Would you think of this as child abuse? I say yes.....

@James72 (26829)
Australia
December 7, 2008 7:36am CST
I have just returned from having lunch with my wife at a nearby Shopping Mall. We ducked into the supermarket briefly to pick up a couple of items and there was this Mother and her Son standing at the cheese counter..... This little boy was all of 10 years old and was grossly overweight. The Mother too was a large woman. How do Parents justify to themselves that this is OK? Personally I see this as a form of child abuse. Sure, not all cases of overweight children is because of over feeding and bad Parenting, but I bet that most of the cases are. What future does this little boy have? He will be fighting obesity all his life no doubt and will suffer trmendously health wise too. What say you? Is this a form of child abuse on the part of the Mother I saw or not?
20 people like this
44 responses
@alokn99 (5717)
• India
7 Dec 08
James ,Assuming that this is not a case of hereditary or anyother dysfuncton of the body, i would think that this is a form of child abuse, though not in the same way that we normally relate to it. There is a family friend of ours whose son around 15 is also the same, overweight, eating too much throught out the day. Surprisingly none of the parents are like that and they do not stop the child. The daughter though has been treated very differently ,being a college going daughter, she is not for a moment allowed to go alone. The mother still drops to college and picks her up. Never is she allowed to venture out with out the mother. What is going to happen to those children, when they grow up ? I feel sorry and sad for them. The worse thing is the mother gets extremely aggravated when someone tries to advise her on this.
@James72 (26829)
• Australia
7 Dec 08
In the instance you have just shared, I would definitely consider this to at least be classed as neglect. It appears obvious that their child is not acting in a manner that is in his best interests so surely it is the responsibility of his Parents to guide him and control this aspect of his behaviour more beneficially? And then the daughter ends up getting all the attention while he suffers away? Maybe this very situation with the daughter is why he acts the way he does in the first place? People getting aggravated when others try to offer constructive criticism is a harsh reality of human nature, but I hope that one day it does sink in and they do try to reverse the situation with their son. He has his whole life ahead of him and the lessons he learns as a child and teenager will set the foundation stomes for his own mannerisms as an adult. Thanks for the response alok.
5 people like this
@alokn99 (5717)
• India
7 Dec 08
Having shared this and also responding to your post, there is definitley a difference in the way people understand child abuse in different cultures and also from a different generation aspect. I know that what many people consider as child abuse in the western cultures is not considered the same in countires such as ours. For example parents very easily slap children here for disobeying. Children are made to work in the most horrible of conditions as you yourself may have seen during your tenure in India. How do you educate people like this to make them understand that this is wrong, shen the answer you recieve from them is that this is our child and we know what is best and how to shape him.
5 people like this
@James72 (26829)
• Australia
7 Dec 08
This is one perspective that I can definitely relate to personally alok. In both India and Egypt I repeatedly see attitudes and disciplinary actions towards children that are sometimes even bordering illegality in my country! It ranges from smacking and making very young children work; to driving around in cars with infants standing on the lap of people with no safety straps in place whatsoever! It can be very unsettling at times to be honest, but these are not my cultures so all I can do is stand idly by.
3 people like this
@stinge (808)
• United States
7 Dec 08
I wouldn't say it's child abuse. More of a case of genetics. The mother is big, so her son has her genes. He is also big. I think it's more of bad parenting,or just not paying attention to or realizing what your kids are in for in the future. We see many cases of this on tv talk shows. the parent comes on and says their kids are overweight at a very young age. And in most cases they feel bad because they didn't think they were doing anythying wrong by cooking all the crap that they feed their kids. Letting them eat in some cases almost 6 meals a day probably. You always hear the mother say " I just let my son eat whatever he asks for, and I didn't think it was a problem". I don't know why some parents aren't more aware of child obesity, even when it's right in fron of theeir eyes. You are right, it's not allways about over feeding and bad parenting. Like I said it genetics. You could say a lack of excersise. But how many of us were excersing at that age? all we did was eat snacks and watch cartoons. You only hear people speak of getting the childedn more active and involed with excersise when there is a weight issue. That's the reason most of these schools are trying to serve more healthy foods. It all started with child obesity. I hate to say it like that, but those are the kids that we think of when they speak of gettingthe kids to eat more healthy and having them involed in more outside activities. But some parents are just blind to it. I bet in a few yrs or hopefully sooner, that same lady you saw will be trying to get her son enrolled in some type of program to help him be more healthy and shred a few pounds. Or maybe she's doing it now.
