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Is childhood obesity the parents' fault?
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Olivia_WebMD_Staff posted:
ABC News reported on Sunday, Nov. 27, that a third-grader in Cleveland, Ohio, was removed from his mother's custody after authorities decided that she wasn't doing enough to help him lose weight. The 8-year-old weighed in at more than 200 lbs.

Do you think parents should be held responsible for their child's obesity? Why or why not?
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rachael67 responded:
To approach such an issue with a "single pill" is nonsense! Has the child had a thorough physical exam? How about a mental and emotional evaluation? Removal from a home should be a last ditch effort in most cases!

Sadly, obesity is often seen as a simple over-eating problem. Remove or deny food, and the individual simply slims down! VOILA! However, if it is a glandular or hormonal issue, removal from the home certainly will not be the solution. And, worse yet, if it is emotional, I can't begin to imagine the negative impact that might have on the child! (How many of us reach for a chocolate bar when stressed? And being taken from his home won't be stressful????!!!)

If only all our troubles could be handled with one simple approach! Too often we, who have grown up with the tv program solving all troubles within an hour (less when you subtract the time for commercials!), expect life to mirror this. If only....!

No, without a thorough study and understanding of what is the basis of his troubles, we (through the authorities) are setting up this poor kid and his family for alot of woe!

Rachael
 
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ami_nix responded:
I think that to a certain extent, childhood obesity is the parents fault. Parents have a responsiblity to teach their children about a healthy lifestyle. However, to remove a child from his/her parents custody due to a child's weight is outragous! I have an idea.. instead of taking children away from parents who just need to be educated on proper nutrition and activity, why don't we take children away from parents who are beating their kids, or neglecting them to the point that their child has environmental disease or is starving to death. Or maybe from the parents that are too addicted to drugs to care for their children physically or emotionally. There are too many stories of children being put back into abusive homes and then being beaten to death or children that are kept in abusive homes despite the abuse being reported over and over. There are too many children dying from neglect. I think that taking children away from parents because the child is obese while leaving those abused children where they are is sort of like taking cupcakes off the shelf because they are full of fat and sugar but, leaving produce tainted with salmonella right there on the shelf! If we are truly trying to protect children maybe we should start with the ones being tortured by the people who are supposed to love them and start programs to educate those parents who actually do love their children and simply need guidance.
 
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iocasta replied to rachael67's response:
From what I understand, this was a last ditch effort by the state. The mother argued in court that other's were sneaking food to her child so it was out of her control and that she bought him a bike and tried to get him to excerise but he wouldn't do it. Remember we are talking about an 8 year old. The judge found that this was a case of medical neglect. No one took this lightly. An 8 year old weighing 200 pounds is neglect, medical reasons have been ruled out. 8 years olds don't get that overweight without an adult/adults allowing him to get there. Clearly, the adult(s) in his world is/are not doing what they are suppose to do to protect him. IMHO, this is nothing short of obscene.
 
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nicoleranae responded:
I have been heavy my entire life(now 35) and was an "obese" child. Not my mother's fault!!! She always preparred 3 square meals, I can't recall ever eating fast food, and junk food was never around. I was active and enjoyed swim team, although VERY embarrasing as an over weight child. It obviously is my genetics. Both my grand fathers were very big men. Even now, I remain heavy even though I eat healthy and exercise daily. I hate it!!!!! But never, ever could anyone blame it on my parents. This is an unfortunate situation and unless we know the exact reasons this child is obese, we have no right to judge the mother. If she intentionaly is feeding him junk or fast food and NOT encouraging him to be active then, yes, she is to blame. But I nor none of you know for sure, right?? Chances are he is already depressed and turning to food and now it is going to be worse for him. They are in my prayers.
 
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RoseLynn02 responded:
I think in some cases it is the parents fault & in other it's due to medical reasons. I think in extreme cases like that You really have to examine whether or not it is medical. I have a strong watch over what my kids eat & my kids love to work out, but that's because I set the example. I eat right & exercise every day & so my kids follow the example. Also, I take my kids out to play & run around with me regularly. It's important to keep kids active. So, I'm not saying every parent should do what I do, but I do think that parents should know what there kids are eating & make sure they stay active to prevent these things. OP on here stated that the mother said she had no control over what other people gave her child & that she got him a bike he refused to use? I'm sorry but at 8yrs old if mommy says get on the bike then that means get on the bike. And what parent truely has no control over what people give their kid? He got that way some how & I think she allowed it & should be held responsible. However there are people like my brother who have a malfunctioning thyroid or other medical issues that cause obesity & in those cases there isn't much you can do. Even with medicinal help my brother still struggles to loose weight. So all in all I believe it's circumstantial. It really depends, case by case.
 
