Is Child Obesity Considered Abuse?

Last night when I attempted to write a blog post, nothing happened. It started like this “Today, I…” and that’s as far as I got. It was like trying to start a 10-page paper on the French Revolution.

Since I had an exhausting day and couldn’t recollect a single thing that I did, I just decided to watch the Dancing with the Stars finale (that kind of show is so not my taste, but that’s what my family was watching). Although I am not a fan of the Steelers whatsoever, I was glad to see that Hines and Kym won.

Now that I’ve had time to rest, my brain doesn’t feel like mush any more. Yesterday was busy and nonstop, but I managed to get in a great workout at the gym. I started out with a warmup on the treadmill, completing two miles. I then followed up my cardio with a weights workout, focusing mostly on lower body.

After an hour of exercising, I started to feel myself hitting a wall. I originally planned to do my high intensity interval training (HIIT) after my weightlifting, but I just couldn’t get through it. Plus, my music wasn’t cooperating and the gym was oddly quiet–perhaps the bandanna boys have gone to the Jersey shore for the summer?

Despite feeling slightly lethargic, I powered through and was able to finish another 2.25 miles on the treadmill. I’m glad I hopped back on the machine because I was able to catch an interesting segment on the Dr. Oz Show.

I didn’t have time (or the energy) to watch the entire episode, but the question at hand was whether or not child obesity was a form of abuse. I almost immediately thought that that was a ridiculous accusation. However, as I watched longer and heard the different arguments, it was easy to understand the doctors’ viewpoints.

I believe that it is parents’ responsibility to provide their children with proper nutrition. Genetics can play a partial role, but it’s not like eye color or height–you can defy the odds with your weight. Unless it’s a genetic disorder, everyone has the ability to get healthy.

A child doesn’t gain weight because his or her parents are obese; a child gains weight because high calorie, unhealthy foods are being consumed. I don’t know if I would go as far as to say that it is abuse, but I absolutely agree that the parents are at fault. One mother argued that her son is old enough to make good food choices; while that may be true, why would he choose an apple over a bag of chips if that’s what she is constantly supplying?

There’s nothing wrong with dessert every now and then, but child obesity is an epidemic that can and should be prevented. Whew! Sorry for the rampage, this subject just gets me aggravated!


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