@James72 (26829)
• Australia
7 Dec 08
I can appreciate that genetics may play a part in a number of instances stinge, but it's difficult to use this as reasoning when you see what they are sometimes eating as a family or buying at the supermarket together. More time than not in my experience, genetics may play some part, but they certainly aren't conducting themselves in a manner that is helpful to them or their health in any way! The comments made by Mother's you have shared are certianly common ones and I have seen them made myself. Sometimes people find it easier to just give in to their children rather than stand defiant to ensure what's right is done by them. It's a sad reality. Focusing on school's is definitely a solid strategy too. Yes, many Parents with overweight kids are blind to reality and school's have long periods of access to these children as well..... So let's take responsibility to some degree AWAY from the Parents in this regard and try to instil healthier mindsets in kids at an educational level. Any move in this direction is a positive one and let's hope that the health of our youth continues to grow in status as a serious issue that needs attention. Thanks for the response.
2 people like this
@stinge (808)
• United States
7 Dec 08
We do see many mothers saying that they rather let their kids have theie way so they don't have to put up with all the screaming and yelling. But that's were it has to start. The mothers and fathers have to take control and not let their kids have their way. It's tough for anyone, not just the children to give up the foods that you're used to eating all the time. And to all of a sudden be told that you can only have one of each food that you eat, or none at all.
3 people like this
@James72 (26829)
• Australia
7 Dec 08
I agree stinge. Why do you think supermarket merchandisers put candy in the check-out aisles? It's because they too recognize how much power children can have when it comes to treats and how easily Parents will give in! And the later in a child's life that a Parent decides to try to instigate healthy mindsets in their children, the harder it will become to create healthy behaviours as second nature.
2 people like this
@relundad (2311)
• United States
7 Dec 08
I think in order for me to make that call it would need to be on a case by case scenario. I think that some part of obesity is hereditary and not always due to behavior. You can't look at a person and tell whether they are fat due to over eating or if they are fat due to a health related disorder. I do think that as parents it is part of our responsiblity to teach our children healthy eating habits, incorporate exercise and those type of things. But you also have to be mindful that we are only capable of teaching our children what we know. This would to me, be equivalent to a illiterate parent teaching her child to read. Obviously the parent is just not equipped with the information to pass on.
5 people like this
@James72 (26829)
• Australia
7 Dec 08
I agree that reasons can vary from case to case, but I do also feel that there are sometimes obvious indicators that allude to the situation being totally due to the wrongdoing of the Parents. For example, I have seen a Mum and Dad and their child, all very overweight and pushing their trolley through a supermarket..... The trolley is full to overflowing with Coca-Cola, chips, chocolates, deep fried packet foods and other similar items. There is no question in instances such as this one that this child is a product of his environment. What you have shared about it being a Parent's responsibility to teach their children healthy habits is an angle that would be difficult to argue against as well. It frustrates me to be hinest when I see situations like the one I have shared about the family with the trolley because the child's Parents have failed him and they should know better. Thanks for the response relundad.
4 people like this
@relundad (2311)
• United States
7 Dec 08
That is my point, what if the parent doesn't know or consider it wrong. I mean think about this. We have now been taught that the best items in a traditional US grocery store is in the outside borders (aisles) of the store. (Hopefully you can relate to the illustration that I am giving.) Well one could easily argue then why do we need 16 more aisles with non-healthy foods to choose from? Another arguement could also be from a financial standpoint. We all know that the garbage is cheaper. I can buy 6 packs of Oodles of Noodles (I hate the sight of those...ugh! lol) for 1 US dollar verses an apple and a half. If I were a parent that was financially strapped and needed to feed my family, what do you think I would buy. Though I am not really a price watching type of person, I have noticed that once we were convinced that poultry and fish was a better choice, you can get a whole slew of pork for cheaper than chicken. Also we are now a society of instant gratification and quick fixes. We are way too busy to do traditional things like cooking a family meal that takes an addtional hour of our day. For this reason it is easy enough to go to any fast food restaurant and feed the family from the Dollar Menu. We find it much easier to have our kids pop something in the microwave from the frozen food section rather than steam some vegetables etc. So the economy and society also has there share of responsibility in a huge portion of the world being overweight.
5 people like this
@irishidid (8714)
• United States
7 Dec 08
I have a friend who is large. I've known her since our sons were 6. Both are now 17 and her son is huge. I know she does her best to get him to eat healthy because he is borderline diabetic but he refuses to eat the right kind of food. I can't fault my friend for her size. We both worked at the same job where you are continually on the move. While I lost weight, she didn't.
