Skip to content


    Exciting News for WebMD Members!

    We've been busy behind the scenes building new message boards for you. You'll have new and easier ways to find messages, connect with others, and share your stories.

    And, this will all be available on your smartphone or other mobile device!

    What Do You Need to Do?

    The message board you're used to will be closing in the coming weeks. While many of your boards will be making the move to our new home, your posts will not. Want to keep a discussion going? Save posts you want to continue (this includes your member profile story), so that you can re-post them in the new message boards.

    Keep an eye here and on your email inbox, we'll be back in touch soon to give you all the information you need!

    Yours in health,
    WebMD Message Boards Management

    My dad is an overeater.
    An_252502 posted:
    My dad has a serious addiction to food. Not only is he addicted to food, but about 85% of his diet is meat and eggs. IF he eats any fruits or vegetables, they're usually hidden in the food by the cook (me or my mother). I have actually seen him stand and pick the meat out of a meal, especially if there's a lot of vegetables in the meal. He eats all the time, regardless of what time of day it is or how much food he has already had. He will eat a sandwich for dinner, fall asleep in his chair, wake up and literally eat another sandwich less than an hour after the first one. He's addicted to sweets - if we make a sweet treat (which we make maybe once a month, although lately we haven't made any at all), he will eat half of the pan overnight - he gets up in the middle of the night and eats some, and then will eat it for breakfast while everyone is sleeping.

    I don't know what to do anymore. My family has changed our diet completely in hopes of helping him become healthier. We only use olive oil while cooking, and 100% of our grocery bill is fresh organic produce, fat-free dairy and whole grains. We don't even use that much meat in recipes anymore. If we make something like chili, we use a little for flavoring and replace what would have been meat with beans.

    But our changes make no difference. Instead of eating at home, he stops at fast food restaurants and eats. He eats at McDonald's for breakfast, takes his lunch to work (all processed, pre-packaged foods), and then usually stops on the way home and gets something to eat. If we try to get him to eat something new and different (like a vegetable he hasn't had before), he will simply say "I'm not a (whatever vegetable it is) kind of person". He won't even TRY it, and even if he does, he'll make a face.

    It's not like I'm trying to drive this man crazy. I have seen his lab results. He was recently taken off of Metformin because everything was coming back normal. His HgbA1C is off the charts, and his doctor doesn't seem to think that he should go back on his medication. He also has high cholesterol - even though he takes his statin everyday, his cholesterol levels are about 5 points from being in the "high" region. He also has high blood pressure which he takes two different medications for as well. He's also overweight.

    I don't know what to do. I'm a nursing student, I've taken several nutrition classes and it just kills me to watch him do this to himself because I know what kind of effect it is having on his body. I want to help him, but I'm not sure how to help someone that doesn't seem to want to help himself.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Mahnster responded:
    Why you trying to make him stop eating meats? There is nothing wrong with meat at all. Meats have complete amino acid profiles, can be low in fat and calories, with no carbs, yet ridiculously high in protein. Don't take away a whole food source for him, just incorporate BETTER meats into his diet. I'll bet hes a lot more accepting to the change. Swap out ground beef for ground turkey, no one will know the difference, yet turkey is way leaner. Chicken is another super lean healthy meat. Try to make more reasonable changes. Also, for the sweets, I run a website located at and I have tons of healthy recipes on there. You can find things like high protein brownies, pancakes, smoothies, shakes. Some of the recipes, such as the shakes, are great for adding things people don't normally like to your diet. Using fruits and vegetables to sweeten something naturally is a much healthier option. Making shakes using overly ripe bananas for example will have it tasting like a straight up treat, yet when you break it down and look at the nutritional stats, it couldn't be better for you. Congratulations on making the changes with your family, but I really do think you're being way too extreme trying to completely overhaul his diet just because you guys did. Make smaller steps, be flexible.. Its a lifetime change, not just something you need to peer pressure him into for a little bit. Make him realize how tasty clean eating can be, when he loses weight and feels great, he'll be more willing to try to join you guys and eating your whatever kind of vegetable it is
    brunosbud responded:
    How's "everything coming back normal" if his A1C "off the charts"? What does that mean? By ADA standards, an A1C of 6.7 or higher is diabetes. You say he's on statins and has high blood pressure, too?

    Your dad faces problems on multiple fronts...He obviously is being treated for Diabetes. This is pretty routine treatment for Type 2 Diabetes (metformin, statins and meds for high blood pressure). If his A1C is, in fact, "off the charts", his doctor is probably taking him off metformin and transitioning to insulin injections (humalog/novolog), immediately.

