Does Childhood Obesity Equal Neglect?


In a world where every minute of the day is jam-packed with rushing from home to school and school to work and work to school and school to extracurricular activities, it is no wonder that parents are feeling the squeeze of where a lot of us are failing.  Our children's diets are suffering in a tremendous way which leads to things we would never wish on our children:  diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, bone and joint problems, social and psychological problems, and poor self-esteem.  Today, childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years according to the Journal of the American Medical Association and the National Center for Health Statistics.

There are immediate and long-term health effects.  Long-term effects are things like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, cancer, and osteoarthritis.  One study called the Bogalusa Heart Study showed that children who became obese as early as age 2 were more likely to be obese as adults.

In Britain, news was just released claiming that parents of an obese child were arrested for neglect.  Has this gone too far?  

If we spend our days putting priority on "getting somewhere" and not what goes into our bodies, we are missing a vital part of what we should prioritize.  Health.  

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” - Hippocrates

Should a parent be responsible for training up a child on how to be healthy?  Absolutely!  But, where we fail as a society, in America at least, is that our culture is driven around maximizing every second for work and productivity and not health.  We rush about to and fro and forget about healthy foods.  It takes too long to prepare.  McDonald's is so much faster.  Drive-thrus are so much faster.  Our hospital cafeterias are filled with the same foods that would send a patient to the cath lab over time due to the high cholesterol and high fat/sugar.  We have a society problem more than a parenting problem though the children suffering with obesity is a big symptom.

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