4 people like this
@James72 (26829)
• Australia
7 Dec 08
This is certainly one of the harder to diagnose situations irishidid. Without knowing the details of this boys childhood or her own daily habits, it is very difficult to say what may be the contributing factors here. To have a son who is borderline diabetic at 17 though is a very sad situation. He refuses to eat the right kinds of food, but I wonder then what types of food he has access to at home? Does she just give in and supply the food he WILL eat because he is so stubborn, or is he seeking the foods he desires elsewhere? So many unknowns here! Thanks for the response.
2 people like this
@irishidid (8714)
• United States
7 Dec 08
I know for a fact healthy foods are always available to him but he won't touch anything green. I know a lot of kids this way. My kids, thankfully, love vegetables and I'm always joking it isn't the candy aisle they threw a fit in but the produce section. There is much more going on, you have that right. She set far too many limits on him in just about everything he did. We were talking the other evening and she mentioned letting him climb trees when he was small. I remember her freaking out if he stepped on a branch that was laying on the ground. I could go on and on about this kid, including when he broke my son's arm trying to keep him from jumping off a playground jungle gym. She's trying hard not to make the same mistakes with his younger sister who is 3. The sister is already better adjusted.
3 people like this
@James72 (26829)
• Australia
7 Dec 08
That's hilarious about your kids and the produce section irishidid! I reckon there would be Mother's all over that would LOVE to be able to say the same thing! I guess all that is left for me to say regarding your friend's situation is that it as at least a positive step on her part to be trying to change things with her 3 year old. It does sound like her 17 year is too far gone to be able to pull things back with now so all anyone can hope is that in his adult life, he manages to find his way himself.
2 people like this
@palonghorn (5486)
• United States
7 Dec 08
i couldn't jump to that conclusion, not knowing the 'why' of the child being over weight. there is the slight possibility that it is tied to medical problem, or hereditary. and i don't think that i would go so far as to say it was child abuse, not when compared to true cases of abuse.....children being beaten, verbally, mentally abused. is it right that, in most cases, it is the parents fault for letting children over eat junl food and sit most of the day, yes, that is wrong. you have to take into consideratio that in some of those cases the parents are guilty of the same, so they are not setting the best example. hopefully, for those children, they will learn a healthier life style through teachers, friends, or other family members.
4 people like this
@James72 (26829)
• Australia
7 Dec 08
Very true palonghorn and it is difficult to know the true circumstances by looking at them alone; but if you see certain mannerisms and behaviours of both the Parent and child that are not conducive to a healthy lifestyle, then it becomes pretty clear who is at fault and what has caused the situation. Maybe "abuse" is too strong a word to be using here when you take into account some of the other abuse examples you have shared; but neglect definitely needs to be considered as a possible explanatory term to describe Parents that allow ntheir children to function and grow into obese people. AS I have stated in an earlier reply, education on healthy lifestyle needs to take place wherever possible and school's are the perfect place to focus on. If Parents cannot act responsibly in cases such as these, then hopefully attention to the matter by other influential people outside of their Parents will in time make inroads towards addreswsing the issues. Thanks for the repsonse.
3 people like this
@smacksman (6074)
7 Dec 08
I call it abuse but you see so much of it in America that you must accept it as normal there. If the argument is used that they are medically prone to being fat then all I can say is that it must be a USA disease because when you travel to other countries you see very few fat children. No, I think they are spoilt brats who are given whatever they whine for.
3 people like this
@James72 (26829)
• Australia
7 Dec 08
It's not just the USA but many other "western" cultures that are seeing large increases in childhood health issues that are linked to nutrition deficiencies and obesity. And the sad thing is that corporations are making billions of it so there will be little effort from their end to try to change the foods they offer the world. Children do seem to be catered too far more readily these days than when I was a child myself and it is not helping the situation in any way whatsoever. Thanks for the response smacksman.
