Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Is obesity in children tantamount to child abuse?!?

Today I saw something that I guess I've grown used to seeing.........and that's a family of morbidly obese people. Every single one was morbidly obese......father, mother, not so little girl and not so little boy....every single one of them with more rolls than Wonder Bread. I didn't see a dog or a cat, but I can only imagine what they look like as well.
We've become a nation of overweight people.  Overweight to the point of being extremely unhealthy.  Overweight to the point of being a drag on our health care system......and everyone else's too.

Overweight to the point of not being as productive as we could be in the workplace.....especially if you have to take time off for health related issues. 
Why do we do this to ourselves?!? Why do we overeat like this?!? 
We've earned the title...........fat, ugly American.
It would be one thing if it was one or two people here and there........but there are so many obese people in this country, something like one in three, that's 100,000,000 of us.  1 in 3 Americans have a wait problem, they can't wait to eat.  When I see parents with obese children, I have to wonder to myself if the obesity of their children isn't a form of child abuse?!?
 The last time I posted something about people that are overweight, one of my posters implied that I hated overweight people............nothing could be further from the truth.
The simple fact is that healthier foods tend to be more expensive than not so healthy, fattening food.  You will usually pay through the nose for a decent salad, but the special with a burger, fries and a drink is only $5.99.....and that's a full meal. Fried foods (which are so good they'll make your tongue slap your brains clean out) are usually inexpensive in most places, while grilled food tends to be slightly more expensive.  While you'd think that being overweight might be an exclusively socioeconomic issue.......plenty of the "haves" are fat too.
People are mean.....children are worse.  If you're feeding your child to the point where they are obese, people outside of your home are subjecting them to what may feel like absolute torture.  Children can be absolutely cruel.
Not to mention the fact that being morbidly obese isn't particularly healthy.
If we don't take better care of ourselves.....we're doomed to die prematurely and live with unnecessary health issues.  There was a time when a healthy "Rubenesque" woman was considered to be very sexy and desirable by men.  While many men of color like their women as thick as a cold bowl of grits......that only goes so far.
 In my not so humble opinion........there is nothing sexy about this. Oh and by the way, sometimes when Cosmo says you're fat.........you are; Sir Mix-a-lot has nothing to do with it whatsoever.
But it's one thing when you're an adult and you choose to pig out.  When you do this to your children you're just as wrong as two left shoes.
Tell me, when you see children that are morbidly obese.....do you immediatlely think that is a form of child abuse?!? Honestly.......usually I do.

62 comments:

  1. I don't see it as child abuse necessarily.... But I do see it as an indictment of our current lifestyle. When was the last time you saw children playing in earnest outside? Jumping rope? Tag? Racing? Skating? How often do parents actually cook vs. bringing home fast food? More parents have more crap in their cupboards than real food. Schools have cut recess and children just don't leave the house anymore unless it is for some activity the parents set up. My mother was a single parent with 2 jobs and 2 bad children, and she managed to cook breakfast and dinner from scratch everyday. EVERYDAY. Fast food was a treat, not a meal. This is the new reality if folks don't wake up and see what this permissive parenting is doing.

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    1. I would agree with what you're saying about the American lifestyle, because it leaves a lot to be desired. But when people feed their children to the point where they can barely stand or get tired walking across the room, to me that's child abuse.

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  2. It reminds me of this recent strip from Candorville...
    http://candorville.com/2012/04/22/about-average/

    Working at a university, I'll occasionally see someone obese, but it's mostly skinny to average-sized folks with a few athletic-types sprinkled in (stating the obvious). Of course, off-campus it's usually as you stated. I think this is one of the major dents in the "USA" armor. I rarely eat fast food (treat only) and junk food is the occasional thing. For me, it's about portions, activity, and a sense of finances (that stuff ain't cheap).

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    1. I don't eat fastfood very often either; and I don't mind telling you that I was absolutely floored the first time that I saw statistics of just how many of us are severely overweight in this country.

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  3. Obese children. That's something every parent has to help in check, & it's their responsibility to do so, or else social services needs to be alerted. Period.

