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by Abigail Van Buren

Overweight Sister Needs A Health Intervention

DEAR ABBY: My sister is 63, divorced, educated, intelligent, self-employed and receives monthly support from her ex-husband. The problem is she takes no responsibility for her health. She's extremely overweight because she overeats and doesn't exercise. She complains every day that she feels "terrible." (I call it self-pitying whining.)

Our other siblings think it is too late to confront her about it. I want to address the issue now, before she gains even more, or has a stroke or heart attack and, quite frankly, won't be able to care for herself. I don't want to see the responsibility fall on her three kids or us siblings. It's not fair. She's just too lazy to make necessary changes and constantly whines! Your thoughts? -- SIBLING STANDING BY

DEAR SIBLING: The problem with "confronting" someone is that it usually makes the person being confronted defensive. In a case like this I don't recommend it. However, a family intervention might work. If the family members were to get together and, as a group, talk to your sister about your concern for her health, it might be the wake-up call she needs.

No mention of "whining" should be made, but suggest that she might have a touch of depression that could be helped if she brings it to the attention of her doctor. Tell her you all love her, that you're worried about her, and are willing to help her schedule an appointment with her physician if she's willing. I think that would be a loving thing to do.

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