Fat kids = child abuse

  • gallus81

    Posts: 350

    Apr 13, 2009 9:28 AM GMT
    I have the luxury of always being skinny/slim so I'm biased on this topic (flame away if you must), but here's a thought to split the voters and get a few people angry:

    Parents who allow their kids to get fat through lack of activity, exercise and poor diet should be charged with child abuse.


    It's a topic I was discussing last night with mates, and although I'm not convinced it's truly 'child abuse', I can't come up with a decent defence for the parents. Sure there are ailments and conditions that result in children gaining weight, but what about the ones who are simply fat because their parents couldn't care enough to provide them decent food? (and are probably fat themselves). If you fail to provide the necessities of life to a child you are held responsible (and can be thrown in gaol), should childhood obesity be included in that?
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    Apr 13, 2009 9:32 AM GMT
    gallus81 saidI have the luxury of always being skinny/slim so I'm biased on this topic
    I'd recommend you stop there.
  • Delivis

    Posts: 2332

    Apr 13, 2009 9:34 AM GMT
    It is a tough one. It reminds me a lot of other arguments along those lines. Is it child abuse to indocrinate a child into a violent or pseudoscientific belief system or religion? Is it child abuse to forbid them to go outside and socialize outside of the family or other things along the same lines that may effect their mental health and social adjustment? Is it neglect when parents know or think or suspect their child is smoking but wont or cant stop it?

    Very hard to draw the line there, as it is here. Where do you draw the line between eating a lot and a leisurely lifestyle vs. obesity, child abuse, and neglect?

  • gallus81

    Posts: 350

    Apr 13, 2009 9:41 AM GMT
    lilTanker said
    gallus81 saidI have the luxury of always being skinny/slim so I'm biased on this topic
    I'd recommend you stop there.


    to be honest I almost did ... but decided I'm foolish enough to take on the possible/probable backlash ... I get annoyed when I see fat parents with fat kids; annoyed because I just don't understand.

    Happy to be enlightened.
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Apr 13, 2009 10:56 AM GMT
    This is difficult ....
    because who's going to making that determination?
    Is the child with juvenile diabetes and whose overweight get the same deliberation as the child who is truly simply overfed?
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    Apr 13, 2009 11:33 AM GMT



    Considering that Here on RJ it appears that 10 extra pounds makes a person fat, we could see that half the parents on the planet would be considered committing a crime.
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    Apr 13, 2009 12:25 PM GMT
    I kind of see what you're saying. But when does a parent get to that point where they would think enough is enough? You can't really ask someone for an answer on this. It's just one of those things you'd have to experience yourself. When you have kids, are you just going to let them eat what you want them to? Are you going to be one of those parents that restricts their kids food intake? No cake, no candy, no soda? If you ask me, that's what being a kid is all about!


    No but really, some parent do let it go too far. Should they be charged with child abuse? No. Maybe take some classes on how to live a healthier lifestyle.
  • gallus81

    Posts: 350

    Apr 13, 2009 12:36 PM GMT
    tafkalil saidI kind of see what you're saying. But when does a parent get to that point where they would think enough is enough? You can't really ask someone for an answer on this. It's just one of those things you'd have to experience yourself. When you have kids, are you just going to let them eat what you want them to? Are you going to be one of those parents that restricts their kids food intake? No cake, no candy, no soda? If you ask me, that's what being a kid is all about!

    No but really, some parent do let it go too far. Should they be charged with child abuse? No. Maybe take some classes on how to live a healthier lifestyle.


    last point is a good one (in fact all of your points are good) ... and it's pretty much my view as well; how much is too much, and by what scale can/could it be measured? I'm not smart enough but I'm sure someone out there would (has?) come up with some formula to determine it.

    and as meninlove said, eating bad food is part of what being a kid is about, and I totally agree on that one ... how would I be as a parent? In my mind I'd like to think I'd be fair:

    Child: Pleeeeeeeease can I have the last Easter egg?
    Me: Sure, but to make up for it, we'll have to add an extra sprint session in this afternoon, once you get back from the gym, and it'll have to be before your pilates class.

    icon_razz.gif
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    Apr 13, 2009 6:15 PM GMT
    It's child abuse if you have a 8 year old kid who weights in at 150 lbs. That's pretty big for a kid that age.

