Ask the Family Doctor: Starving the Obese Child

drivel, Medicins sans frontal-lobes

with Ferenc Molmar, MD

Q. My eldest child, now 11, tips the scales at over 240 lbs and is only 4’9″. Actually that is an estimate, because our bathroom scale stops at 240. At the county fair they have livestock scales that go much higher but the fair doesn’t open till June.

Dr Molmar

I’m wondering how I can get this child to lose weight. (Before you go blaming this on not getting enough exercise and playing too many vidyagames, let me tell you this child is very active, and we limit vidyagame playing to an hour a day on Animal Crossing Pocket Camp, which is not only low-calorie, but endorsed by AARP.)

Should I get the child’s stomach stapled? My cousin’s neighbor in Schenectady had that done, and she lost 200 lbs, but I don’t think they do it on children.

Or maybe I could put my child on a special diet. I saw a documentary about Lord Byron, and he would lose weight by consuming nothing but soda water and hardtack for weeks on end. Where can you buy hardtack, do you know? Would saltine crackers work, do you think?

I wonder if it’s glandular. 

A. When I was in medical school many years ago it was customary to describe obese children as having a glandular condition. But now there are so many fat children, nobody really cares about glands.

After a lifetime in Family Practice I have come to the conclusion that there isn’t much you can do for fat children, except starve them.

Forget the saltines. A multivitamin pill, plus some grapefruit or sauerkraut juice, is all this child should consume for the next six months. And plenty of water too, to wash the little fat globules out of the body.

I could give you more specific advice if I had a little more information. For example, what is the sex of your child?


Q. My wife and I have long debated the pros and cons of getting our children vaccinated. But we hear vaccination is a leading cause of autism. However, I have also read on one of the online doctor websites that children who are vaccinated as infants are much less likely to wet the bed. So there seems to be a trade-off here, between having an autistic child or one who wets the bed. Do you have any opinions on the matter?

A. I’m sure I’ve answered this before. As the old saying goes, a conspiracy theory can go around the world before an honest physician has time to put his galoshes on. So what if vaccination causes autism? So what if 1 out of 20 or even 1 out of ten children become autistic? I’ll take those odds. I’d rather have an autistic child than a homosexual.

Author: Cooper Ward

Cooper Ward hails from Lake Plains, IL, which he describes as “the flattest place east of Nebraska.” He enjoys watching cooking shows and listening to semi-classical music.