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Monday, July 18, 2011

Should parents lose custody of super-obese kids?

"Should parents lose custody of super-obese kids?" 

Wow, this article really got me thinking.  There are a few points the article touched on that I want to go over.

"University of Pennsylvania bioethicist Art Caplan said he worries that the debate risks putting too much blame on parents. Obese children are victims of advertising, marketing, peer pressure and bullying — things a parent can't control, he said."

I'm calling BULL SH*T on this one.  Blaming obesity on advertising, marketing, peer pressure and bullying is like blaming gun violence on Arnold Schwarzenegger. 
You cannot blame a fast food restaurant for making a child obese.  The restaurant did not drive the child to the restaurant.  The restaurant did not give the child money to buy food at the restaurant.  The restaurant did not hold the child down and stuff food in the child's mouth.  The fast food restaurant did not make those decisions for the child, the restaurant simply offered a product.  The parents of the child made those decisions for their children.
"While some doctors promote weight-loss surgery for severely obese teens, Ludwig said it hasn't been used for very long in adolescents and can have serious, sometimes life-threatening complications."
Weight loss surgery should NEVER be done on a child.  I don't like when adults have the surgery done, much less children!  After surgery a child is still going to eat fast food and candy!  They are just going to eat less.  Which will lead to temporary weight loss  but a lot of patients gain weight back after a couple years because they don't change their lifestyles!
"Roughly 2 million U.S. children are extremely obese. Most are not in imminent danger, Ludwig said. But some have obesity-related conditions such as Type 2 diabetes, breathing difficulties and liver problems that could kill them by age 30. It is these kids for whom state intervention, including education, parent training, and temporary protective custody in the most extreme cases, should be considered, Ludwig said."
That is a scary number; 2million U.S. Children!  What's more scary?  That number doesn't surprise me!  Next time you are in a public place take a look around you.  You will notice many over weight children... With very over weight parents!  Here is where the real issue is.  Parents are not trying to make their kids unhealthy, they are doing their best with the education they have.  Most parents have little to no food education.  Most parents have no clue what healthy food is.  I once had a woman tell me she had a healthy dinner because she ate chicken nuggets with white meat!  How many fruits and vegetables do you think that woman is feeding her children?

Education is the only way to make this problem better.  We need to stop making excuses and taking shortcuts.  We need to take responsibility for what we put into our, and our children's, mouths.  Learn what is in your food.  Learn where your food comes from.  Learn what nutrients are in your food.

Educate yourself and your children.


well said. Now are folks willing to take this seriously and find it important enough to make changes that will be challenging?

In addition to the factors identified by Mike, I would like to add that poverty (which correlates highly with education) should be considered in conjunction with the placement of supermarkets. If you conduct a quick search of supermarket chains located in high-poverty areas, you'll find very few. For families who do not own cars and have difficulty accessing public transportation, it is very difficult to obtain fruits, vegetables, and other healthy food options.

@Anonymous Great point. That's why I believe education is the most important thing. Not just teaching people what is good for them, but also how to obtain those foods.

Recently on South Salina Street in Syracuse a grocery store closed down. That leaves just one grocery store in that area and half a dozen fast food restaurants!

The people of the area are not the victims here, they are the cause. In a free market economy the consumer dictates what products are offered. The people of the area demanded fast food, so that's what businesses exist in the area. Educating these people may change what types of business you find in the area.

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