Thousands of Redditors rallied around a mother who said her husband was trying to control how much their daughter eats because he “doesn’t want her to be fat like him.”
In a viral thread boasting 14,000 upvotes, Reddit user u/Similar-Ad-381 asked if they were wrong for preventing her husband from trying to change their daughter’s eating habits. Posting the thread on Reddit’s r/AmITheA**hole, u/Similar-Ad-381 explained that her husband had recently started monitoring how much their eleven-year-old daughter was eating, that she had to “put her foot down” when he tried to decrease her portion sizes.
“My husband and I have an 11 year old daughter together and so far things have been going really well. She’s never been a skinny kid, but she’s at a perfectly healthy weight for her age and height,” she wrote. “Lately she’s hit a growth spurt and I swear she grew 3 inches taller in 3 months. She’s had a bigger appetite and has been going for seconds at dinner or having slightly bigger portions at meals.”
u/Similar-Ad-381 assured that her daughter was still swimming, playing basketball and doing everything she loves, but said her husband raised concerns about how much their daughter was eating.
“My husband really wants to begin monitoring her portion sizes and not letting her go for seconds, or letting her eat chips or lollies at all,” she wrote. “He told me he doesn’t want her to be fat like him.”
u/Similar-Ad-381 said her husband’s attempts to control their daughter’s food intake crossed the line, and blamed his upbringing for his poor relationship with food.
“I put my foot down and told him absolutely not, because that’s a quick way to fast track an ED at her age,” she wrote. “I told him the reason for his weight is due to his parents’ attitude towards food…I also said he should be more scared of having a daughter with an eating disorder than having a fat daughter.”
According to the Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital website, eating disorders affect as many as 30 million people in the United States and 95% of people with eating disorders are between the ages of 12 and 25.
In addressing multiple myths about eating disorders, Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hosptial reports that eating disorders have the highest risk of death of any mental illness, and although they are more common in females, eating disorders affect all genders, races and ethnic groups.
Johns Hopkins also reports that while “eating disorder researchers and clinical experts believe that eating disorders are caused by both environmental and genetic factors … different social pressures may cause them to develop the disorder.”
u/Similar-Aid-381 acknowledged that her husband was applying that type of pressure, and other Redditors commended her for shutting down his attempts to control their daughter’s portion sizes.
“NTA, and you’re a great mom,” wrote u/LollipopThrowAway in the post’s top comment, which has received over 20,000 votes. “However I’d keep your child away from his parents as much as possible so she doesn’t develop any bad ideologies from them.”
Many of the post’s nearly 2,000 commenters focused on the original poster’s husband and his parents, who u/Similar-Aid-381 said were responsible for his attitude towards food.
“Protect your daughter from these people!,” u/DillyCat622 wrote. “Your husband would also benefit from therapy with an eating disorder therapist. He may be at a healthier weight, but disordered eating is a mindset … He’s still carrying a lot of shame and he’s projecting that onto her.”
u/Sorcia_Lawson wrote that children like the original poster’s daughter should not be criticized for their bodies, and thanked u/Similar-Aid-381 for defending her against her husband.
“Girls under 25 (brain development point) should not be under heavy scrutiny about their bodies,” they commented. “So, thank you, for protecting your baby.”