    At the same time though, overly pushing your kid onto fintess is a form of child abuse as well so one needs to know how tyo balance the two out.
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    Apr 13, 2009 6:21 PM GMT
    Have a kid first then make this lame argument! Some kids are just born over weight. It's a gentic disposition. What are you going to do charge these parents and have the kids put in the Foster care system ...yeah that's a great alternative. Yo make this charge but what solution do you have?????
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    Apr 13, 2009 6:37 PM GMT
    31% of children between the ages of 2 and 19 are overweight or obese according to the CDC. Just imagine 31% of children clogging up the foster care system.

    I don't think tackling the growing obesity problem is as easy as just slapping a label of child-abuse on it. We cannot deal with this problem without dealing with food policy that keeps junk food cheap and healthy food expensive. Rates of obesity in the entire population remained flat until 1978 when corn-based High Fructose Corn Syrup found its way into nearly every food. Fatty beef went from a once a week food in the 1960's to an everyday food today, replacing lean chickens. This is in part because it is so much easier to feed cows corn than it is chickens (science has worked on that. Now, Salmon farms feed their fish corn too). And that is just food.

    Schools, desperate to meet quotas on standardized tests have been increasing classroom time and taking away play time and gym from their students. We are telling them that exercise is a waste of time, optional at best. Being able to sit down in a single spot and pay attention to teacher (and by extension TV or the computer).

    If anyone should be brought up on abuse charges it is our government.
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    Apr 13, 2009 6:47 PM GMT
    Yes it is child abuse ! And I wish there was a law for it .
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    Apr 13, 2009 6:57 PM GMT
    I think neglect is more appropriate than child abuse don't you think
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    Apr 13, 2009 7:05 PM GMT
    I think it is a complex issue and I think blaming parents is an easy route.

    Food has never been so cheap and plentiful and and you also have food manufacturers who spend millions on persuading people to eat more of these calorie-rich food stuffs.

    And staying slim and healthy is actually quite difficult unless you make a concerted effort to watch your calorie intake. I don't think you can blame parents.
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    Apr 13, 2009 7:25 PM GMT

    This reminds me of the one of its kind "Gym for Kids" we have in the "new" Dubai... there are two of them here, actually... along the same road... but only for ages 4 - 18, me thinks? icon_confused.gif
  • Webster666

    Posts: 9217

    Apr 13, 2009 10:21 PM GMT
    I agree with the OP.
    Parents who allow their kids to get fat, are doing a terrible disservice to the kids, starting them off on a life filled with cruel remarks from other kids and grown ups, as well as dooming the kid to poor health and discrimination because of their size.

    Parents have a responsibility, from birth to the day their kid graduates from college, to do everything necessary to give that child a healthy start in life. That includes, love and affection, a decent home, nutritious food, a reasonable amount of exercise, clothing, medical care, and a complete education (through college).
    Anyone who can't or won't provide that, shouldn't have kids.
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    Apr 13, 2009 10:24 PM GMT
    gallus.

    If what you say is true then underfeeding is also child abuse. Do you feel you were abused as a child because you have always been skinny/slim?
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    Apr 13, 2009 10:27 PM GMT
    genetics anyone? not all fat kids eat more or are less active than "thin" kids. growing up I had a friend in swimming who was a lil porker but was a great swimmer and trained like the rest of us.

    maybe society needs to provide tighter guidelines in schools for PE?
  • Webster666

    Posts: 9217

    Apr 13, 2009 11:17 PM GMT
    "Some kids are just born over weight. It's a gentic disposition."
    ______________________________________________________________
    Unless he has a diagnosed medical problem, no kid is born over weight. Kids (and adults) get fat from eating a poor diet and not enough exercise.

    Parent: "I'm too tired to cook. Let's go to McDonalds and fill up on fried pies, fried fat burgers, sugar and flour buns, greasy french fries, and a gallon of sugar water."

    Kid in school: "I don't like what they're serving in the cafeteria. I'm going to get some Coke and cookies and chips out of the vending machine."

    The kid gets home from school, and of cours, he's hungry. What's in the house to eat ? Cookies and chips.

    What's for dinner ? Microwaved burritos.

    1) If a kid eats nothing but fat and sugar, the kid will be fat.
    2) If a kid vegetates in front of the TV and the computer all day, he'll probably be fat.

