Childhood Obesity is Child Abuse?
This was in the news this morning- a 555 lb 14 year old being taken away from his mom for neglect.
If this all goes through it will make childhood obesity a form of abuse. Do you think it is? Where would you draw the line? How do you think society needs to change to combat this problem?
Lets generate some discussion...
I personally think it is a type of neglect. A parents job is to teach their children qualities and skills that will translate into their functional adult life. If they dont know how to take care of themselves they will never make it in the adult world. This article mentioned this boy becoming a life-long disability case. Which is an added strain on all our tax monies.
I think food companies need to be held accountable for what is in their products. How are trans-fats, msg, aspartame, food colorings, etc still legal? They're banned in much of the world but ok here. I think thats where the government needs to get involved. But I also think education needs to happen. There's too much misinformation out there. We still tell our kids that beef jerky and milk are healthy snacks. Up until I started researching health for myself I drank a glass of milk with every meal- no wonder i had chronic sinusitis!
I think that a couple of big problems have to do with parental education regarding nutrition, and the agreement of different health agencies as to what is okay and what is not.
I know quite a few parents who feed their children horrendous things, and have no idea the harm they can cause. These people think that *I'm* a fanatic because my kids don't know what a lollipop is...after all, isn't rotting teeth and a sugar addiction one of the joys of childhood that they shouldn't be denied?
Then there are the health agencies. The Canadian Food Pyramid still shows 1-2 servings of dairy and 8-12 servings of grains per day. We know better than that, right folks? Erm...or do we? There is enough contention in the raw food movement about whether sprouted grains and dehydrated foods should be included in human diets, rather than just sweet fruits and green roughage.
I understand that the case in this article is an extreme one...but it sort of brings to mind the whole thing about license to fish, license to drive, license to own a dog...but any idiot can be a parent. *sigh*
It's an interesting one. If a child is malnourished, then the relevant agencies are supposed to step in and intervene, but not sure what the procedure is for the other side of the scale. People are so scared of offending and stepping on people's toes. There can sometimes be a bit of a backlash and people start moaning about living in a 'Nanny State'.
I have such distain for parent who let their kids eat junk but I suppose they were raised in the same way and don't know any better. :-(
I stopped at a service station the other day and this really tiny tot was eating a McDonalds cheese burger. I felt sick just watching and would have loved to give the parents a piece of my mind.
I did see something on the TV a while back which was about these after school clubs/classes which were to educate obese children (and their parents) about healthy eating. Having said that, what most people would deam as 'healthy' is quite different from the people on this site. :-)
It's kind of funny, the whole idea of telling people what to do...
Anyone ever see "SuperSize Me"? The guy who did that documentary told a story about some people sitting around having dinner, and it came up that one guest smoked. Everyone tore into him, telling him how dangerous and unhealthy it was...and at the same time ignored the obese woman with them who was just as surely killing herself with food as the smoking man was with cigarettes.
Societies views certainly need to change.
If a parent who refuses to immunize her child can have her parenting motives questioned and possibly have her children go into protective custody, why should we let parents who let their children eat themselves to an early death get off scott free?
After 'supersize me' came out, my friend that works at mcdonalds was constantly under attack by patrons for serving unhealthy food. How messed is that? You walk into a mcdonalds, berate the staff for their fattening food, then order a big mac, large fries and diet coke. right...
We do have a warped sense of weight and health anymore. When i weighed 180lbs and wore a size 14, people would say 'you're not fat!' and wouldn't say boo to what i had for lunch. But now that im 130 lbs and wear a size 2 people constantly criticize what I eat or call me anorexic. Where do we draw the lines on criticizing someones weight/health routines?