3 people like this
• United States
8 Dec 08
I don't think that it can really be considered a case of abuse, because abuse is knowingly and willingly causing harm to your child. There are a couple of ways to look at this. It can be neglect, due to the fact that the parents (let us assume mom and dad) do not understand the importance of good nutrition and diet and exercise. Take a look around at the people walking down the street, America is one of the most obese nations in the world. The American diet where we supersize everything is incredibly unhealthy and responsible for numerous health conditions that Americans suffer from. So if no one took the time to properly educate them, or more importantly they have not taken the time to educate themselves. While ignorance is never an excuse for anything this could be the case here. Another thing to look at is our society in general. Yes, we idolize athletes and models for being so thin, but when you look at our population... the plan to become "healthy" or "thin" or "sexy" is to pop a diet pill or invest in plastic surgery. America is a quick and easy society, we want what we want, when we want it, the way we want it... often overlooking the proper way to achieve our goals. Also, children learn by example, so if mom and dad are not making healthy choices, the children are more inlcined to not make healthy choices, which feeds the obesity cycle. Let's talk about the cultural issues that have been brought up. First, it wasn't all that long ago that here in our country (America) children rode in cars without restraints and worked in fields and factories to help support the family. So before we judge another country for the way things are done in those countries let us remember that it was not all that long ago that things were the same way here. Secondly, as far as culture goes, yes things are done and handled differently in other countries, that does not make the way they are doing it wrong and our way of doing it right. Have you taken a look at the number of child abuse and neglect cases here in America, we are far from perfect or ideal. Here in America you will get in more trouble legally for beating your dog then you will your child. Sorry to say, that is the honest to good truth. Discipline is handled differently all over the world. Maybe, just maybe, we should take a look at the way it is handled, not to judge but to learn from it. While I don't have statistics in front of me... what is the teen pregnancy rate in those countries... how about juvenille crimes... how many kids in those countries are dropping out of school wandering streets causing problems? I would bet less then what we have in America. Now that I have gotten completely off base with the mother and child in the store, I say this. Before you pass judgement on others for the way they chose to live I urge you take a close look at the way you live. If you are making all the proper choices, never make a mistake and live a healthy life void of any health issues or social issues then maybe you can criticize another person or family for what they are doing. That is the problem with America as a whole, we want to judge others and rush in and make changes without looking in our own backyards first.
@James72 (26829)
• Australia
9 Dec 08
You have very succintly outlined a number of extremely valid points jenshak! Firstly, I am still not 100% convinced that we can state that it is not abuse if it is done unwillingly or without knowledge of wrongdoing. I do agree though that "neglect" is probably a better word to use to describe many of the situations shared so far. The factors that are contributing to childhood obesity issues are indeed originating from many quarters. Societal, cultural, media, capitalism, merchandizing...... The list is practically endless unfortunately. So what it ultimately comes down to then is education. Not just education strategies geared towards parents, but geared towards all people that have an influence in a child's life. In parallel to education as a method for prevention, there also needs to be a stronger focus on media and corporation intentions and strategies also. Incentives for food manufacturers to promote their healthier alternatives more aggressively for example; and penalties for manufacturers that don't..... The case I saw at the supermarket was not explained explicitly in my opening discussion words, but has been explained further throughout this discussion. In this particular instance I do feel that I was in a position to make a snap judgement because not only were the Mother and Son very overweight; they were also holding a shopping trolley absolutely full to the brim with unhealthy food and drink items! If this were not the case and it was full of fresh fruit and vegetables then this conclusion would not have been reached by me so readilyy. And your point about self realization first and foremost when it comes to being judgemental about the health of others is very valid also. If we were to focus on our inner selves in this regard, and our day to day environment was far more complimentary to this goal in parallel; then not only would be in a position to help others more effectively and maybe earn the right to judge others acting less beneficiall;, we would also collectively have a greater chance of shifting the tide in the future and providing stronger role models for our children. Charity belongs at home yes, but it begins even earlier than that and should start within ourselves. Thank you for a very well constructed and highly relevant response.
1 person likes this
@laglen (19782)
• United States
7 Dec 08
This is kind of a loaded question. I think it is to an extent. Two year olds demanding a bucket of chicken, yes. I think a lot of this is lack of education. but there are cases where there are health causes, but for the most part, it is people not understanding nutrition, and the good old - "clean your plate".
@James72 (26829)
• Australia
7 Dec 08
It is definitely "loaded" from the perspective that there are just so many factors that could be contributing to the end result. Education is certainly a major issue and a complete lack of understanding about nutrition is up there as well. Given how hectic people's lives are these days, it just seems that it is easier for many to just give in to their children and of course to seek quick and easy cooking alternatives tha comoliment their schedules. The result of this in the long run though will be devastating. Thanks for the response laglan.
