Allowing Children to Be Obesity is Child Abuse: Eradicating the Crime Requires Parents to Change

Allowing Children to Be Obesity is Child Abuse
Eradicating the Crime Requires Parents to Change

In regard to “childhood obesity” over feeding of children by parents and guardians is as being the same as under feeding. It is malnutrition. According to Stanford University Hospital ( the health effects of obesity include high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, joint problems including osteoarthritis, sleep apnea and respiratory problems, cancer, high cholesterol, insulin resistance, and psychosocial problems. In effect the parent that lets a child become obese has sentenced the child to a life of pain and an early death.

Over feeding is child abuse. The reflexive way of dealing with the problem is simple – recognize over feeding children as a form of malnutrition under law and then suitably punish the parents. Fines, community service, and jail time should wake them up.

But there are complications. In former times if a child refused to eat what was given to them as a proper dinner they either where told that what they to eat was it. If they whined about it they got smacked, no desert, or maybe sent to bed without dinner or maybe all three. Parents are justifiably worried about punishing their children for anything. Recently a Palm Bay woman and her boyfriend were arrested for child abuse after the couple went old school to punish their 8-year-old daughter for swearing. They had washed her mouth out with soap.

Wide spread school busing is another problem. Children don’t even get to walk to school and back. The child’s school day starts at with an hour ride on the school bus. This is followed with 6 hours of sitting in school and then there is another hour ride home. Parents are at the bus stop with their SUVs to pick up the children to drive them home. So the children have spent 8 of 16 waking hours sitting for school. It is home to snacks, TV/video game sitting, etc. In my suburban community I have only seen children outside playing when there was a power outage. If you ask an adult , “What’s you favorite sport?” In the majority of cases they will reply with some sport that they watch on TV while they eat and drink. The children follow the example of the parents. Again responsibility goes back to the parents. They set up the school system. They elect the school boards. They watch TV at home.

Physical education in schools is mostly a joke, if it exists at all. At best it is semi-structured play time. Teachers are not allowed to disciple the children either. So if they don’t want to run or do push-ups, “It’s OK. What’s important is that they feel good about themselves.” The situation get completely horrible by university where sports programs are sacrificed to support the football and basketball teams. The majority of the young adults are essentially pushed into being watchers in the bleachers. Rutgers University stadium in NJ cost $102 million and a $1,000,000/year football coach was hired. Olympic sports and academic programs were canceled to pay for it all.

An University of Michigan study,, stated

Despite the wealth of knowledge concerning the benefits of physical education and physical activity, only 8% of elementary schools, 6.4% of middle schools, and 5.8% of high schools provide daily physical education to all of its students …. In addition, 20 percent of all elementary schools in the U.S. have abolished recess in favor of increased classroom time under pressure to improve student achievement …. Less than 25% of children are engaged in 30 minutes of any type of daily physical activity …. Even when physical education programs are in place, most students are not engaged in vigorous physical activity for the majority of their class time …. It is estimated that boys only spend about 18 minutes engaged in moderate and vigorous activity and girls spend about 16 minutes …. These statistics are disappointing and are resulting in negative outcomes in health and school performance for America?s children. Many parents and educators are probably wondering: Why are we neglecting the health needs of our children?

So why are the children obese? It is because of the choices made by the parents. So in order to tackle the problem child focused programs are bound to fail. Parental behavior must be changed. Promote things like family play, family workout, and the like. Promote healthy family eating patterns. Push to expand PE programs in the schools even if it means cutting big time sports programs.

Big time sports are favored by some; let them fund the football, basketball, and the like. Since high schools and colleges provide the talent for the professional drafts let the professional teams pay for it. Let the NFL, NBA, and MLB put up money to support high school and university teams.

Al Connelly

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