Kids dealing with weight issues are constantly struggling. Unfortunately, and unnecessarily, weight comes with health implications, but also social ones: overweight children are too often made fun of by peers or even other adults.
Redditor RightSugar5920 unfortunately reinforced this to his daughter as he specifically bought her food meant to help her control her weight, giving his daughter some issues with him and enraging his ex-wife.
Unsure if his good intent was misplaced, he went to the popular subReddit “Am I The A**hole?” or “AITA” for objective feedback from strangers:
“AITA for buying my daughter frozen dinners?”
Our original poster, or OP, noticed something was up with his daughter.
“I, 47m[ale], took my daughter (14f[emale]) to urgent care for a double ear infection yesterday. They took her weight, and she was about 15-20 lbs overweight for her height and age. I was shocked by this, and asked her if she exercises at my ex-wife’s house.”
“She says that since the takes violin lessons four times per week and tutors the other two days, she gets home at 5:30-6:00 every night, has dinner, then takes a shower and does homework so exercising is difficult to achieve.”
“She says she walks the dog for 45 minutes every morning and evening. I told her that we are going to take a walk every night while she’s at my house, and that her current weight needs to come down.”
“I told her I didn’t want to make her feel awkward about it, and she could talk to me. She nodded and just turned away.”
And then he went a step further.
“Today, I went to the store and bought weight watchers frozen stir fry bowls and told her if she was going to eat dinner tonight, she could have one of those.”
“She looked at them and asked me, ‘is 180 calories enough for dinner?’ I replied yes and said if she was still hungry she could have yogurt.”
“She then went to her room and hasn’t spoken to me since. My ex-wife texted me and said my daughter called her crying and she called me harsh and an ass for what I did. AITA for trying to get her to be healthy?”
Anonymous strangers weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
Redditors spared no time in telling OP he was doing something VERY wrong for his daughter’s self-esteem.
“YTA wow holy SH*T dude.”
“14 year old girls are often a little overweight while hormones and growth spurts level out. She is active, she is focused on her studies and learning a musical instrument, and you’re laser-focused on one aspect of her overall behavior because…?”
“You chose to address this unilaterally and while she’s sick? 180 calories is NOT enough for dinner for a growing child.”-gangster-napper
“I have been measured incorrectly since I was 13, when I became 5’8” and then it was always super off. Then of course the ‘overweight nonsense’ I went through so much crap because of it.”
“Even though I was on swim and dive team plus kendo after school. I was also trying to find a good birth control as my periods were so bad; I’d bloat up from my usual 123lbs to 150 due to my period.”
“I wouldn’t be diagnosed with Endo until I was 17. My hormones were a mess in total.”
“I also developed an ED because of comments made by so called doctors and them pushing the ‘perfect size.'”
“I even had a doctor ask me ‘Don’t you want to be pretty? Don’t you want to be liked? Don’t you want to be a beautiful woman when you grow up?'”
“Combined with being molested by male teachers at this time. It’s hard being female at any age, you’re always under a microscope or always being compared to some one whether it’s a celebrity or the popular girl at school.”
“My heart really breaks for this teenage girl she doesn’t need this or deserve any of this, she needs someone with common sense who she can trust. YTA OP do better and don’t starve your beautiful child!”-AylaZelanaGrebiel
“He’s truly trying to give his daughter an ED! Also, if he truly cares about what she eats, loads of other ways to go about it.”
“Dieticians, nutritionists, making whole foods for the daughter, instead of going the lazy route of frozen dinner that is 180 calories! OP, YTA! Ugh. Big massive giant YTA.”-Playful-Mastodon-872
“Seriously, I was exactly like OP’s daughter at that age. I was a bit of a late bloomer so I got a little heavier around 13-14, then shot up several inches and lost the weight.”
“My mom never, ever brought up my weight when I was heavier. My mother had had an eating disorder herself and she didn’t want to do that to me.”
“Definitely YTA OP. He looked for a reason to be critical of his daughter, who by his account is already walking an hour and a half every day, while also I presume practicing for orchestra, attending orchestra, and going to tutoring. Apparently that’s not good enough.”-scarletnightingale
There is only one way for this to end: an eating disorder.
“That girl is going to remember this day and resent her father for a very long time. Poor kid. YTA, OP. Good luck recovering a positive relationship with your daughter after this.”
