Does having an Overweight Child make you an Unfit Parent?

@Stiletto (4584)
February 26, 2007 5:10am CST
One of the current news stories here in the UK is that of an eight year old boy who weighs more than 14 stone (89kgs). A few months ago he weighed 15 stone 8 pounds (92.5kg) which is about four times the weight of a healthy child of his age. He has lost some weight by following an intensive exercise regime and introducing some healthy food into his diet. He can't exercise for more than 10 minutes at a time because he gets out of breath and can vomit with the exertion. He finds dressing and washing himself difficult, misses a lot of school days because of poor health and when he is at school he's a target for bullies. Child Protection are now involved and his Local Authority are considering the option of placing him in care. His mother says he refuses to eat fruit and vegetables and only likes processed foods. She says that she has to give him the food he likes because he won't eat anything else. So - what do you think? In allowing her child to become obese is this mother negligent*? In these circumstances is it appropriate for a Local Authority to place a child in care? If you are a parent do you have problems getting your child to eat healthily and if so how do you get round these problems? *the newspapers only mention the boy's mother so I'm assuming the father does not live with them.
2 responses
15 Mar 07
I watched the documentry on this and I think it is absolutely appauling that the mother let her son get that big. I would say that was a form of abuse. Why do that to someone you love. I don't think its the fault of the boy at all. He is 8 and that is what 8 year olds do. They play up and try and get away with stuff all the time and I just thought that the mother should not be allowed to bring up her children. The big sister wasn't fat at all but she seemed as though she was really hurting inside and did you see the state of the childrens teeth. She should be plating up healthy balances food for that boy and if he chooses not to eat it he would change his mind when he gets really hungry. I think adults need to educate children about foods and why they are not allowed to eat certain stuff but obviously that mother didn't know the first thing herself otherwise she wouldn't let him get that big. The amount of stress that boy was putting on his heart would be tremendous and his lungs as well would be crazy. I hope things really do turnaround for him and I hope once the authorities step away from the situation he doesnn't stuff his face fukll of food.
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@Stiletto (4584)
15 Mar 07
Yes their teeth were pretty awful as you would expect being fed rubbish more or less from birth. Personally I thought the mother was just useless and what annoyed me about it was that she was trying to blame everyone else like their GP not helping etc, when really the problem all started with her anyway. Hopefully the publicity this case has had will ensure that he does now get proper help and that his mother is shamed into actually trying to do something about it and makes an effort in future to provide him with a healthy diet.
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15 Mar 07
I think that woman was obviously very uneducated and I think motherhood doesn't come naturally to some womans o maybe the goverment should look into giving a parenting class or somehting to these type of mothers.
• Portugal
26 Feb 07
I´m a father so for me the answer it´s yes, we have to take total care of our children and health it´s one of the most important tasks we got, if I or my wife let my son eat whatever or don´t eat at all we are negligent, all parents must do all to give their sons the better foods and don´t let them get overweight.
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@Stiletto (4584)
26 Feb 07
I know - what struck me when reading the story was that he's 8 years old and he seems to dictate what kind of food is available to him! Actually I hear quite a lot of parents going on like that - "oh, they won't eat this or they won't eat that.." My daughter when she was younger was just about the fussiest eater you could ever meet (in fact even as an adult she's still a pretty fussy eater) but she had to eat a healthy diet - she never got the taste for processed foods or sweets, etc because they just weren't available at home.