Dear Abby: How can I help? My 5-year-old niece already is overeating and her parents are overweight

Dear Abby: My niece, who just turned 5, is twice the size of a normal child her age. Her parents are also overweight. They let her eat what she wants, and the amount of food is what an adult would eat. I am so worried, both from a health perspective as well as about social acceptance by her peers. Must I shut my mouth? How can I address this without alienating them, as I cherish our relationship?

— Worried in the Midwest


Dear Abby: How can I get ‘Fun Auntie’ to respect boundaries with grandkids?

Dear Abby: My friends’ rude remarks have stolen the joy I have in some of my prized possessions

See all “Dear Abby” columns

Dear Worried: To discuss this with the overweight parents would be like tap dancing in a minefield. It could be interpreted as judgmental and make them defensive. However, when your niece is with you, model healthy behavior in your choices of what you eat and serve her to eat. If you do, you will be able to demonstrate that not everyone eats the way her parents do.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069. Copyright 2023 Andrews McMeel Syndication.

Related Posts