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Parents often project their weight issues onto their kids.

The biggest loser? An obese British mom who has had her eight-year-old daughter on a severely restricted diet - starting at age two.

Aly Gilardoni, a single mom, allows little Corleigh to eat just 700 calories a day (1,000 calories too little, medical experts say). On a typical day, Corleigh gets cereal for breakfast, salad and half a roll for lunch, and a baked potato for dinner, reports the Daily Mail.

While she claims she doesn't want her daughter to turn out like her, tipping the scales at 238 pounds and eating a 3,000 calorie diet of junk food and carbs, experts are appalled by her tactics.

Children of normal weight should never have their calories restricted, Dr. Stephen Turner, chairman of the department of pediatrics at Long Island College Hospital told the News.

"It's clear in this case that it it not the child who has issues, but the mother," Turner says. "It's neglect to restrict calories in a child like this."

Even in an overweight child, Turner says, it's usually not necessary to trim calories out of the meal plan. Instead, he says, he recommends simply omitting fruit juices and offering skim milk instead of whole milk.

"The idea is for an overweight child to not gain weight," Turner explains. "However, the child should not be losing weight."

He also says that when kids are overweight, they should be offered healthy food choices even when these contain the same number of calories as an unhealthier choice. For instance, he says, giving the child a peanut butter sandwich makes more sense than offering a candy bar since it will make him feel full longer.

As for exercise, it's not necessary to put a two-year-old on an exercise regime. (Most parents get out of breath running after their toddler, Turner points out.)

However, he says, a parent should check to see if the environment affords enough opportunities for kids to run around and play. "If there is a baby in the house, a parent may be putting that child in front of the TV since the parent is busy," he explains. "And that will definitely have consequences in terms of weight gain."

Little Corleigh so far is just five pounds underweight, but otherwise healthy. Yet, her mother told the Daily Mail, the little girl is now afraid of being fat.

"She's always looking in mirrors," Gilardoni said. "I feel guilty - but it's how I want her to be."

nydailynews.com

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1 comments

Stratzol said... @ November 4, 2010 at 1:09 AM

Planning a weight loss program may seem simple-reducing food intake such as calories and exercising more often. But if such is difficult to attain, taking some weight loss pills may help as long as one must consult first with the physician.

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