My Obese Sister Is Raising Her Kids Fat. What Can I do?


My sister has always struggled with her weight. I sympathize with her, really, but we come from the same family and ate the same meals and I’ve manage to take care of my health so it’s always puzzled me how it’s so difficult for her to do the same. Whatever. It’s her business.

But now that her kids are 5 and 8, they are noticeably large for their age. This can’t be healthy. In addition, kids are cruel at that age. I can’t imagine they are popular and that takes a toll on a kid’s self-esteem. As their aunt, I have their best interests at heart and I’m wondering what I can do to help.

One idea I had is to buy a family membership for my sister and her kids to the local YMCA. We live in a small community so the fees aren’t that much, at least for my family. But I’m hesitant to do this because my sister is additionally kind of lazy/a homebody so I’m worried that I’ll spend a bunch of money for nothing. Is there a way to make sure she takes them to the gym and plans fun family exercises?

It’s halfway through the summer already, but perhaps I could ask the kids if they’d like to spend the summer with me? My family eats healthy meals and both my children are extremely active in sports. I think they would be good influences on their cousins (my niece recently expressed to me that she would like to play volleyball but feels “too fat” to wear the shorts the other girls wear — she’s 8!!!).

It pains me to no end to know that my niece and nephew are suffering. I would do anything to help them.

My sister and I don’t have the greatest relationship, but this is low even for her. Her kid’s health and futures are at stake and she can’t be bothered to ensure they are healthy and thriving. Should I involve her kid’s teachers? At this point I’m searching for anything that will help give them the future they deserve.

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