    But what upsets & bewilders me more than obese keeids & fatso fams is obese people IN the HEALTH CARE profession!!! I mean what's UP w/ that?

    Until recently, I was always thin & kept trim w/out much effort. Now I must work out, eat sensibly & damn-near go to bed HUNGRY errrrr-e-night, so I don't develop Type 2 Diabetes. Cool. It's mad rough sometimes... but I do what I must & make certain sacrifices. Meanwhile, I now see a doctor on the regular, where I'm constantly beset by a crew of bloated, overweight, even clinically obese nurses telling me to *starve* myself, cut out the salt & the sweets so I'll remain healthy... when they've allowed themselves to balloon up in weight & appear to be very UNHEALTHY-looking. Actually, I'm being kind. Ok. I'll just say it: they be livin' LARGEleeee... FAT as hell, yo! Zaftig to the hyper-extreme! It doesn't set a good example. And it just pisses me off that they have the authority to tell YOU how to eat! So why the hell aren't these people practicing what they preach?



    One.

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    1. Moanerplicity diabetes runs in my family like Big Macs run out of a McDonalds. It killed my paternal grandmother and my father. I work hard to control both my weight and my intake of unhealthy foods. Oh I will throw down on some ribs and steak occasionally, but no where like I used to.

      I was always skinny growing up. I am almost 6'2 and when I went to college I weighed a buck oh five. Now my walking around weight is aroun 185. In my mind, any damned fool can eat themselves to death, that's no great feat. I'm used to hearing people tell me how lucky I am to be my size.......it's no fluke. I exercise regularly and I try to eat right. It is what it is.

      The remember having a physical once where the doctor told me that I was overweight, I was 190. She was 5'5 and she weighed at least 300..........and she smelled like cigarettes. It was all I could do to not smirk in her face when she told me.

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    2. I agree. You know I'm in the healthcare profession and I work with so many overweight doctors,nurses etc. If I had a nickel for the times I was told that I eat "like a bird"..I could retire. I don't eat like a bird, they eat like hogs....all day...munching on chips, cookies...you name it. Shit, I love junk food but, I know I can't eat that mess like I would like to. Arteries clog whether you're fat or skinny and I'm not trying to have a stroke so, I back off from the junk. I've found that most obese kids have obese parents and the kids have the eating habits of their parents.
      Healthcare workers trying to lecture someone on healthy eating habits when they're obese as well are the worst. They should know better.

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    3. I love to eat too, but I also spent an hour on a treadmill on both Saturday and Sunday. There have been times when I was hungry and I watched someone eat and I ended up losing my appetite. Oh yeah, gluttony is a sin.

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  4. Honestly I don't see a lot of obese kids here, Reggie, but I do see hordes of obese teens, in particular girls. There's a high school at one of my commute points and I see the high school kids fairly often. I notice lots of overweight girls and not so many overweight boys. I'm not sure why this is, except maybe boys in high school get more exercise than girls?

    I'm sure the majority of these girls will grow up to be obese women. They will probably develop all sorts of ills due to their obesity. Not to worry though, all they have to do is make sure they watch TV and they can choose the medicines they're going to take for their obesity related problems.

    Corporations feed Americans food that makes many fat and then corporations deal drugs on TV to help them feel better. The perfect consumer circle.

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    1. Well let me assure you that I see a multitude of big collard green eating kids here in South Carolina Val. Here they are like the leaves on the trees in fall...they're all over the damned place.

      Here in the south though they'll fry just about anything....candy and Twinkies included.

      The exercise thing needs to change. When we went to school we ran and jumped and played all kinds of games, kids now really need to do that. The video games and electronic devices can't replace good clean exercise.

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  5. Reggie, all those morbidly obese people... I didn't know you were here in Portland Oregon! In answer to your question, it most definitely is child abuse.

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    1. Oh I've never been to Portland Daij, but I've been plenty of other places and seen a whole boatload of folks that if they were on the beach Greenpeace would come along and try and push them back in.

