Health Intervention for Obese Daughter
Julie’s daughter Miranda is 11 years old and 286 pounds. We’ve sent Miranda to internist and nutritionist Dr. Melina Jampolis to see what damage may already have been done. Hi, Julie, I’m Dr. Jampolis.
Hello. Tell me a little bit about Miranda’s development. She started gaining weight when she was seven years old. What’s a day in the life of Miranda eating? I don’t usually eat breakfast, and then I eat lunch, which is usually a sub sandwich. I eat turkey, lettuce, onions. And do they put, like, mayo or anything on the sub? Yes, mayo. And it’s on white bread, right? Yes. Do you eat any fast food?
Sometimes. How many times a week? Maybe once at the most. The fast food in our house is frozen pizza. How often do you guys have frozen pizza? On the weekend, probably two. So, three days a week total?
Yeah. So, what about sweets and other snacks? Sometimes I get a little hungry and I go and get, like, pretzels and dip. From what you say, it doesn’t sound to me like you’re eating a lot of food. I need to understand kind of what got us here and, right now, this doesn’t sound like what got us here. I’m just gonna take Miranda into my exam room, I’m gonna get an accurate weight on her and a body fat percentage, and I’m gonna check her blood pressure. Let me just take a quick look at the back of your neck. Okay, mom, can we talk for a couple of minutes? Sure. She’s severely obese. I have the results of her blood test, and the results of my physical exam, then I’ve gotta tell you, mom, there are some things that I’m very, very concerned about. We’re joined right now by Miranda’s mom Julie. Julie, before we get into everything that Dr. Jampolis uncovered, I think the hardest part for me in watching, and I know you’ve met Miranda, is to keep reminding myself she’s 11 years old. Mm-Hmm. 11 years old and having the body of an oversized adult. What challenges has that even brought on just day-to-day? Oh, a lot, I mean, she can’t do the things that most kids can do. Running, sit-ups, push-ups, all the exercises that you have to do in gym class. And she’s having a hard time. So, Dr. Jampolis, clearly Miranda has a propensity to put on weight, you know, there are plenty of other 11-year-olds who eat everything in sight and they’re real thin. Right. So, acknowledging that, you obviously did the full exam, sent blood work on Miranda, because you’re worried, I’m worried, I think everyone here is worried, where are things at with her right now? They’re not good, and both her parents are diabetic, so, what I found, you know, already, is that she is already insulin resistant, so her insulin levels are very high, but the blood sugar is still normal. So her pancreas is still working, it’s still pumping out insulin, but it’s working way too hard for what it should be for an 11-year-old, and it’s gonna peter out fast, which means diabetes at a much younger age, which means a higher risk of kidney transplant, blindness, amputations. She already has evidence of fatty liver disease, she has high cholesterol and high blood pressure. And her vitamin D levels, which is very common in more obese people, are low, which is important for bone density, because up till 20, with girls, their bone density is really being optimized for life then. So, there are so many red flags with her. I don’t wanna scare you, but she’s 11, and this is real, and this is serious, and I don’t get like this very often, with patients, but, I mean, it’s just not the weight and the psychological impact, the health right now, it’s something that the family has to be 100%– Is it fair to say you’re– The whole family needs to be in that, and that’s where a lot of us comes in, you know, we’re not all in it together, and we’ve got to, otherwise she’s just, we’re just dragging her down with us. Yeah, ’cause your husband is on insulin. Yes. But you say he’s, really with the sugar is kind of out of control, and he enables her consumption of sugar. And with insulin, you’re just fueling the fatty liver disease, all the processes that are involved with what she’s going through are being fueled by sugar, and if your husband, and I understand that, he only sees her on weekends, so, giving her a candy bar is like bonding, but that has to change, that has to change for all of you as a family. We talked in the last, say minute, how confusing food can be. Right.
Right. And a lot of people out there will hear, “Well, turkey is healthy, so I eat a turkey sandwich, “no big deal.” But then, you mentioned all the white breads, and that’s all sugar and, literally, that sugar, every time your daughter eats it, it’s like taking a gun and loading it with bullets. Yeah. We need to rethink about how we approach the food that she’s eating, because it’s her poison now. And when I saw the results that Dr. Jampolis received through her analysis, that’s scary. At 11 years of age, to already have fatty liver disease, high cholesterol, insulin resistance. We wanted to talk with you alone before we meet your lovely daughter because it’s gotta start with you and your husband together. And so, this is going to require, when your daughter comes out here, I can’t wait to meet her, we’re gonna go positive, because we know shes’ 11 years of age, and that she’s has her whole life ahead of her. But, really, the moment of truth is right here, right now, on this stage, with you, and I know you’re gonna, you know, team up, hopefully, with your husband, ’cause we’ve gotta change, ’cause we’ve gotta save your daughter’s life here. Yeah. (applause) So, this is our moment where we’re gonna flip the script, we’re gonna start looking at all the potential, all the positive, ’cause I can tell by looking in your eyes, you’re ready for this. I am, I’m ready for everybody to… Well, this is a turning point, you coming on our show and Miranda being willing to do this, this is a turning point. When we come back, we’re gonna meet Miranda and, like I said, this is gonna be all about hope going forward.