Thursday, July 14, 2011

An American Epidemic

Good Morning Sweets,

I heard an interesting piece on The Today Show. No, I am not talking about Arnold Schwarzenegger's return to film. Snore. Normally I watch The Today Show just to get myself all worked up and annoyed at the plebeian "Everybody Loves Raymond" jokes and jabs, but every now and then I get rewarded with an interesting tidbit. Today it was a question posed to a panel, consisting of Star Jones - BARF. Star Jones is the wuuuuurrrrssst.

Focus Emily.

The question posed was - Should obese children be taken out of the home and put into protective care/foster care?

In other words, is it a form of child abuse to over feed your kid?

Note: They are talking about obese children, not all overweight kids

My first response was - hells yeah it is a form of abuse. Maybe not in the aggressive or intentional form we usually think of when we think of child abuse, but it is putting the kid in danger.

But then I stopped to think. Stopping to think is a trick HM taught me. Yeah its crazy. Instead of spouting out the first thing that comes to mind, I take a moment to think about the issue and form a more thoughtful response. So that is what I did. Here is what I came up with. Yes it is dangerous for a child to be obese, but foster care is not a BETTER solution. It also does not address the problem. Who is to say the foster family is going to eat any healthier that the child's family. You are changing the environment maybe, but is the child more informed on the topic of nutrition? Do they now have access to better foods? Are they exercising more?

Here are some numbers, by state, of obese children:

It is a slippery slope. Obesity is definitely an issue, even among children. What is the answer? What do you think Sweets?


  1. I've heard a lot about this recently and I'm uncertain about the proper course of action. It seems harsh to simply remove the children from the care of the parents. I think the proper approach would be to help the WHOLE family because the child is not the one making the food decision and if the providers are educated, maybe some changes would occur. It also bothers me that many school systems are starting to cut out the PE class from curriculms. We cry about children being overweight, then we cancel PE.

  2. Obesity is such a problem. Habits learned from early on affect the rest of their lives. Most children who are obese have major health problems later!

    The parents are definitely to blame, but some of them are almost as uneducated when it comes to their health as their children are. I think the schools should address the issue. Have parents of obese kids come in for education classes on health and nutrition. I'm not sure what you do if the parents fail to cooperate...I mean, it doesn't seem right to take children away from loving parents just because they are lazy about food or ignorant, but the kids are the victims...

  3. Great insight ladies. I love it, thanks!

  4. OOOOh obesity makes me angry. I wish I could fix that problem in other people-- they don't realize how harmful it is to their health. I see obese people in my trauma ICU all the time and they NEVER do as well as the people who aren't obese. Their bodies are just so over burdened.
    There is just so much in this world that we can't control (cancer and genetics, etc.), but obesity is something huge that we can control! People need to get control of their weight from an early age.
    Thanks for sharing the map, very interesting!

  5. First of all, I love your blog! It's SO you! I can just picture you talking, even though I haven't seen you in years! Anyway, I have thought a lot about this since I have kids and I want to teach them to be healthy. I think there are a lot of things to blame it on, one of which is school lunches. I know they are trying to make them more healthy and I think there is progress being made, but I've seen the things those kids have at school. Not good. My 5-year-old always asks why I never let her buy lunch. In reality, though, she's so picky that I'll send her with a healthy, balanced lunch every day and she'll come home with most of it. I guess she'll never be obese because she'll never eat enough! But I do think parents (especially those in lower income brackets) need to be educated on how to eat healthy meals on a small budget.


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