      Far too many of us are fat Daij....far too many.

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  6. I have REAL issues with obese children; moreso, the parents that have created them in that fashion; and like you, I consider it child abuse. The parent knows all the health risks yet continues to feed the child inappropriate foods, does nothing to promote physical activity; but then has to the audacity to get pissed when their child becomes the victim of teasing. Now, I’m not suggesting bullying or teasing is right, but don’t set your child up for failure either. I understand that some parents cannot afford to purchase top quality foods due to income limitations, but they can still find foods that are better than all the junk and processed foods on the shelves at grocery stores that contain little or no nutritional value. I think those who receive assistance should be educated into what they can/should buy in order to prevent childhood/family obesity. Even in my days of limited income, I ensured my daughter and I ate balanced and nutritional meals. I used to work 4-ten hour days, get my course work done, take my child to her activities, run errands, tend a home, and STILL made sure I cooked.

    I digress. Yes, schools have cut recess and the school meals aren’t that great, but the parents should be getting kids mobile. I applaud Serenity’s mother for ensuring she and her sibling ate home cooked/balanced meals. I understand that parents are busy and sometimes have limited time to cook, but some time should be carved out to prepare a decent meal. They can take a couple hours out on a weekend morning and cook meals for the entire week where than can be pulled out and reheated as necessary; or even frozen for future use. I’m so tired of the all the excuses.

    I see the kids out there they weigh more than me and I’m a 44 y/o adult and it sickens me. I all but gag when I’m out and I see obese families out dining on junk. America is unhealthy and fat and no one truly cares; save for a few because it’s a lucrative industry for doctors, pharmaceutical companies, gyms, etc. Y’all feel me. Fat parents raise fat or unhealthy children because they eat what parents cook for them unless the child rebels and takes the initiative to take control of their own health/eating habits; though rare, can and does happen.

    Do I have a bias against fat/obese people? Yea to some degree because from personal (morbidly obese family member) exposure I’ve seen the harmful effects it’s taken on his family and also listened to the plethora and myriad of excuses he’s used/given as to why he’s fat and remains fat. I further know that his wife has to pay extra for the life insurance policy she took out. I know that their social activities with their 5 y/o kids are limited because he can’t play with them adequately. I know he has to buy two seats if he has to fly. I know that a coffin would have to be specially made due to his size/weight, which would cost her more. I know their sex life is pretty non-existent; the list is LONG. But the worst part of it all is that it can and should be mitigated, but he’s choosing not to and continues to wear his excuses like armour. I pray nothing happens to him, but he’s a ticking bomb healthwise. *sigh*

    Reggie, this is a great post and one that needed to be done. I used to do a health series in my earlier days of blogging and you’ve inspired me to do another one. Thanks for re-addressing this topic.

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    1. You know BluJewel no topics for blogging are off limits to me. I will blog about anything that I think that people are remotely interested in. I know that there are some topics that I'd like to write about that people would be bored to tears about, so usually I don't write about that stuff. I guess that makes me an attention whore. I want to have open dialogue and spirited debate in my blog posts. If people don't agree with me, I am okay with that and I want them to say so. I know I'm not always right and I don't know anyone who is. But the things that I am passionate about or that we can talk about, I want to talk about those things.

      The parents that do this to their children are hurting them, they're not doing them any favors.......none.

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  7. I do not have children but I have eyes. I am also super auntie. Obesity is such a problem these days. There was a time that kids spent more time playing outside and riding bites and in sports oppose to eating junk and sitting up watching tv or playing video games. There was also time where parents cooked dinner moreso than eating fast food more often. I think it comes into play. We all need to be better about our children and setting better examples. Just my 2 cents.

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    1. Thank you for your two cents Freckles. Yes indeed, we've gotta do better by our children.

