Have you noticed how much chunkier kids are today? I don’t mean that in a cruel way. I mean I’m a thick chic myself. But I also know the dangers and it’s not cool. Well after reading an article, I found out that 1 out of every 3 American kids are overweight or obese. Nearly 60 percent of kids are obese. The most surprising thing about this is that many parents don’t recognize their child as being overweight. That is scary! Especially since 70% of those kids will become obese adults, which will become obese parents, which in turn will likely raise overweight children. And the cycle continues. Eventually the entire country will be overweight, out of shape, and suffering from preventable diseases. So what can be done to stop this epidemic? Clearly parents are primarily responsible for their children’s health and diet. And you really can’t blame the schools because parents have a choice to pack their child’s lunch. So should parents of morbidly obese children lose custody or face criminal charges? Many states are desperate to find a solution to this issue and have been debating over the issue of whether or not childhood obesity is the same as child abuse. In fact, awhile back a South Carolina mom was arrested and charged with criminal neglect for allowing her 14 year old son to get too fat. He reached a whopping 555lbs to be exact. That is really sad. But my first thought is that child abuse is quite a stretch. But then I think about the poor toddlers that are often exploited on these talk shows weighing in at nearly 100lbs and only 2 or 3 years old. The parents are usually on stage crying and saying they just can’t say no. But then there are some adolescents who sneak and eat behind their parents backs. But even in these cases of adolescents, parents should “notice” if their kid picks up a cool 25 or 50lbs. And then be responsible enough to seek help if needed. So you could argue neglect if a parent isn’t paying enough attention to notice tremendous weight gain. But the issue really isn’t cut and dry. Some might even argue that if parents of obese children can lose custody, then should we do the same of children who live in homes of smokers, alcohol users?
I honestly am on the fence about this. But the two things I am certain about are 1) parents are solely responsible for their child’s diet and 2) there should be some sort of intervention to assist. Now what intervention, the extinct of the intervention, and the timing of the intervention, I am not entirely sure about. This may be the same question at the state level. What do you think?