Wednesday, February 6, 2008

How Much Is Enough For Children?

This recent post appeared on a thread within the Kimkins website. Please note that the identity of the poster has been omitted – intentionally. My purpose here is not to embarrass the individual poster, but to demonstrate the type of thinking that enters the minds of some of those predisposed to acceptance of the diet gospel according to Kimmer, and the total lack of regard that Kimmer/Heidi Diaz apparently has for the well being of her paying guests as demonstrated in the absence of reaction to the risks this mother is exposing her child to.

You’ve had the disclaimer now on to the unedited post (bolding is mine):

“Good morning everyone! Glade to see so many here love it! Breakfast for me is 2 boiled eggs and 2 slices of bacon. Lunch is sundried tomato sausages, coffee black. Taking multi vitamin and lots of water. I workout for an hour every day during the wekk with strength training and yoga as I teach yoga classes and my son helps me teach yoga classes for kids 7-12. Don't know what dinner is be my son wants to do low carb with me is that ok? He only 6 but my husband brings home alot of crap , junk food so I'm going to sneak in some low carb food for him without him knowing, starting with that great cheese cake recipe. Have a wonderful day my friends and I'll be rooting for ya, be well!”

Remember that the Kimkins diet advocates either about a 500 calorie a day diet or 800 calorie a day diet, depending on whether you believe the stated number (the later) or the math based on the posted guidelines (the former). Either way, most parents realize on the surface that such a suppressed caloric intake for a child is risky, at best.

Dear poster, since Heidi Diaz did not deem it appropriate to answer your question, I will attempt to give you some direction here. Using the Child’s Energy Needs Calculator, along with published children’s growth charts that take into consideration not only the height and weight of your child, but also the age, sex and ethnicity, I offer you the following:

A 6 year old white boy, 50% in both height and weight, of low activity (spends most of his free time sitting) requires an estimated 1656 calories per day. Heavier kids need more calories just to sustain normal development. (That child weighs about 48 pounds and is about 45” tall.)

Here are the links to the charts and calculators that I used so you can easily find out for yourself what YOUR child needs.

Child’s Energy Needs Calculator:
Children’s Growth Charts (factor in age, sex, race)

There is NO version of Kimkins that will provide anywhere near the amount of energy, in the form of calories that your 6 year old child needs. Is low carbing safe for children? If you mean following a low carbohydrate diet for the purpose of losing weight, the answer is most probably no. Actually, there is no “diet” that is safe for a 6 year old. If you mean can you safely reduce the level of carbohydrates found in the form of junk food, over processed grain products and chewy rubber that passes for fruit from the diet of your child, most assuredly you can – and you’d be wise to do so. But kids do require the nutrients of every food group for proper development.

I understand the irony that my child can easily eat twice the amount of food that I can and stay slim while I add weight like I’m the barbell at the local gym. But kids’ nutritional needs are far different from ours. All of their systems are still developing. Malnutrition in a child can lead to mental and physical developmental delays, or irreversible damage. Malnutrition has also been linked to anti-social and aggressive behavior in kids.

Please don’t risk you child’s life and well-being. Kimmer doesn’t care about him. She cares about HER bank account. And right now she is trying to save her hiney as she is facing scrutiny by the legal system. If the choice is saving her skin and personal assets or saving your child, she has shown time and again that she will sacrifice anything or anybody to protect what she considers hers.

The diet program known as Kimkins is a figment of her imagination. It “sounds” good to her, so she advocates it, even though she, herself, has NEVER been able to lose weight or follow the eating plan that you are considering allowing your 6 year old child to follow. She comes down on the side of saving her own face even when people she supposedly had bonded with and cares about are getting sick and suffering side effects all around her. And remember, Kimmer/Heidi Diaz has not suffered the side effects of her diet program because she has not followed it!

Please, please … don’t foster an eating disorder in your son. Don’t saddle him with being obsessed with “thin” at such a young age. Offer him healthy food choices from all food groups. Teach him to eat to live, not live to eat. Especially as a homeschooler, he will emulate you, even more than his dad. Teach him to NOT have food issues, such as you yourself have (if you didn’t have issues with food, you would not be a member of Kimkins to start with). Children who live with parents who are preoccupied with dieting and openly express a dislike for their own bodies are at risk. For more on this topic, this article is a good place to start:


Medusa said...

Thank you so much, Prudentia, for bringing this recent post by a Kimkins member to our attention.

I can't imagine the mother of a growing, 6-year-old boy even considering putting her son on the Kimkins starvation diet.

The fact that Kimmer didn't step in and voice her concern to the boy's mother speaks volumes of Kimmer's character (or lack thereof).

I really am at a loss for words.

Thanks so much, Prudentia, for posting the information re the dietary needs of a child his age. Hopefully, the Kimkins poster reads your post.

My blog: Medusa

OhYeahBabe said...

This is such an awesome post. I'm off to put a link to it on my blog. Good one! You hit on so many important topics - nutrition, the Kimkins disaster, anorexia in boys... wow!
My blog: Kimorexia

mariasol said...

Great post! 6 yo or 14 yo, guess it doesn't matter to Kimmer.

2BIG said...

thank you for this great post. I can't immagine any 6yr old wanting to go on Kimkins, let alone a parent letting that child do it a nutrtionally bankrupt eating plan like kimkins!


kimkinscam said...

Thank you for posting this!
It makes my heart hurt to think about this poor child following such a horrific diet.

Kimmer wouldn't know anything about a "hurting heart" because she doesn't seem to have one.

How could she let that comment stand, without responding? UNBELIEVABLE!

As I've said before, it's difficult to find the words to describe Heidi Diaz. But, OhYeahBabe came up with a good one: UNCONSCIONABLE.

Thank you again for bringing this post to our attention. And for making the attempt to "get through" to this child's mother.
Hopefully she will see your post and realize how dangerous this nutritionally bankrupt diet would be for her child.

BamaGal said...

Great post!!

I just wanted to add one more thing.
Kids, as well as adults, need fat in their diet. But growing children most definitely need fat and cholesterol in their diet for proper growth and development of the brain.

Low carb in and of itself is just fine for growing children, but the low fat version like Kimkins is not for anyone much less a child.

Y.Y. said...

wow. You're doing a great service in posting this about the nutrition needs of children!

Kimkins must go.

Brava Prudentia!

MrsMenopausal said...

Excellent post! Great information. I hope the KK mother reads it and realizes what harm KK could cause her child.
Who else isn't surprised by Heidi's lack of response to this mother?

Anonymous said...

So what's a mother of a sedentary fat little 6-yr-old to do? For starters, get him up and moving. For another, remove all the junk carbs possible from his diet, replacing them with good carbs, including lower carb fruits. Add fat to his diet, and make sure he eats enough protein from good sources, not soy.
Keeping only good foods in the house, and embarking on daily regular exercise will help him thin out as he grows taller, and is the only successful way for him to lose weight.