Dr Oz: Family Intervention
No parent wants to hear the words “your child is fat.” But as devastating as it can be, what’s even worse is when it begins to tear couples apart. Lori and Ron have been happily married for 15 years and have two children, including one son who has been struggling with over-eating. Lori and Ron can’t seem to see eye-to-eye when it comes to helping their overweight son, and Dr Oz is hoping an intervention will finally help them get on the same page.
Sawyer is 9-years-old and has recently gained about 20 pounds. While both parents are concerned, they can’t agree one what to do about it. Lori works hard to eat healthy and exercise, but her husband and children will gorge on greasy, unhealthy food instead, while making fun of Lori for her diet. Ron recently found junk food to be comforting for him, so his own weight has increased as well. Ron and the kids typically spend their nights snacking and indulging in junk food, but Ron sees it as bonding.
Dr Oz: Couple At Odds Over Son’s Weight
Ron doesn’t see it as a big deal that his son has put on some weight, saying “I think he’ll burn it off.” But Lori disagrees, saying she thinks her son is going to really struggle. Of course, Ron is concerned, but not to a point where he feels he should deprive his son or stop him from eating.
Motivational speaker and preacher Devon Franklin joined the show and explained to Dr Oz that marriage is about a lot more than just love. “Once the love begins, the thing that really comes to play are a battle of value systems,” he stated. That really becomes the case when a couple has children.
Devon also pointed out that, because of the obesity rates among children today, many parents are having to deal with the same issue has Ron and Lori. Approximately one in three kids are struggling with a weight issue. Devon also made a point to say that some parents will also overlook their child’s weight gain and see it as nothing more than a part of the growing process. The reality is that medically, many children are facing a real health problem.
So what happened when Lori and Ron sat down to talk with Devon?
Dr Oz: Health Problems Affecting Marriage
Ron admitted that communication as a couple has been lacking, but continued to say he doesn’t see Sawyer’s weight as that big of a problem. Devon first thanked them both for sharing their story, knowing how many families they would help. He then explained that Sawyer wasn’t asked to come on on the show because he’s not the problem, “he’s a symptom of the problem.”
As Devon further explained, the problem is that Ron and Lori have a disagreement about the health of their family. They have to first repair their communication before they can tackle any issues they face. Devon asked about Ron’s weight gain, saying that behind every amount of weight gain, there’s a story. Lori explained for Ron that six years ago he went in for a routine hernia operation and unfortunately the doctor perforated his bowel. It spiraled out of control and Ron was put into a coma and his abdomen had to be kept open for 10 weeks.
Dr Oz: Dad’s Weight Struggles Passed Onto Son
Since then he’s had a lot of surgeries, adhesion, scar tissue, and problems with his digestive system. He had to leave work and go on disability, and food became a comfort for him. While Ron’s weight has gone up, so has Sawyer’s. Ron continues to see his time together with the kids as bonding time, even though they spend that time munching on unhealthy junk food. But he also stated that right now the kids are coming to him because he’s become the “good cop” while Lori is turned into the “bad cop” and he admitted to enjoying that aspect of it.
Ron admitted that he doesn’t like seeing himself in the mirror because he was always fit and in great shape, and hearing that brought Lori to tears. Lori also acknowledged that Ron has found comfort in that time spent with the kids after everything he’s been through, it’s just unfortunate that it revolves around food.
Devon wanted Lori and Ron to see themselves as a team and start acting like productive members of heir team. He wanted Ron to think about grocery shopping as “shopping for the health of my family” as opposed to just buying food. He can then serve as a great example for what it means to be both healthy and happy.
Dr Oz: Tackle Family Health Conflicts
Then, for every couple with a conflict having to do with the health of their child, Devon suggested making it a family affair. Make health fun! You can set weight goals with rewards, that way your kids are encouraged to get started and motivated to keep going. It also builds a routine to get them used to the different lifestyle. You also need to “reprogram the family appetite.” You should slowly change habits rather than going cold turkey. So try swapping some unhealthy treats for healthier ones. Instead of cookies, try a protein bar with cookies mixed in, then ultimately transition to a banana with dark chocolate.