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3point14 responded:
I think it's 100% the parents' fault.

I think genetics play a role in obesity, and there can definitely be mental health issues and glandular issues at work, too. But it's a parents job not to let medical problems fester in their child, and I think a parent who lets their eight year old get over 200 lbs. is simply asleep at the switch.

I think it's abuse if you don't help your child win a battle with weight, especially to the extent of the example given. An extra ten pounds, even an extra few more than that as kids get into their pre-teens isn't a huge deal, as long as they're being taught about health and are physically active. But once your child is two or three times the size of their playmates and you aren't seeking help through their pediatrician, you just don't give enough of a damn.
 
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Boyzmomee replied to iocasta's response:
I have to agree with locasta. If the parent was participating with her child in counseling, a medically supervised child weight loss program, consulting a nutritionist and following a plan, the child would not have been removed from the parent's custody.

This is medical negelct and risking the health, well being and life of the child.
 
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ami_nix replied to Boyzmomee's response:
I agree that this situation is medical neglect, I just don't understand how a state can justify taking a child from his mother when so many other children are left to die horribly and painfully at the hands of their parents.
 
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3point14 replied to ami_nix's response:
Those are two totally different situations, though.

The state can't come in without evidence, and some abusers are good at hiding what they do, especially when children are at pre-communicative ages.

A child at 200 lbs. is a clear, obvious sign of abuse. And how long do you think it would take that child to have their first heart attack? That child was slowly being killed by the forks and spoons of his mother. It was easy to point to that child and say "Look at what's happening, this situation is not improving, something needs to be done immediately".

Just because every child isn't saved shouldn't negate the effort to save some.
 
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ami_nix replied to iocasta's response:
I was curious as to where you got the information concerning the mother's arguments in court. I didn't see that in the article and I would like to see all the information concerning this issue before I make a firm decision on my opinion towards this matter. Thanks!
 
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Boyzmomee replied to ami_nix's response:
I'm assuming she googled. You likely can find more information that way.
 
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Boyzmomee replied to ami_nix's response:
The fact that there are failures and some children are not saved, this one should be left to die of medical neglect?

I don't understand your reasoning.
 
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ami_nix replied to Boyzmomee's response:
I do not feel that any child should have to suffer or be left behind. But, I also know a lot of women who feed for comfort. My SO has been quite heavy since he was a small child and the doctors have never found anything more than genetic predisposition that could be causing it. His mother is a wonderful, loving and supportive mom who adores her son. Many women from previous generations used food as a way to show their love for their family. They have passed this on to their daughters. Without more information, I cannot see this as deliberate and malicious abuse or neglect towards this child. My view of this situation is that it is a matter of ignorance on the part of the mother. When I was young, I saw first hand how horribly traumatizing it was for a friend of mine to be taken away from his parents because the state claimed they were not doing enough to ensure his health and safety. It was a similar situation although it did not have to do with weight. He is still angry about it 30 years later and feels that what the state did to him and his parents ruined his life. He and his parents remain quite close, as they were at the time of separation. Perhaps if I had more information and knew exactly what lengths the state went to before making the decision to remove this child from his mother's custody I would feel differently but, with the information I have I do not feel that this child would be better off away from his mother. There are so many children who are tortured by their parents and the state does nothing dispite having evidence.. What made this a situation that warrented the childs removal from the home? what key information do we not have concerning this issue? Because my experience is that other than a few unusual cases where children are taken away that maybe should not have been <see above>, the state does not usually do this except in extreme cases.. I'm just wondering what we are missing..
 
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Dansk2011 replied to rachael67's response:
Agree ! Maybe reviewing the eating habits of a home and making affordable recommendations would be better -- not destablizing the family unit, unless there are other issues, of course.


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