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Daseal 04-14-2008 06:09 PM

Childhood Obesity -- Should it be a crime?
 
Curious how you guys feel. Pretty straight forward, should parents that allow their children to get obese be prosecuted? Personally, I think absolutely they should. I see it as child abuse feeding your child McDonalds sometimes up to 4x a day, and never making them go outside and play. Adults are welcome to make their own decisions, but children need to eat better so they don't start having massive health problems, etc young. These parents are shaving years of the lives of their children.

SeanTaylor21 04-14-2008 06:23 PM

Re: Childhood Obesity -- Should it be a crime?
 
[IMG]http://www.travelburner.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/05/sc_fat_kid.jpg[/IMG]

If it's a kid with jelly rolls like that yeah, but if it is a slighlty, like 10-15 pound overweight kid, then I don't think it's a huge problem.

EternalEnigma21 04-14-2008 06:25 PM

Re: Childhood Obesity -- Should it be a crime?
 
it's not always as cut and dry, but it definitely should be looked upon as a form of neglect and abuse, and investigated by child protective services, with help for the problem offered before punishment is dealt.

So, yes I agree a much bigger deal should be made, but do you cut it off and take a child away from a loving family because the parent doesn't have discipline? And at what point do you enforce the law... there's a lot of gray area there, in which you may do a child more harm than good in punishing the family (and the kid) for the actions of the parents.

Daseal 04-14-2008 06:56 PM

Re: Childhood Obesity -- Should it be a crime?
 
EE21: If the child has some sort of disability / health problem, then there's a different story there. However, just because a parent is loving doesn't mean they're doing the best for that child. In fact I'd argue most of the people that let their children get that big are loving, but they are doing a disservice to their children.

A few lbs overweight, no. I'm talking obese. I was chunky as a kid even though I never ate fast food and I was constantly outside running around being active. I was far from obese though. I don't know what they'd base it off of, maybe BMI, etc. The health-nuts in here could tell you more about measuring obesity than I can.

Sheriff Gonna Getcha 04-14-2008 07:36 PM

Re: Childhood Obesity -- Should it be a crime?
 
Unless a parent is outright beating or sexually abusing a child, the government has no place charging them with criminal offenses because they are not doing a great job.

SmootSmack 04-14-2008 07:45 PM

Re: Childhood Obesity -- Should it be a crime?
 
[QUOTE=Sheriff Gonna Getcha;439611]Unless a parent is outright beating or sexually abusing a child, the government has no place charging them with criminal offenses because they are not doing a great job.[/QUOTE]

But, and I might be mistaken here, but haven't criminal charges been filed against parents for malnourishing their kids (i.e not giving them enough to eat)? Is this much different, or is it now about how much they are given to eat but given the right things to eat?

EARTHQUAKE2689 04-14-2008 08:01 PM

Re: Childhood Obesity -- Should it be a crime?
 
I am technically obese cause I am more than 20% overweight but I always have been big but I am not unhealthy per se:

I am 311 pounds 6'2" i bench 385 and I run the mile in 7:58 so I guess I am just lucky then.

724Skinsfan 04-14-2008 08:06 PM

Re: Childhood Obesity -- Should it be a crime?
 
[quote=Sheriff Gonna Getcha;439611]Unless a parent is outright beating or sexually abusing a child, the government has no place charging them with criminal offenses because they are not doing a great job.[/quote]

I agree. Social stigma should be enough punishment for both parents and the kids. Some figure it out later on in life, others unfortunately do not. I think that since the "abuse" is not intentional or thought to be some form of severe punishment then our government has no place to enforce their (our?)physical standards upon foolish parents.

If anything pediatricians should be able to effectively encourage their parents to alter the kids diet and physical activity. Setting up some type of voluntary after school exercise camp may provide some help. I say voluntary because there's no way in Hades that public education can afford to put funds into something like that.

Sheriff Gonna Getcha 04-14-2008 08:08 PM

Re: Childhood Obesity -- Should it be a crime?
 