    I think you're doing all you can to encourage your father to eat, better, and take better care of himself. The only thing I suggest is keep it up; don't give up!. Always encourage, always support and always tell him how much you care about him.

    That's all you can do. You can lead a "horse" to water but you can't make him drink...
    Student90 replied to brunosbud's response:
    I didn't mean to be vague...his A1C was okay prior to coming off of Metformin. After being off of Metformin for 6-8 months, his A1C started creeping back up again.

    Is 6.7 a standard number for Type 2? Our doc wants it in the 5's...anything above that is Type 2, by his standards. My dad's A1C is 6.5 right now. Maybe not "off the charts" number-wise, but still quite alarming, considering it was much lower than that while he was on Metformin.
    Student90 replied to Mahnster's response:
    Thank you for the suggestions.

    We have switched out our choices in meat to lean cuts of turkey and chicken before. What usually happens is that he will go shopping alone at some point and bring red meat home...which IS an issue for the entire family, not just him. Other people in my family have had high LDL cholesterol in the past (prior to making dietary changes), so we all make a conscious effort to avoid unhealthy foods.

    Thank you for the link - he won't try shakes or smoothies, but I could easily see him trying the brownies or pancakes (as long as he doesn't know what it's in them
    brunosbud replied to Student90's response:
    Yes. 6.7 (or higher) is a diagnosis of diabetes. 6.5 is technically "prediabetes".

    As far as cholesterol goes, my dr subscribes to the Total Cholesterol: HDL ratio. My TC:HDL ratio is 4:1 (225:55). If your father's ratio is 5:1 or higher, factoring his prediabetes, he would be considered high risk for stroke &/or heart disease. Also, keep in mind, diet isn't the only "fix" for obesity and diabetes. Daily exercise is just as important, if not more so, imo. Deep sleep quality (sleep apnea) is absolutely crucial. No smoking, no alcohol is highly advised. Relaxation & Stress Control keeps blood sugar and insulin levels to a minimum. Avoid all meds containing steroids. Weight loss is extremely beneficial; it's therapeutic impact is huge! and, Regular Blood Pressure & Blood Glucose Testing is a very powerful self-help practice.

    Recovering from a long period of illness and injury is the equivalent of scaling Mt. Everest, imo. It's a task that requires multiple lifestyle changes at multiple levels...casting aside unhealthful habits and replacing them with empowering ones.
    Everyone, here, thinks it's "easy"...

    ...then, they fail. It's very hard and requires extraordinary focus and commitment. This is why, for the lucky few who truly grasp and understand this process, once their health is reclaimed, they come out "looking" like a completely different person. In truth, they are!

    So, if you want a different "Dad", you have to be patient, always supportive and celebrate the small victories. I, too, refrain from all red meat and most dairy but an occasional cheese burger won't kill me...Not yet.
    SharonNVirginia responded:
    Could your father be depressed? Men are very good at hiding the symptoms. His refusal to eat healthier choices could mean he has given up on his life. If he is, your approach to getting him better will be different than if he simply denies that there is anything wrong with his meal choices. Maybe the best thing you can do is leave up measurement charts and weight charts in the bath. You and your mom high-five over filling out the food and fitness tracker here on;. Hey Mom, I lost an inch around my waist and I got my saturated fat intake inside the recommended range for a WEEK. And show him rather than nag him that improvement in energy, health and looks is possible.

    from 265 to 240 on weight watchers, From 240-220 on Dr. Roizen and Oz.
    72ndstreet responded:
    Hi, I understand your concern about your dad. did you try to let him watch, programs regarding diets or weight loss? These things mostly cause the person to be more determined to deny diets.
    Try some diet tips or a other way of cooking. I've cam across various methods of food diets and weight loss programs . Maybe you can get help from this guy.
    vimal01 responded:
    I had trouble losing weight,too But I finally found the system that worked for me and my friend I have free info about this on site

    Helpful Tips

    desk tip works
    Hi, when I had a desk job I used to just pick up my legs under the desk as if I was walking up and down the stairs ... and it helps with ... More
    Was this Helpful?
    2 of 2 found this helpful

    Expert Blog

    Everyday Fitness - Pamela Peeke, MD, MPH, FACP

    Achieve a better mind-body balance and live a healthier life with tips from wellness expert Dr. Pamela Peeke...Read More

    Related Drug Reviews

    • Drug Name User Reviews

    Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

    FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.