2 people like this
@SViswan (12071)
• India
14 Dec 08
I wouldn't go as far as to call it child abuse. I once had a friend whose whole family was overweight(actually she still is overweight) and it's not due to overeating. Some people tend to blow up with a little eating...could be something in the genes and not really the mother (or parent) over feeding the child or feeding them junk food.
2 people like this
@James72 (26829)
• Australia
14 Dec 08
I agree that there can be factors outside of direct parental influences; but in this particular instance it was very clear from their shopping trolley that their diets were terrible. It is situations like this example that do make me look very unfavourably on the parents. Their children have their whole life ahead of them and teaching them ways such as this is just so counterproductive on so many levels. There needs to be a much stronger focus on nutrition education because some parents just don't know any different. Thanks for the response Sandhya.
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12071)
• India
14 Dec 08
Yes, you are right. I see that a lot with the kids at my school (I've always fed my kids healthy food as if they had no other choice and junk food was a luxury around 2-3 times a year). But many parents do take the easy way out while feeding their kids....and what makes me even more mad is when the school encourages it saying that it's the norm and justifies the parents actions...taking the easy way out. I think...as a school, we need to send out the message about eating healthy...and soon the kids will be making the right choices instead of throwing a tantrum for junk food. But I haven't checked really how many are overweight due to over eating....I have a little girl who is overweight...in my class....but she's such a fussy eater that I'll be glad if she eats anything at all.
2 people like this
@James72 (26829)
• Australia
14 Dec 08
It's all about convenience these days and the statistical growth in health problems and obesity issues in kids is a testament to the damage this is causing. I have made several references throughout this discussion about there being a need to provide education on nutrition and health for children (as well as monitoring tools) from beyond parents alone. There are many influential people in a child's life such as Teacher's that may just get through to kids in a way that parents are either ignorant of, or unable to express themselves about. Whatever the solution, it HAS to be a multi-tiered approach to ensure that the message gets through loud and clear. Food Corporations have a lot to answer for also. The incidences of obesity will continue to rise if this is not addressed. Countries like Holland for example are definitely on the right track. There are references to their strategies on the 2nd page of this discussion and I feel they are to be commended for doing what they are doing. Prevention is key.
@lovesummer (1162)
• Malaysia
7 Dec 08
I think this not as a child abuse. instead it is more of a genetic predisposition, that you have mentioned the mother was a huge one too, that could probably predispose this little kiddo to being obesed. Most children loose weight during their puberty period due to hormonal changes, increase consumption of body ATP and so on. so I hope the kid will loose weight too when he grows up. :)
2 people like this
@James72 (26829)
• Australia
7 Dec 08
Please read the reply I have made to the response below lovesummer as it will explain the situation I encountered in more detail. Genes may have been playing a part to some degree in the situation I witnessed today, but it was clear that there were many other factors involved at the hands of the Mother. I too hope that any child subjected to similar enviroments is able to find their own healthy way in life when they become adults because they will be plagued with problems if they don't. Thanks for the response.
1 person likes this
@nanajanet (4436)
• United States
9 Dec 08
Most obese children of obese parents are not genetic problems but eating behavior problems inherited from the parents. http://www.truehealth.org/obesity.html is a good article, too.
1 person likes this
• Malaysia
10 Dec 08
I would agree too, parents must take care of their child too as well as their ownselves as representative to their children and the world.
1 person likes this
@DonnaLawson (4032)
• United States
8 Dec 08
If there is no medical reason for him being overweight, then apparently, he has a mother who doesn't care that much for watching out for his future.. My son was overweight but you couldn't tell it due to the fact that he was over 6 foot tall.. His was due to medications that he had to take for medical reasons.. I fought every bit of extra weight that he gained.. I furnished him with a bike, a swimming pool, a basketball goal, footballs, baseballs and we lived in a neighborhood surrounded with kids his own age.. He was outside every minute of every day mainly riding his bike.. I tried everything that I could to make sure that he gained no extra weight, diet, exercise, even if he wasn't aware that it was exercise, and really kept him busy, but it didn't work, the med's kept him gaining.. Well, he is 27 yrs old now and married, so he made a conscience decision to quit his medications, and has lost 100 lbs.. He is still the Gentle Giant that his teachers called him in school, but a smaller Giant.. A mother should never allow her child to be obese without doing everything in her power to stop it.. Our children are our gifts, we should always remember that..
