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'AITA for putting both my obese and skinny twins on a diet?'

'AITA for putting both my obese and skinny twins on a diet?'


"AITA for putting both my obese and skinny twins on a diet?"

I have two children, 14 year old identical twins “Megan” and “Alana”. Both are 5’0”. Megan weighs over 150 pounds while Alana weighs around 95. They used to be the same weight until they were around 7, when Megan started getting chubby, but still healthy weight. When she was 11, Megan was considered medically overweight.

I went to a doctor for advice, and he said that I shouldn’t worry too much since a lot of kids gain weight right before puberty, and then ‘balance out’ after their growth spurt. The twins had their growth spurt last year, and Megan’s weight has only increased since then, to the point where she’s actually obese. So I decided to implement a healthy diet for the entire family.

I slowly started to cut back on sugar, junk food, and unhealthy snacks. I cook them high volume, low calorie meals full of vegetables and protein so that they still feel full after eating. Neither of the twins are very athletic, so I’ve also tried encouraging them to engage in physical activities, like swimming, bike riding, trampolining, etc.

I tried putting emphasis on staying healthy instead of losing weight. However, Alana guessed that the real reason for this new diet is because I want Megan to lose weight. She started complaining that it’s not fair that she also has to diet because her sister’s fat.

I told her that I didn’t want Megan to feel singled out and feel as though she’s the only one being punished for her weight. AITA?

EDIT: I’ve gone to multiple doctors, and neither of the twins have medical conditions that would influence their weight.

The internet did not hold back one bit.

imyourkidnotyourmom wrote:

YTA for how you defended yourself.

Healthy choices are healthy choices. Nutritious food is good. Exercise is good. Finding ways to use their bodies that are fun is good.

You have almost committed to this idea, that health is valuable for everyone and isn’t a punishment, but then you don’t seem to really believe it. This “we’re pretending to do this so that my fat kid doesn’t figure out that we secretly just want a skinny kid” thing you pull at the end.

I think you need to figure out your own relationship with health a little before trying to do a family overhaul. Your teen saw that you were pretending because you are, but why are you pretending? Why is vegetables and going outside not something your teen daughter could believe you really value?

There was a teenage boy who went blind because he’d been living off French fries and potato chips for years. No one checked in with him because he was thin, so it was assumed he was healthy. It made the news. You acknowledge your thin daughter doesn’t eat vegetables or exercise either, so she’s also not healthy, she’s just thin.

Thin and healthy aren’t the same thing. If you’re trying to trick your daughter into being thin by pretending to value health, you’re just going to foster an unhealthy relationship with food and her body. The more you lie the more confused and messed up she’ll get.

National_Pension_110 wrote:

Wow. YTA. Not for trying to put emphasis on healthy eating but for ignoring the proverbial elephant in the room. Megan is ill. Identical twins don’t diverge that rapidly at age 7 without an underlying true metabolic issue. If your doctor is ignoring that, he/she is incompetent. Whatever doctor told you to ignore this YEARS AGO was an idiot.

Get your daughters to a specialist. NOW. Bring both of them. Megan is probably starting to feel a host of other issues, including depression, cardiovascular damage, and other lifelong traumas. YTA. YTA for ignoring this blatant issue. Go get help now and stop putting your head in the sand and blaming this on eating habits. Sheesh.

Adding an edit here for clarification because of several comments: First, I agree this may be psychological and not metabolic. Metabolic was the first thing that came to mind, when I wrote my comment. Second, I think we all know stories where people are misdiagnosed by doctors and go years without treatment, so if something seems off, keep looking for answers.

Third, the mom didn’t say her heavier child was a food hoarder starting at age six, so it’s hard to say where and how this started, but I find it hard to believe that it took 14 years to “start cooking healthy foods.” And finally, the fact that the thinner daughter thinks it’s “punishment” to be eating healthy means something’s wrong with the way the parents are introducing this new lifestyle.

Again, I’m NOT giving medical advice—I’m saying something is wrong here and you need to figure out what it is. You have two children—get both of them checked to see what’s different.

Could be they both eat s-t food, but the thinner one has abnormally high metabolism and the heavier one is the normal one. IDK, but figure it out.

Important_Reason_605 wrote:

Your last sentence is very telling. You don't want just one to feel that she is being punished for her weight. Nobody should feel like they are being punished for their weight, much less by the one person who is supposed to give them unconditional love.

Have you taken them to the doctor to have their hormone levels checked? You're gonna feel like double the asshole when you find out you've been punishing both daughters because one is showing symptoms of PCOS.

childproofbirdhouse wrote:

Healthy food benefits everyone. “Diets” are pretty much bad for everyone, as the focus is drastic, temporary change - “not fair” and “punished” by food is the indicator, here. If both girls are receiving quality and sufficient quantity in their meals, that’s fine.

However, the divergence in their weights at such a young age indicates something else is wrong, and they both need checked by a pediatric endocrinologist and probably other specialists.

angry-always80 wrote:

I don’t think there is anything wrong with the whole family eating healthy as long as your not doing it in a way you will cause a eating disorder with your kids. The fact is if you took all the treats out of the house and no one can have a sweet treat occasionally this will cause resentment and a eating disorder for both girls.

Also instead of trying to ignore the elephant in the room it is time to address it. If the smaller twin has figured it out so has the othe twin. And I can guarantee if she hasn’t her sister will tell her. So I would find a dr to make sure their is no underline medical problems.

I would also find a dieticians. I would also find the bigger twin a counselor because she probably already has issues with bullying since both twins are so different. She will continually get compared to the smaller twin which will destroy her self esteem. I don’t say this to be mean. I have always been bigger. I have always struggled to love myself and compared myself to other.

I could not imagine how much harder this would be with a twin growing up. I would also like to say you can still offer sweet treats but make healthier versions. Most of those treats if made right taste s good as the ones horrible for you. But please don’t make sweet treats taboo. This makes for a unhealthy relationship with food for both girls.

I would also suggest instead of just forcing the girls to be more active involve the whole family. Take family walks in the evening. Take family hikes. Get the family bikes. You and your husband get active with them. Don’t make exercise a punishment. Make it family time and fun. Take the girls to dance class.

Sources: Reddit
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