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  8. Reggie, I must say that I wholeheartedly agree. As a parent, it is your responsibility to take care of your kids in every aspect. This includes providing them with the tools they need to lead healthy productive lives. These tools should include teaching them to make healthy eating choices. Yes, it is more costly to buy healthy snacks and meals than sugary, high fat ones, but your child's health should be the more important factor. The problem, as I see it is that far too many folks have horrible dietary habits themselves. They enjoy eating junk and pass these bad habits onto their kids. You can't sit around woofing down yummy looking, yet terribly unhealthy foods, then turn around and say, "Junior, you can't have any because it's bad for you... Now, eat your veggies". If a parent is unable to lead by example then the message is ineffective.

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    1. This is true Ms Hunni, the tail just doesn't wag the dog does it? As parents we must make better choices for our children and we should all strive to set the appropriate example as well.

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  9. To answer your question, yes. I remember watching Dr. Phil on this issue of morbidly obese kids. having parents of morbidly obese children raging at their moms to "get that food". 4 year olds damanding mac & cheese and butter, and their moms obeying, and crying.

    Boo hoo, my 5 year old wont eat anything but cheese whiz and butter, help me Dr. Phil!! To me that mom shaped her child into a victimizer, and placed herself as the victim. How does it ever get to the point of momma overfeeding her child because the child demands her to?

    But there is another side. Recently I heard about this place in Las Vegas, the Heart Attack Grill http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/04/23/11357034-did-heart-attack-burger-claim-a-second-victim-at-vegas-diner

    At this place, they have the Triple Bypass Burger (and others) which contains several days worth of calories. At this place the diners wear hospital gowns as bibs. The owner is dressed in a doctor's white coat with a stetascope around his neck. When a second victim in two months collapsed and was taken away by EMTs, they asked the other diners why they were unmoved and continued to eat. They said, "Its a treat", "I walk to school so no problem" "I had a taste for it so I ate"
    Some people feel its their right to eat as much as they want. Its part of American entitlement issues.

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  10. Sad isn't it? We are forever killing ourselves with forks and knives and allowing our children to do so too. But parents have to take a strong hand in their children's nutritional intake.

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  11. After reading this post I said a prayer of thanks to God for making healthy food cheaper in my country than junk food. The only cheap junk food we have here are the usual buns, fish roll, egg roll and meat pies which people here eat only to hold off hunger until they get home where they have a proper meal. I avoid these junk deep fries because they don't taste good to me.
    Every single family in Nigeria cooks. It's not a question of will you cook? It's when will it be done for Lunch or Dinner. Breakfast, I knw most skip.
    I don't understand how someone will eat and watch herself get fat without attempting to do something about it. Right now I'm actually watching a friend get fat slowly. I tell ♓èл about it and §Ħз laughs rubs ♓èл tummy and laughs some more. I've told ♓èл to cut back on what §Ħз eats, §Ħз says §Ħз ςªŋ't starve, mind you I didn't ask ♓èл to starve but to just not eat for three. Then I said to ♓èл to exercise, §Ħз says §Ħз hasn't got the strength for that, yet §Ħз wants an ex who left ♓èл because of the weight to come back and love ♓èл the way §Ħз is.
    I've told ♓èл there are people who love big girls but clearly he isn't one. I'm frustrated as I've known this girl since childhood and we used to be the same size, but §Ħз's a 12 now and ♓èл tummy is bigger.
    Usually when I  obese people, I empathize because i think it's a clinical problem but now that I know that for some it's as a result of laziness I just get mad at them for being that size.

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  12. Love is deaf, dumb and blind. But the man or woman that isn't truly in love has 20/20 vision. I think sometimes people forget that. When we're in a relationship and were not in love and one party gains a great deal of weight, it's an issue.

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  13. And Reg, you know here in frigging "food mecca" obesity runs rampant.It's sad to see little babies 3 years old already obese and the parents call them "fine and thick"...smh. I'm on my kids all of the time about healthy eating habits. I make sure I keep more fruit and veggies in the house for them to snack on instead of cookies and pies. The thing about young adults though is they can get the fast food on their own. I had to scare the shit out of my son and let him know, he's going to die or worse, have a stroke and end up with someone having to wipe his ass if he keeps eating pizza the way he is.

