Childhood obesity is a major concern in the United States, but one mother has been attacked for taking measures to help her obese daughter lose weight. Dara-Lynn Weiss spoke to Dr. Oz about her decision to put her seven-year-old daughter on a diet on the Jan. 25 episode of “The Dr. Oz Show.”
Weiss, a writer for Vogue, said her family didn’t eat junk food or fast food, but her daughter had a big appetite. They allowed her to make her own decisions about how much to eat, which led to obesity. Dara-Lynn felt it was her duty as a parent to intervene out of medical necessity.
Weiss did this in a very public way, even penning a book about the journey titled, “The Heavy: A Mother, a Daughter, a Diet – a Memoir.” Dara-Lynn has received a large amount of backlash for putting her overweight child in the spotlight. She’s been called disgusting, obsessed, a terrible mother, overly strict and someone who doesn’t value her child.
Weiss admits to being a bit strict and obsessive about her daughter’s diet. In fact, she originally enlisted the help of Dr. Joanna Dolgoff, a childhood obesity specialist who created the “Red Light, Green Light, Eat Right” plan being used on this season of “The Biggest Loser,” but then refused to follower the expert's advice.
Dara-Lynn took her daughter off Dolgoff's nutritonal plan because she didn’t like that it allowed her daughter unlimited fruits and vegetables. Dolgoff said Weiss wanted to control every bite her daughter ate and didn’t allow her the chance to learn to make healthy choices.
Dara-Lynn reported that her daughter is happy and at a healthy weight now. She stood by her decision to go public with her family’s experience with childhood obesity. Weiss said obese children shouldn’t be embarrassed or ashamed and there’s no need to be private about helping a child lose weight.
Dr. Oz said that the long-term emotional health of the child should be a priority when approaching weight loss. Because of this, he does not agree with the decision Dara-Lynn Weiss made to make her daughter’s struggle with childhood obesity public.