This is my first question and as many know obesity is a very dear subject of mine considering I used to be obese myself. I would like to get opinions on this topic. There has been an abundance of new material posted regarding this topic. Let me know your thoughts!
Fuel the Movement,
Thanks for the question, Jason. It forced me to think it through more thoroughly. You hit a real hot button with your first question. When I saw the article in the newspaper a few days ago, I was thinking about it and talked with others.
When you read about a 14 year old who weighs 550 lbs, the answers seems obvious. And according to the article, he has done great in a different environment, lost already quite a bit of that weight and is therefore much healthier. So for that scenario, it was the best for the child.
The author of the article equates an extremely obese child with an abused child. The result in either case is a child with compromised health, and in both cases it is caused by parents who do not have adequate parenting skills.
But there are also vast differences. Our society condemns – and quite rightly so – the abuse of a child through any form of physical or emotional agression. However, the nourishing of a child is the first responsibility of a parent. We reward with food, food is the center of many celebrations, it is a means of bonding. There is the proverbial breaking of break as an essential community activity. One of the first things couples do after they are married is feeding each other wedding cake.
With so many triggers in our society that equate food with love, where is the line to be drawn? I like to assume that those parent do not mean to harm their children but do not know how to handle the conflicting messages.
In summary. I believe that it may be necessary for a child to be temporarily removed from this toxic love. But the parents need to be educated as much as the child with the hope that they all can resume a jhealthy parent/child relationship later in the future.
Jason you bring up a very controversial ethical question. Organization like CARE deal with ethical questions like this all the time. It seems to me that ethics can be looked at through many different lenses and therefore many different perspectives. On a personal level what is ethically correct for me may not be ethically right for you. For example, I may be a vegetarian and you may choose to eat meat. On a community level there are moral norms of conduct or ethical guidelines. For example, it is the norm in our society that hitting children is unlawful and a punishable offense, but it was not always so, laws change as the public norms, mores and ethical views change.
What CARE does is stop the abuse, educate the abuser, treat the abused, and provide resouces so that the occurrence does not continue.
Obesity is most prevalent, according to the CDC, in Blacks, 51 percent higher prevalence of obesity, and Hispanics, 21 percent higher obesity prevalence compared with whites. So there are some sociological factors as well as genetic factors to consider.
All of these things must be consider in order to make a just decision.
As a mother first, I must say that parents for the most parents love their children dearly.
However, at times when parents have adequate knowledge and education that a specific intervention will help their child (even though the intervention might be uncomfortable or even painful) the parents decide that the painful intervention is the best approach in the interest of the child. Removal of the child might be the painful intervention. I believe in situations like the above, the behavior that forces the parent to overfeed the child needs to be addressed as a family so, that family can understand the importance of the intervention.
For me the question is the same as should a child be removed from their parents household if the parent is a chain-smoker or smokes while she is pregnant, or uses illegal drugs in the privacy of their home, or is putting the child a risk but the damage is not as visible as obesity? Where do you draw the line if the reason for removal of the child is because the actions of the parent put the child’s health at risk? What barometer are we using to measure what is abusive behavior on the part of the parent? A parent may decide to allow their child to play violent video games. Where does one draw the line?
I have to say in this day and age of political correctness crap everybody is so scared of disciplining their kids that its slowly degrading each generation.
I think that not monitoring a childs intake is paramount to child abuse! Letting a child get to 300, 400, 500lbs is pure neglect.
Parents need to do their job or lose the right to! I have no sympathy for parents who have their kids taken away for any form of child abuse whether its mental or physical. A child needs structure.
Tough question to answer. I’m a father myself and it helps that I understand nutrition and monitor what she eats. When I see obese kids it’s usually a reflection of their parents who most likely don’t understand nutrition and what are healthy food choices. I can’t really say yes or no, I can just say that the parents and children need education on nutrition and exercise. It doesn’t help that they cut or shorten P.E. in some schools, and that there isn’t much motivation from teachers/parents for kids to exercise at a young age.