2 people like this
@James72 (26829)
• Australia
8 Dec 08
The approach you took with your son Donna is exactly how it should be. It is every Parents responsibility to be constantly aware of all aspects of their child's development and their health is one of the most important ones. I am happy to hear that your son has lost all the weight he has lost and it was unfortunate that a medication could cause such negative side effects like this too. The issue with some Parents I guess is that they arguably don't know any different so therefore they do not act in the way you did yourself. Ignorance though is not an excuse. Thanks for the response.
1 person likes this
• United States
8 Dec 08
My son on his wedding day along with his proud dad - This is a photo of my son on his wedding day, along with his proud dad..
James, I fought the medical condition, the weight, the abusive ways of the other children and many more things to raise this child.. He is a wonderful person and as always, he is a gentle giant.. He is ever smiling..
1 person likes this
@James72 (26829)
• Australia
8 Dec 08
This is great Donna and thank you for sharing the picture! No great achievements in life ever seem to be realized without great struggles in parallel, but because of these struggles, the victories we end up with are so much sweeter! You are fortunate to have a living testament to your own victories in life.
@kerriannc (4280)
• Jamaica
7 Dec 08
Is it child abuse or maybe it is a family heredity. I was the fattest of my parents children and it because of family heredity. I received everything the others did not want. Big boobs, hairy skin, and unable to have children. This run in the family and every brothers and sister of my mother's children one of them has the same problem such as me. Now James what parents need to do is to check the heredity genes and try to prevent it from happening to their children. As you describe this mother was fat (and maybe she has low self esteem as well) what she need to do is work on the self esteem and help her child to over come this heredity. Eating healthy and exercising maybe can prevent this child from having heart disease. I believe that as soon as he started to attend junior high he will become more health conscious and even help his mother.
2 people like this
@James72 (26829)
• Australia
8 Dec 08
In many instances I am sure that it is because of genetics, but in many cases I also tend to think that it is more behavioural related than this angle. Some Parents do not realize any different so pass on negative habits to their children. All of us are products of our environment and the end result can of course be good ro bad for us in the long run. Prevention and education is a positive move that needs to be made to try to slow down incidences such as these. I hope you are right about this boy changing when he gets to High School because his health will plague him as an adult if he doesn't. He also runs the risk of getting teased as well which will start to affect him mentally too. Thanks for the response kerriann.
1 person likes this
@James72 (26829)
• Australia
9 Dec 08
As per usual it is a case of corporate greed overshadowing what is right for all of us and for the future of our youth and their health. If the same efforts and money were used to promote healthier foods as are spent on junk; and merchandizers too focused heavily on healthy food product positioning, then slowly but surely, mentalitieis and behaviours would change. McDonalds for example are unbelievably savvy. They appease the jhealth conscious masses by introducing their healthy menu, but they certainly didn't make any effort to cease promotion of the original menu's! Once again the emphasis falls to education as you have rightfully stated. And this education needs to be from as many angles as possible because Parental influence is just not enough.
7 Dec 08
When I see fat mothers giving their fat children sweets or crisps I feel like going up to them and saying 'You are killing your kids!' but then I think about it and realise that they probably cannot help it. They have probably been bought up that way themselves and they have not been taught about healthy eating. When I was at school we were taught how to budget for healthy food and how to cook it but my children did not have these lessons. Luckily I had also had lessons from my mother as well as school and I taught my children. But a lot of people do not have these skills. They need to be helped.
@James72 (26829)
• Australia
7 Dec 08
I can totally relate to what you are feeling when you see situations like this wanderer as I feel like doing the same myself! They are definitely products of their environment and chartiy does begin at home, so what chance do they have to learn any different if this is the kind of lifestyle they are raised up in? I was not taught about maintaining a healthy lifestyle with any serious dedication in my school years either. I do agree that it would be of benefit to our future generations if more of an effort was made to do this. Prevention is as imprtant as a cure for a problem such as this. Thanks for the response.
2 people like this
8 Dec 08
I was lucky in a way if you can call it luck. My father had a heart attack when I was 8 and we went on a low fat no salt diet. Although we did not have much fat before and I was very slim we did have quite a lot of salt. I also went to a school with a very enlightened headmaster. We had a school flat and everyone from the age of eleven had to take it in turns to look after the flat, boys and girls. This meant we were given a budget for cooking and cleaning and when we got older, decorating and furnishing. It gave us a relly good start in life. A lot of schools now do no cookery classes and if they do they do not do whole meals.
