Life Advice



Ask Amy: Christmas Eve brings on competing traditions

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Both boys are covered with marbled fat.

How can I address my concerns for their health with my son and his wife?

– Grampa

Dear Grampa: According to statistics published by the CDC (, the rate of childhood obesity in America is truly alarming: “In 2017-18, the prevalence of obesity was 19.3% and affected about 14.4 million children and adolescents. Obesity prevalence was 13.4% among 2- to 5-year-olds, 20.3% among 6- to 11-year-olds, and 21.2% among 12- to 19-year-olds.”

Obesity in children can lead to serious health problems, including diabetes and high cholesterol.

Yes, you should express your concern. You can start by saying, “I’m worried about the boys’ weight. Have they had a wellness check this year? Did the pediatrician bring this up?”

You can expect these parents to respond defensively, but if you are open and nonjudgmental about this topic, it might inspire them to continue to talk with you about it, and to work on solutions.

Dear Amy: Thank you for publishing the question from “Underperformer,” a woman whose husband was demanding that she submit to a sexual act she “hated,” and who refused to kiss her because she didn’t.

I was shocked when I read the question, because I could have written it.


Thank you for breaking from your usual practice of urging couples to work things out – and for telling her, point blank, to get out.

I wish I had followed this frank advice years ago – I would have been spared years of escalating abuse.

– Survivor

Dear Survivor: The number of women responding with similar stories (well over 100), is frankly heartbreaking.


(You can email Amy Dickinson at or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.)

©2021 Amy Dickinson. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.




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