Dr. Helen

Yes, Ms. Venn, You Did Lose Your Mind

I saw a “news” update on my phone that said a mom had to defend her daughter against a nurse. I figured a nurse had done something really bad, like damaged the girl with a bad shot or the wrong diagnosis. But no, nothing that awful had happened. Instead, a nurse dared to tell the 13-year-old daughter she had gained weight:


Julie Venn is teaching her daughters that “strong is beautiful, and weight means nothing” — so she was frustrated when a nurse body shamed her 13-year-old during her yearly checkup.

The personal trainer and mom of two went into the appointment excited to see how much her younger daughter, Riley, had grown in the past year.

“The coach in me has loved seeing her strength and size finally come along and the mom in me has loved watching this beautiful young girl begin to become a young woman,” Venn, 48, wrote in a Facebook post.

But when the nurse practitioner came into the room, Venn said that she immediately started questioning Riley — who plays softball and basketball — about her diet, exercise, sleep habits and school, before asking, “Tell me Riley, how can you explain all of this weight you’ve gained?”…

The nurse goes on to say that based on her previous measurements, the amount of weight Riley gained doesn’t match up with her height.

“I LOST MY MIND,” Venn, who lives in Glenview, Illinois, wrote. “I had a literal, physical reaction. I put my hand up and said, ‘STOP! You need to stop talking to my daughter about her weight. She is 13, she is strong. She is healthy and she is PERFECT. You need to move on!’ ”


The nerve of this nurse, pointing out that a girl had gained weight! She should be thrown in jail! What a tragedy. To be fair, this girl does look fine but the nurse had the data — maybe she had gained too much.

It could become a health issue and pointing it out is not unreasonable. The girl’s mother says she “LOST HER MIND” over the nurse questioning the weight gain. But this overreaction is so extreme that one wonders if her daughter’s health is even the issue here. Mom’s main concern is a political one: that girls and women feel “empowered.” The hell with reality. But how empowered will the daughter feel if she develops diabetes or health problems later in life from obesity?

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