[QUOTE=SmootSmack;439613]But, and I might be mistaken here, but haven't criminal charges been filed against parents for malnourishing their kids (i.e not giving them enough to eat)? Is this much different, or is it now about how much they are given to eat but given the right things to eat?[/QUOTE]

Great point. My understanding is that such charges are typically filed when the child is on death's door. Whereas a child can die within a matter of weeks from severe malnutrition, kids are not likely to die within a matter of weeks from being overfed. Moreover, whereas the failure to adequately feed a child is usually a sign of serious neglect, overfeeding a child is typically just a sign of a lack of education. It's one thing to punish people for seriously neglecting their kids, it's quite another IMO to punish them for being ignorant.

Even assuming legislatures started enacting such legislation, how would it be enforced? Do you just start pulling heavy kids off the street and locking up their parents? How would authorities determine who is to blame for the overfeeding? Do they lock up both parents even though only one controls the child's diet? Do they lock up the parents when the child's obesity is due to the kind of food that the child is buying or getting from other places (friends' houses)?

SeanTaylor21 04-14-2008 08:09 PM

Re: Childhood Obesity -- Should it be a crime?
 
[QUOTE=EARTHQUAKE2689;439616]I am technically obese cause I am more than 20% overweight but I always have been big but I am not unhealthy per se:

I am not 311 pounds 6'2" i bench 385 and I run the mile in 7:58 so I guess I am just lucky then.[/QUOTE]

I am 6'2 185 pounds, and bench 180. If I way that much does it mean I'm overweight.

EternalEnigma21 04-14-2008 09:45 PM

Re: Childhood Obesity -- Should it be a crime?
 
[quote=Sheriff Gonna Getcha;439618]
Even assuming legislatures started enacting such legislation, how would it be enforced? Do you just start pulling heavy kids off the street and locking up their parents? How would authorities determine who is to blame for the overfeeding? Do they lock up both parents even though only one controls the child's diet? Do they lock up the parents when the child's obesity is due to the kind of food that the child is buying or getting from other places (friends' houses)?[/quote]

that was my question. I don't think kids should be removed from homes (except in extreme cases) or that the parents should face jail time, but just as in homes where neglect is suspected, social services should be called in to monitor and attempt to help the situation while the threat of re-housing a child looms as motivation. My mother in law was a CASA for a while and, while I agree obesity is a big american problem, there are far worse things going on in homes than over eating that take up a lot of their time. Many times courts would allow children to stay in homes with open heavy drug use, and repeat offenders, even though she had lined up foster homes that were apparently more than capable and willing to offer the children a better life.

EternalEnigma21 04-14-2008 09:52 PM

Re: Childhood Obesity -- Should it be a crime?
 
I know a little girl who is extremely obese. Her mom is single and gives the girl food and tv to get her out of her hair. This situation screams for some attention from a governing body, because the girl is a beautiful smart little girl who will never know what it's like to live a normal life. She is treated poorly by her peers and has no self esteem, which only aids to her overeating... and she's 13 years old at 280 lbs. She's been obese her entire life. In this case I may indeed condone the relocation (or legitimate threat thereof) for the betterment of the child.

hooskins 04-15-2008 01:06 AM

Re: Childhood Obesity -- Should it be a crime?
 
Quake you run a 8 min mile while over 300lbs? I am sure you are in shape, but I am still in disbelief. It just doesn't physically possible to me.

saden1 04-15-2008 01:15 AM

Re: Childhood Obesity -- Should it be a crime?
 
[quote=hooskins;439692]Quake you run a 8 min mile while over 300lbs? I am sure you are in shape, but I am still in disbelief. It just doesn't physically possible to me.[/quote]

He could be all muscle? Nah, I got to go with you and call b.s.

70Chip 04-15-2008 02:39 AM

Re: Childhood Obesity -- Should it be a crime?
 
I think having ugly children should be a crime. Ugly is worse than fat. You can lose wieght. Ugly is forever and always.


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