“Since you’re so good at ‘research,’ maybe spend some time on eating disorders and puberty. Also, no wonder here why you are the EX. Holy cow.”-inimitableheart
“Also keep in mind that he did all of this WHILE HIS DAUGHTER HAS A DOUBLE EAR INFECTION. Those are absolutely miserable, often excruciating.”
“She’s likely in serious pain and on antibiotics that need to be taken with food. When I feel like sh*t, the last thing I’d want to eat is a Lean Cuisine and taking antibiotics on an empty stomach almost always makes me vomit.”
“Like holy sh*t, dude— maybe pause the body shaming commentary from Dr. Google, at least until your daughter finishes her week of Amoxicillin so her eardrums don’t rupture?!?”
“Funny how he expressed zero concern about the actual issue the doctor was treating but went out of his way to make an issue out of something the doctor expressed no concerns about (his daughter’s weight).”-lovetheblazer
“I’m a resident and I just admitted a 14 year old girl to the hospital for anorexia that started this way.”
“Last year, someone told her she was overweight and she wanted to lose weight and now she might have caused permanent heart damage.”
“OP, you’re 100% the a**hole and the damage you do to your daughter’s psyche might not be reparable.”-epiphanyschmiphany
“Google says that teen girls need an average of 2200 calories a day and that the body needs calories more at that age than any other (link).”
“So 180 calories for a meal is LESS THAN 10% OF WHAT HER BODY NEEDS A DAY! For the main/ biggest meal of the day and he’s trying to give her less than 10% of what her body needs. I can’t.”
“Maybe instead of buying frozen crap, OP should help her learn how to cook healthy meals and figure out what vegetables she likes cooked and how she likes it.”
“Once I realized I actually do like vegetables like broccoli, just roasted instead of boiled like my family always made, I ate a lot more healthy foods! The more I learn to cook the less take out I get as well.”-FriendlyReplies
And the fact that OP seems to be completely unaware of it is worse.
“How… Are you not the a**hole?? 180 calories isn’t enough for dinner. Your daughter isn’t significantly overweight. She is juggling what sounds to be multiple extracurriculars and responsibilities still at home.”
“Joining her in activities and encouraging her to be active is the way to do this as a supportive parent.”
“Your poor child was IN HOSPITAL IN PAIN and you brought her a frozen low calorie meal?? Are you freaking kidding me?”
“The very least you could have done in this situation is cook her a healthy meal from home yourself, and actually putting some effort into this relationship instead of just throwing some low-cal food at her.”
“And somehow blaming your ex for her weight loss as you instantly asked ‘don’t you work out at your mom’s?'”
“YTA entirely. Apologize to your daughter and let her know you want her to be healthy and she can tell you if she has too many responsibilities/things going on to be able to manage her health.”-bfasterthanthat
“YTA. For so many reasons. 15-20 lbs at 14 is not a big deal for a young woman. Hormones, growing etc all contribute to that.”
“Also the Height/age thing has to stop. Some kids are fully biologically mature at 14 and age should not be a factor. Others are not. Height yes. Age no.”
“Plus 180 calories is not enough for dinner for a growing child and frozen Weight Watchers meals are not nutritious.”
“They are full of processed crap. And putting a child on a diet without speaking to a DOCTOR about it is just bad parenting.”-sheramom4
“What is this, fatphobic nonsense day? I’ve seen like three posts by people asking if they’re a**holes for making comments about people’s weight unprompted.”
“Unless someone comes to you for advice about their weight AND you are qualified to give advice (i.e. a dietician or certified personal trainer) YTA.”-notbanana13
“YTA for putting a 14 year old on a diet. She is going to develop disordered eating for the rest of her life if you keep this up.”
“She does not deserve to be shamed by you, her parent, or anyone for that matter, about her weight. You are choosing to be your child’s bully.”
“Her weight is her own journey and seeing as she’s only 15 or 20 pounds ‘overweight’ that is a healthy weight range.”
“She is 14. She has plenty of time to learn healthy eating habits over time. She is also clearly on top of her own life and walks the dog for an hour and a half each day.”
“There are healthy ways to talk to your child about weight but this isn’t it. All you’re doing is shaming her and making her feel like sh*t.”
“Don’t be surprised if she doesn’t trust you or confide in you about anything but especially about food.”
“And seriously, let me reiterate: stop this right now before she develops an eating disorder. Because it WILL be your fault.”-junimocats
OP may be in a lot of trouble with his daughter and may have already caused irreparable damage to their relationship.
Hopefully he sees the light and acts soon before it’s too late.