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@James72 (26829)
• Australia
8 Dec 08
I went to Home Economics classes myself when I was a teenager, but am not aware of this even being an option anymore? The situation your Headmaster set up for you does sound very beneficial and I think that a focus on practical skills does need to be revisited in schools. Parents are busy and by default this can lead to misguided approaches being made towards their children in order to fit in with their hectic schedules. At least if schools were to pick up some of the slack so to speak, there stands a better chance of the adults of tomorrow having stronger knowledge about health and nutrition in general. The long term results can be nothing but beneficial! It is also unfortunate wanderer that it was an event such as the one suffered by your Father than forced change in your own diet at home, but it does seem to have been of tremendous benefit to one and all in the long run!
@ronaldinu (12440)
• Malta
8 Dec 08
I still blame this on education. Schools have failed to educate parents about healthy eating. I would cut out all the adverts promoting junk foods such as McDonalds and all the sort. They are poison to our children. I don't consider it as a child abuse but it is certainly lack of parental skills. Obese children are doomed to have an inferior quality of life. They cannot join in sports with other classmates. They might have other health problems such as diabetes and heart problems. © ronaldinu 2008
2 people like this
@James72 (26829)
• Australia
8 Dec 08
As a Teacher yourself ronaldinu, I appreciate your comments very much. Prevention through education is a focus that HAS to be effected in as many areas as possible to ensure future change. If Parents are unable to do what is right then we need to look to other influential people in a child's life such as Teachers and educational curriculums to try to instil more positive mindsets in the children themselves. There is an earlier response form cyberfluf on the 2nd page of this discussion that you may find interesting as it concerns moves made by institutions in Holland. If you get the chance, please have a look as I think it is wonderful what they are trying to achieve. Thanks for the response.
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@RawBill1 (8542)
• Gold Coast, Australia
10 Aug 09
Ah yes! Education has a big part to play in the healthy eating habits of us humans! The government have a van that goes around visiting all the schools here and once a year they visit the school of my children. We are very health conscious in our household and our children are learning these good eating habits from us. My daughter disagreed with these so called health educators last year when she was 8 as they were promoting all of these chemical laden foods such as breakfast cereals and cheeses as being healthy. She was very upset when she was told that she was wrong and that they were right. She did not want to visit the van with her class when they returned to the school this year. These educators need to realise that the only foods that are healthy are the ones that are as close to their natural form as possible. If there has been any chemicals added, then it should not be promoted as healthy!
@toosh21 (800)
• Australia
8 Dec 08
I have to agree with you here - I see it as a form of child abuse also! There is no reason that anyone should allow their child to become obese - and if it is a medical problem there are treatments! It is so easy to feed your family/children good, healthy food...and a lot cheaper. I do not understand how people can allow their children to get this way, they are setting them up for a life of unhappiness and bad health!
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@James72 (26829)
• Australia
9 Dec 08
Medical and genetic conditions aside, it is hard for me to not think any differently toosh. In many instances, healhtier food can be cheaper, yes; but then they also involve more preparation and people by nature tend to lean towards convenience. Add to the mix ready-made and processed foods that can be very cost competitive in parallel; and therein lies the problem! Thanks for the response.
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@Sreekala (23602)
• India
8 Dec 08
Hi James, I don't think it is a form of child abuse because there are number of factors contributes to becoming overweight. Genetics, lack of exercise (spending most of the time in front of TV or Computer), eating junk foods etc are some of the reasons. So before jump into conclusion we have to find out the reason of the overweight. If a child is overweight because of the lifestyle habit then you are right it is a form of child abuse. Parents can do many things to prevent overweight in kids but they have to start from the beginning to maintain a healthy eating habit, encourage their kids to physically active etc.
@James72 (26829)
• Australia
8 Dec 08
Hi Sreekala. I agree with you that there can be many contributing factors that fall beyond anything a Parent can ultimately control; and I too feel that if the condition of the child is due to the Parents feeding them constant amounts of unhealthy food and not making efforts to exercise their child etc then it is a form of neglect or abuse. It all stems from the foundations of the influences in their lives. In the case I shared, it was an overweight Mother, overweight Son; and a trolley full of bad food. In this instance, it is pretty clear what the resoning is and who is at fault. Thanks for the response.
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• Philippines
8 Dec 08
Morbidly obese parents with morbidly obese children, what a dire sight. I believe that this happens because of the parents neglect on their children´s health. I totally agree with you. Neglect does not have to be starving their kid, it could be for total lax of their health status. Like when a child cries and they would shove up ice creams up their kid´s mouth. Sometimes, parents, especially mothers, tend to think that chubby kid is healthy. It´s not true, and they would even not be able to accept this especially if they themselves are morbidly huge.
