUR TIME>> Love you McGraw Family.. ( would be nice to go shopping with Robin) love her taste…. I would be so lost LOL

  38. Robin says:

    My late Mom wasn’t a hugger or someone who told you “I love you”. She would show her love thru food. She was a great cook but could not, or would not, cook healthy. When I would try to diet she would sabotage me. She would act like I was telling her that she suddenly was worth less. I tried to explain that dieting was difficult due to all of the temptations in the house. Here I am now 55 years old, had bariatric surgery and triple by-pass and I am still obese. I feel I am doomed to be fat forever. I continue to fight obesity but am struggling everyday.

  39. debbie says:

    My friends daughter has a nine year old who is starting to become overweight. The kid does eat a lot of vegetables but often sneaks into food in the middle of the night. She rarely lets him go outside because there is always an excuse, it’s too cold out, or it’s too hot, or I don’t feel good, he’s got too much homework. She has 3 other kids and 2 of the others are special needs so if they see big brother outside they want to go out so that requires adult supervision. My friend and I try to take him as much as we can to get him out of the house and into an activity. We really feel bad for this kid we don’t want him to be obese. I guess parents have to be aware and let your kids outside after school, homework can be done later, your kids are in school all day they need time to be a kid. Parents need to remember they were outside a lot as kids, they didn’t have 100 channels on the t.v., video games, computers, cell phones.

  40. Tom says:

    I couldn’t agree more that obesity is huge threat to our children. I recently went through medical issues myself and put on a lot of weight afterword. I have never been so uncomfortable for an extended period of time.

    Fortunately I’m now on a diet and getting back to where I was.

    Parents need to take the lead and stop killing out children

  41. jennifer says:

    Dr. Phil- I didn’t get a chance to see friday’s show and I’m not sure if you actually read these things. But I can tell you this. My son is over weight and he is an emotional eater. Alot of it does stem from school. He is being bullied. But it also came from home. You see a little over a year ago I myself was morbidly obese. I was 380 lbs. Unable to get out of bed on my own, unable to take my socks & shoes off at the end of the day.I had my husband do it or my kids. I have severe osteo arthitis through out my body & so many more problems. I became so sick w/ myself that one day I just had enough.

    I even remeber the day I started my new way of being. It was febuary 18 of 2010. Since then I’ve lost 172 lbs & still going. Not only that but because of the weight I carried for so long. 20 + yrs of carrying that weight mind you. Both of my knees had givin out. I saw a surgeion who told me my bones were that of an 80 yr old. I’m ” 41″ !. On January 25th of 2011, I went and had surgery on my left knee. Called a scope. Where they just clean it out the best they can. That failed & for 6 weeks after that I was unable to put any weight on it at all. Finally on March 7th of 2011 the surgeion went back in & did the total knee replacement. But now once I’m done recoverying from this, I have to go back into surgery for my right knee as well.

    My point to all of this is I’m finally turning my life around. People need to stop & think about what there doing to there bodies. I wish I could go back & take care of myself. But I can’t go back, all I can do is move forward & teach my son how to eat, what to eat & find out whats the problem with why he is eating in the first place. Then turn around & correct him. I pray he will follow me and take my example now, not from what I did in the past. I will get to my goal weight. I only have approx 40 lbs more to go. The only regret I have now. Is not doing this sooner. This could have killed me.

  42. lindawolfe says:

    dr,. phil,,,, my name is linda. i have tried countless times to reach u, i NEED HELP PLEASE, im am 48 years old and in trouble. i have chronic panic attacks and aniexty , it has taken over my life. cant even go to stores anymore. i cant live, no one will listen, no one understands and people in my life are starting to dissappear. it is something u cant control or fix on ur own, atleast i cant, i dont want anything special out of life, i just want to be normal, cause when i was a was a pretty happy person. i miss my daughter and my family, please help me. dont know how much longer i can live like this please help me.

  43. Paula says:

    I really feel for these kids and it’s the little things people don’t understand , like having a bath is not an option, and I can truly sympathize . I am a 44 year old mum and I have lost 97.5 kilos , yes that’s right kilos , and I still need to lose about 20 kilos .
    It really does change a lot of every day things , even getting in and out of the car is no longer like a gymnastic event .
    My daughter started a face book page about this and the amount of young girls that liked it who don’t even know me amazes me, that’s why your show is so important . It’s about finding better ways to deal with issues and knowing that you are worth it .
    Thank you for your show
    Paula ( Australia)

  44. mynie says:

    hi dr phil

    i am 28 and severe overweight (about 75kgs) i try to get it off and after a couple of weeks it goes bang now ive been sexually abused for about 18years could that be a part of my failure in keeping the weight off? i really struggle and could use some advice and tips, i dont know how to deal with all the things in my past and feel that is what effects my life today, i would appreciate a reply from you.

    kind regards mynie

  45. Kimi says:

    I completely agree that it is the way they are raised. The parents are the people who feed these children, so obviously if they are overweight, it’s the parents fault. Feed your children better food, and they will learn to eat healthier, and live a healthier lifestyle. There are some cases where children are obese due to medical reasons, but there are cases that Dr Phil is talking about, where the parents just feed the kids the wrong food. It’s time to stop, and be better parents to our children and teach them how to live healthier!

