A mother is demanding the Government pay for her ten-year-old to lose weight saying she won’t stop eating but the girl blames her and asks: ”mum, why did you make me fat?”
Liz Thomson has emailed Jeremy Hunt saying the Department for Health should provide funds for a fat camp so Holly-Ann can shed the pounds.
Liz says she has no control over Holly-Ann’s emotional attachment to food – accusing her daughter of not knowing when to stop scoffing.
But Liz says her daughter blames her and came home from school one day asking “mum, why did you make me fat?”.
The mum even blames DOCTORS for calling out her weight and damaging her self-esteem in the past.
She has now even emailed Jeremy Hunt to ask the Government to foot the bill for her weight loss.
Liz, from Ovenden, West Yorks., said: “She just doesn’t know when to stop eating. There’s nothing in her head to tell her when she’s full.
“I’ve tried everything but at the end of the day I can’t stop her. She has a food addiction that comes from an emotional attachment to food.
“She’s a very active girl and plays rounders and cricket, but in the evenings she will eat whatever. There’s no filling her.
“The Government need to take action and do something – childhood obesity is a serious issue.”
Liz, 34, who is currently unemployed, said Holly-Ann’s self-esteem took a blow when she was aged five, when their GP said: “I think she needs to see a dietician because she’s fat“.
She said: “The doctor just said outright, ‘she’s fat‘. I’m sure it wasn’t meant to be hurtful, but girls take things to heart.
“Then Holly-Ann came home from school one day saying I had made her fat. I was so heartbroken.
“They had been doing height and weight measurements and I think one of the teachers had made a comment about my weight.
“Obesity and food addiction is an eating disorder just like anorexia or bulimia. People just assume overweight children eat rubbish and the parents are to blame, but this is a behavioural issue.”
The distraught mum, who lives with partner Kyle, 26, a DJ, is calling out the government to fund programs to help children overcome food addiction and lose weight.
A weight-loss centre called the MoreLife camp would be “life changing” for Holly-Ann and other children, according to Liz.
But at a cost of £4,250 she cannot afford it and says help from the NHS just isn’t available.
“She needs this intervention because you can’t get anything from the NHS. All you get is either support in bulimia or anorexia,” the desperate mum said.
“Holly-Ann has a bad behavioural relationship with food. She knows what is healthy, but she doesn’t know when to stop and she doesn’t know what should be the right amount for her.
“I worry that she will rely on food to carry her through life. I have to be a bit strict about it, which puts a strain on our relationship, not because I’m worried about her size or the size of her clothes, but for her health.”
Liz, who herself admits she has problems with her weight, said she has previously lost seven stone and used to love the gym, but has since piled on the pounds again and says her bipolar disorder aggravates her eating habits.
“All I want to do is protect my child and encourage her to be healthy. But it’s hard when she doesn’t know when to stop eating.”
“There’s an eighteen month waiting list to see a child psychologist and the doctor I spoke to was very dubious on filling out a Clinicial Commissioning Group (CCG) form for pots of money for individual situations.
“As parents we have to take responsibility for our children, I’m trying to nip it in the bud and I’m getting a bit annoyed that I’ve emailed the Government, the Secretary of Health and said ‘Can you help me?‘.
“They talk and they moan about obesity, but let’s do something about it. I’ve gone to the bank for a loan, written numerous letters to charities, not just for the full amount, for anything.
“I chose to be fat, but I don’t choose that for my daughter. I’m not saying she should be prioritised, but I am fighting for her right to a decent standard of living.”
Now, the determined mum says that the MoreLife camp in Leeds, West Yorks., is the only way Holly-Ann will beat her food demons.
The five-week residential camp aims to empower young people to make steps towards a healthier future.
She said: “It’s a lot of money to spend, I know it is and some people may argue
‘you put your daughter in that position’, but until the shoe is on the other foot, nobody knows.
“For her there, with other children, she can see that it isn’t just her, she doesn’t have to be stigmatised.”
Liz has two other children Saphire, five, and 16-year-old Brandon.
Holly-Ann Graham is eight stone and is 4ft. Liz is 5ft 2in, but hasn’t weighed herself in months and wouldn’t like to guess her weight.
She added: “I shouldn’t have to feel guilty about going to the government and ask for funding for this kind of program. I owe it to her at the end of the day.”
A spokeswoman for Public Health England said they don’t comment on individual cases, but said: “Obesity is one of the most serious public health challenges.
“Being overweight or obese in childhood has consequences for health in both the short term and the longer term.
“Parents and carers can help their children maintain a healthy weight by following a balanced diet, keeping an eye on portion sizes and limiting sugary drinks and sugary or fatty snacks.
“Change4life, offers simple affordable recipes and ideas on small swaps you can make to your diet, like swapping sugary drinks for diet or sugar free versions, water or lower fat milk, to remove excess calories.
“Children also need a minimum of 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise each day, which can be achieved in one session or through shorter bursts of 10 minute activity.”