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@James72 (26829)
• Australia
8 Dec 08
I have seen the very situation you have described with the ice creams before kornflakes. Parents give in just for the sake of peace and quiet rather than hold their gorund long enough to trigger positive changes in the behaviours of their kids. Personally I too am of the opinion that a chubby baby is a good thing, but once the child starts to walk and become less dependent on the Mother, moves should be made from a very early age to instil a mindset of healthy eating and lifestyle. the longer Parents leave this focus, the harder it becomes to effect and the ice cream scenario you shared suddenly becomes a constant. Thanks for the response.
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@sanju69 (51)
• India
8 Dec 08
Some overweight problems are hereditary. Like I am a little on the heavier side. My height is 5 Ft 1 Inch and my weight is 57 Kgs. But my elder sister 13 months elder to me is 5ft 3 inch and her weight is 54 Kgs. She looks much slimmer than me and she takes in a lot of things like cheese, butter etc which I resist but she never puts on weight. She has got the structure from my fathers side where everyone is very slim and thin and I have got it from my mothers side which is a little on the heavier side.
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@James72 (26829)
• Australia
8 Dec 08
I agree that genes can play a part in some cases sanju; but unfortunately I see situations which clearly show that it is the eating habits of the family concerned that also contributes to the physical state they are all in. Every human being is physiologically structured differently and will react in different ways to another when it comes to food, but any Parent that does not make the effort to restrict the caloric intake of unhealthy foods fed to their children really do need to stop and think about the consequences of their actions. Thanks for the response.
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@sid556 (31005)
• United States
8 Dec 08
Not always but yes, quite often it is. I work in a store and there is one mom in particular that is quite overweight herself. She has two children whom I've watched grow up. She comes into the store regularly with these kids and since they were very very young has let them buy up to 20.00 worth of candy and little cakes etc. It's ridiculous. The boy is about 13 now and the girl is probably about 9. These once adorable kids are so overweight that it is sad. She has never once said no to them....in fact it appears that she encourages them to buy all the junk they want. It is very dysfunctional and yes, I would agree that it is neglect. I feel the same when I see a young kid walking around with rotten teeth. As a single parent of 4, I am well aware the costs of dental care. It was tough financially as I had no insurance...not even the government care...all because I worked. Still it was so important that I made sure that I saved enough each year from my income tax refund to make sure they got regular visits & cleanings. My dentist even gave me occassional discounts because he knew how tough it was to do this. He told me that he had parents that had insurance & money that didn't bring their kids in as regular as I did. I don't understand why someone doesn't jump all over these types of parents.
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@James72 (26829)
• Australia
8 Dec 08
This is what I witnessed today to some degree too sid. This Mother you have mentioned should be ashamed of herself and it is abundantly clear why her children have reached the level of obesity that they have. It appears to be a case of it being easier to give in rather than stand up for what is right and this is of no long term benefit for her children in any way whatsoever. The rotten teeth angle is another interesting one to consider and just goes to show that it is not weight alone that can be affected byt Parents taking this type of stance with their children. I agree that Parents that act in this manner need to be somehow identified and educated on how to reverse such negative behaviours. Their children have a life ahead of them that may be plagued with health issues if something is not done. Thanks for the response.
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@subha12 (18453)
• India
8 Dec 08
I will not say it that way. It can be something that there is genetic problem.still some children are obese as they are fed so much. in that case it is ignorance and abuse from parents,
@James72 (26829)
• Australia
8 Dec 08
I agree that in some instances genetics or other medical issues can play a part; but in this particular case, they had a trolley full of veru unhealthy items so it seemed clear to me that it was just as much a case of ignorance on behalf of the Parents as it was any other factors. Thanks for the response subha.
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@chenaiyh (228)
• China
8 Dec 08
will,i don't think that's a abuse.but it's a problem,some parent cosher their child too much.and some parent have a wrong health concept,this make they don't care of the child's weight,they don't think this put their childer in danger. i think there need more propagandizer about children's health
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@James72 (26829)
• Australia
8 Dec 08
People these days are always so hectic and it is human nature to seek an easy solution to many situations because of it. But giving in to a child rather than standing your ground in circumstances such as these will eventually do more harm than good. There definitely needs to be more education about nutrition and health for children, I agree. Thanks for the response chenaiyh.
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