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    1. Yeah there a plenty of "biggums" in the south in general and they're at a premium in 'Nawlins. Sure the food is good, but who wants to die over it?

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  14. Young folks tend to believe that they have all the time in the world. They put off thinking about these issues, as though they can weight until they're 40 and 50, then they'll be able to switch gears without any repercussions.

    How do we get across to people that the food industry is just as bad as the drug industry? That they are drug pushers? And they are working overtime to addict people to the drugs (aka preservatives and additives)that they put in food? How do we get across to OUR youth especially, that Mickey D's dont really love you, even though they seem so cool and fly and down in all their commercials?

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    1. You're right the food itself is almost as bad as alcohol and tobacco. When will the government ban fast food commercials?

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  15. i have seen these obese children on television... and the parents who allow them to eat in a manner that would better suit an adult sumo wrestler... and i feel for the kids.

    those people should have their children taken away... cuz like it or not... theyre killing them. they lead and the kids learn by example.

    i know its hard to say no to your children when they really want something... but what if it were their cigarettes and not their sandwiches... would hey STILL give in to the kid?

    i dunno... its just a sad situation all the way around.

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  16. Yes indeed Michelle and to think we're supposed to love and care for our children unconditionally. One would think that these people feeding their children until they resemble livestock would want to do better by their own progeny.

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  17. Yep Reggie...

    I agree with every thing you said. I think the same thing when I see a fat ass fat for no reason kid. Especially a baby. It makes nan sense. Not nan.

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    1. Moderation for all things is important Dirty Red.

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  18. The obesity rates among children are heart breaking. Most small children are not responsible for the grocery shopping for the family. The adults in the home are to blame.

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  20. I used to call it a form of child abuse.
    If there is a difference, it's that when If think of abuse we hear of more often.. it's intentional, the parent intentionally harms the child. The obese just may not quite get the link between the crap they consume in huge amounts, and their weight. Its tricky because some people do appear to be more prone to weight gain than others. I've seen quite overweight people eat a better diet the me yet, our sizes would beg to differ.
    Having said that,I feel they are some parents who know full well the impact their diet has on their children.. maybe they want company and reassurance in their obesity who knows.. and if that really be the case then yes its child abuse.

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    1. I hear what you're saying about people eating healthier than you Dawna.....but that's just what you see when you're with them. When they're not with you do they ALWAYS eat like that and do they exercise regularly?!?

      This morning I dropped my Camry off at the Toyota dealer for service. It's a little more than 2 miles from where I live, so I walked home. It was overcast, but not raining and I'm going in to work later anyway. I always use the stairs at work, unless I'm interviewing candidates and that's the only time I ever use the elevator. I walk a lot, but I want to be healthy and although I don't always eat healthy, I might walk 15 miles over the weekend and occasionally through the week too.

      To me, it is most definitely child abuse.

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  21. The other day I was discussing this with my older brother since a close relative who is not only a kid(7yo) but also has autism is really overweight.
    They're upper middle class, his mom doesn't work and she makes sure she stays fit... but when it comes to the kid she just buys him lots of frozen nasty food, cakes and fried food and then she just puts lots of ketchup and mayonnaise on this food. Also, by the time he was like 1 or 2 yo he was already addicted to Coca-cola and would scream asking for it, it was actually one of the first words he learned.
    And though there's a little park for kids in the back of her house and the kid loves to go outside, he barely leaves the house except when he's going to school.
    I can't understand it. I've tried to talk to the kid's father but he won't do anything about it though he knows it's wrong. And my brother seems to disagree that this is child abuse, even though she also hits the kid and threatens him even with belts and other stuff.
    I feel sad because I feel I can't do anything about it.

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    1. Sometimes I think that parents believe a kid being overweight is a sign that they're healthy. We shouldn't want anything for our children, that we don't recognize that we need as parents.

      This post depressed me when I was writing it Sofia. Sometimes the world sucks.........all over.

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  22. (Oh, and we're European btw. So even if it's not that bad in Europe, it still happens.)

    ReplyDelete
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