  46. David says:

    Hey people… c’mon. It’s really not that hard. Everyone should be lean and active. it’s your right.

    The problem is SUGAR. Cut it out of your diet. This includes juice, soda, bagels, pasta, rice, and high glycemic fruits.

    Follow the paleo diet for 30 days. Not only will you lose weight but your cholesterol will go down, blood pressure will go back to normal and your arteries will thank you.

    It’s so simple people… Eat plants and animals. Drink water.

    Have you ever looked at the ingredients on a bag of baby spinach? Guess what it says… “Baby Spinach”. And then add in other plants like “peppers”, “nuts”, “onion” and other non processed foods. Then add on a healthy protein like shrimp, turkey, chicken, eggs, etc.

    I just don’t understand why people complain about being over weight. Just eat plants and animals of your choosing and it’s almost impossible to be overweight.

    I wonder how many salads obese people eat a week? I wonder how often they sweat from hard exercise per week? Wake up people. It’s such a simple equation. Eat right and exercise.

    Stop eating pounds and pounds of sugar. Coke = syrup.

    Stay fit.

  47. vince says:

    hummm, maybe parents should take the kitchen back and learn HOW TO COOK HEALTHY FOODS, instead of fixing a fast easy serve meal.

  48. vince says:

    if you read the labels on food products before you buy those items, i bet so many people would put it back on the shelves and walk away, we looked up a ingredient in yoplay yougart, strawberry flavored, guess what ? it aint got a bit of ANY STRAWBERRY IN IT, it gets its flavor from a beatle they grind up, dr phil ever read what is in ice-cream? i do and have for 50 years and still have no damn clue what half of those things are in it, maybe we need look no farther then the grocery store shelves for the culprit who is causing all our kids to be obese, in our hurry up and grow world we seem to be growing vegies with out soil= many chems instead, are all these chemicals really as safe as the fda claims ? we all seem to trust our very lives on this very thing.

  49. Hi Dr Phil,
    I am from Australia, we also have many children who are overweight. My concern is, there are parents who in many cases, do not know how to food shop and prepare healthy meals for their children, they are frustrated and lack the knowledge in this area. What therefore is the answer? Not all families are financially secure, many struggling to make ends meet and find themselves heading for the wrong food types to save money. We have cooking shows on television but sadly most of these have ingredients that are too expensive for such families and even myself. With so many families where the two parents go out to work it becomes so difficult. I’m not making excuses for these people but rather would like to find an answer. Maybe having low cost cooking schools for families rather than just the parents? Perhaps going into their homes? I’m not a chef, all my children have left home so, it is just my husband and I which can I say, is quite nice. All my children cook and prepare healthy meals, none have ever had weight problems except me. I off course, just got lazy. Without making excuses, having weight problems is in my family. However, I have never been over 78K. I tell you this because I am no one who just has a concern like many others. Finally, we have diabetes on the increase, why is that after all the education, cooking books etc? Something is not working and has got to change and I believe it is education that reaches into the homes teaching the basics of not only cooking but shopping within the budget and preparing. Example, how to cook vegetables correctly and why is needs to be cooked correctly, what to cook for babies and how to prepare it. How to cook snacks for school lunch. Also what is not healthy and why. Jamie Oliver has the right idea but he can not reach everyone. I leave at this point with just thoughts in the hope that maybe someone would read this and come up with good ideas that can help these people so we can reduce diabetes in these children who could also grow up with heart and kidney conditions.

  50. rebecca says:

    hi dr phil, i’m from australia and i see a lot of kids, and adults who are overweight.
    i personally have been on a weight loss journey with weight watchers and have lost 20kg so far but still have a long way to go.i have three kids, who have watched me adapt my eating habits, and i have also passed on as much of the knowledge i have learnt as possible, not to get them to focus on losing weight, but how to eat healthy, to learn which of the foods will give them more energy, and what is a sometimes food. i do not deprive them of sweet or some junk food, but when they’ve had a small amount of sweet treats, their snacking option after that is fresh fruit.
    i pack their lunch box, as i know that kids being kids will go for the high fat high sugar option if given the choice. this includes a sandwich with spread, 1 piece of fruit, cheese and crackers. they get 1 sweet treat which is 2 biscuits, or a small muffin, (home cooked). we sit for dinner together every night, and often we talk about eating options, and the kids have sweets no more than three times per week.
    we have to focus on healthy eating, not just because i am losing weight, but junk food is expensive and you cannot do as much with convenience food to stretch it out as much as you can with fresh food. Also, my youngest child is autistic, so he has self restricted his eating habits, and we therefore model healthy eating as much as possible.
    As i said previously, we eat more healthy because it’s less expensive. I’d rather spend money on healthy foods than on obesity related health issues. thank you for bringing this topic up.

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