    1) + 2) = a FAT kid
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    Apr 13, 2009 11:34 PM GMT
    After googeling I found the study that was done about overweight kids:

    http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P3-1122036491.html
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    Apr 14, 2009 12:24 AM GMT
    Webster666 saidI agree with the OP.
    Parents who allow their kids to get fat, are doing a terrible disservice to the kids, starting them off on a life filled with cruel remarks from other kids and grown ups, as well as dooming the kid to poor health and discrimination because of their size.

    Parents have a responsibility, from birth to the day their kid graduates from college, to do everything necessary to give that child a healthy start in life. That includes, love and affection, a decent home, nutritious food, a reasonable amount of exercise, clothing, medical care, and a complete education (through college).
    Anyone who can't or won't provide that, shouldn't have kids.


    I'm sorry but a parent does not have to GIVE a child a complete college education. doyou know how expensive that is? I mean sure, if you're living in trustfundbabyland. They should do all they can to prepare a kid for college/scholarships/studyskills/ applications/etc. but come on. My parents didn't give me shit to get through school. I'm sure 90210 must have been a great neighborhood for you.

    Please also keep in mind the socio-economic factor, the fact that there is an abundance of liquor and party stores full of shit snack foods in urban neighborhoods but a disproportionate lack of healthy foods options in lower income communities. it sickens me to see people consistently feed fried chicken to their families but you must admit. the shit is cheaper than organinc boneless chicken breast.
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    Apr 14, 2009 12:31 AM GMT
    Interesting, I was just reading the other day how China will not adopt to the overweight; "The rules basically say you need not apply if you are single, overweight, deformed, taking antidepressants or poor." Even the 'special needs' orphans no one will adopt.

    http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/04/10/china.adoptions/

  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Apr 14, 2009 12:39 AM GMT
    It's very sad the state of the way kids are growing up in this country
    The average kid these days is overweight
    Their diets are terrible .... filled with sugar and empty calories
    Few have any real exercise during their day
    This is a recipe for disaster
    already childhood diabetes is almost a an epidemic proportion among children
    we are starting to even see hypertension among pre-teens
    this is awful
    what kind of life will these kids have when they reach adulthood?
    and what is going to be the cost to us as a society to take care of them ?
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    Apr 14, 2009 12:57 AM GMT

    Hi gallus81, that was tafkalil (rather than us) saying, "No cake, no candy, no soda? If you ask me, that's what being a kid is all about!"


    We agree that kids should be able to eat sugar. What they're getting though is something else - bye bye sugar, hello high fructose corn sweeteners. Your body doesn't recognize these as simple sugar - the insulin response is wrong and your body stores it like fat. It's in many many foods and drinks now. $ugar or super cheap corn sweetener? What do think business does?

    Good food is expensive. Poorer families have to make hard choices. It all adds up to a big (no pun intended) problem.

    Here's something that may help:

    http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/6883.php

    "The researchers looked at the records from the Department of Agriculture, USA, between the years 1967-2000. They then looked at other previous research as well.

    They noticed that the increase in obesity occurred in parallel to the increase in the use of high-fructose corn sweeteners. The use of this sweetener started in the 1970s, the obesity increase started at the same time, the increase in the use of the sweetener was immediately followed by an increase in obesity since that time.

    This is according to Dr. George Bray, Obesity Scientist, Louisiana State University System's Pennington Biomedical Research Center."


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    Apr 14, 2009 12:59 AM GMT
    gallus81 said

    Child: Pleeeeeeeease can I have the last Easter egg?
    Me: Sure, but to make up for it, we'll have to add an extra sprint session in this afternoon, once you get back from the gym, and it'll have to be before your pilates class.

    icon_razz.gif



    That better be a big ass easter egg...


    On a serious note, parents should follow some kind of RDA guidlines that correspond to the familys metabolic and dietary history. That parent owes it to the child and ultimately the society he/she grows up in. If being overwieght is a hereditary problem than atleast the child can be healthy.

    By letting a child eat what they want and overfeed him/her your letting them live a lifestyle that will subsequently be there reason for being overwieght and have health risks (diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure etc etc). I not only believe its a form of physical abuse but emotional abuse as well.