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Overweight children - is it parental neglect? - Page 2

post #21 of 196
This issue is really, really complex. Pointing the finger at parents will do nothing but create a bigger problem. People need compassion, education, and an ethical standard among corporations and government.
post #22 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by meemee View Post

meepy wonder bread was the first product that made a mom feel guilty for slaving over the stove. they were the first to attack the mom zone. on radio in the 30s. sorry not tv commercials. they were not the first. 

so for me wonder bread is just an example of commercial manipulation around food. 

I thought the first was TV dinners.
post #23 of 196

Isn't neglect purposefully not giving children what they need?  Isn't it an all encompassing problem?  A way of life and of parenting?  Could you call extremely loving and attentive parents neglectful because of a food addiction?  Isn't that judging a parent's entire job based upon the weight of their child?  Isn't it judging and labeling them based upon their greatest weakness?  And isn't it judging them based upon what they can see (weight) rather than the actual scientific reality (health?)

 

Then is it also neglectful for a parent to smoke?  What about parents who don't give vitamins?  The AAP is against bed sharing.  Should bed sharing parents then be considered neglectful?  

 

Obviously I don't think any of that is neglect.  It's just a slippery slope.  But it seems that all of these discussions about neglect (in many different forums) center around food, and I can't help but think it ties in with our entire society's view and judgment of weight issues.  It would seem to me that smoking really is more harmful to kids that weight, but you never hear people wonder if that is neglect.  

post #24 of 196

I most definitely would not blame the parents without knowing the situation.  I remember my overweight childhood friend was not allowed to eat sugar (because her mom was so concerned about her weight/appearance.)  On her way home from school, she and her brother would stop at the gas station and buy lots of candy bars and then go and lock themselves in the gas station bathroom to eat them in secret before they went home.  Food addiction starts early and for a variety of reasons, not just because parents give kids too much junk food.

 

Another person I know has battled food addiction and obesity his entire life.  He had a similar situation as a child.  His mother was concerned about nutrition and banned any unhealthy foods.  When his dad would give him ice cream, his mom would sprinkle wheat germ on it before he ate it...So when he was alone, he would eat an entire container of Breyer's mint chip. 

post #25 of 196
Genetics plays a huge part as well. I am on the other end. I can eat crappy food and not exercise And I might gain five pounds, MIGHT. Just because I'm thin genetically does that mean I am healthy on the inside? Nope. So it goes both ways. I guess what does bother me though is seeing really really obese toddlers with sodas in their bottles or soppy cups. It would be cheaper to put water... Things like that. I think education is key.
post #26 of 196

In some cases I think portion control might be the issue. I know I am completely lost on what a toddler size portion is, so I just give DS what I think he'll eat. Some children might be more likely to eat everything in front of them, either from being trained or just having a natural tendency.

I think labels need to include portion sizes for younger people, not just adults. Of course, most adults don't follow the portion recommendations on packages. Who eats just 13 chips or the correct serving size of ice cream? I know a lot of people on mothering don't ever have "junk" food in their homes, but most people do...

 

I agree with Dovey, it seems like heavy children have a supply of snacks outside the home. A friend I had as a child was probably 2x the ideal weight and despite her mother's attempts at getting her to eat better, my friend was able to use her allowance and other funds to get the food she wanted.

post #27 of 196

In terms of portion control - I don't like limiting children's access to food.  Their appetites are inconsistent, and they melt down when they're hungry.  Every now and then, DS will have a few days where he's achey and whiny and hungry all the time, and then he wakes up taller.  I don't keep junk around, and I limit the supply of treats.  I allow only one dessert per child per day (and I know they get candy and junk at school and in aftercare, and I hate that, but I don't want to get into power struggles about it).  My kids are well aware that the first helping of dinner is going to be the most exciting, the second is probably pretty close, and once I run out of stuff I made for dinner, we're into leftovers.  A child who asks for more food knowing that "more" means "leftover spaghetti with pesto and broccoli" is, IMO, genuinely hungry, and should not be prevented from eating.

post #28 of 196

It's easy to point fingers and blame parents. 

 

My youngest eats like a horse. Always has. We stopped going out to dinner when she ate two orders of fried mac & cheese as an app, a 16 oz steak w/a salad, baked potato, veggies, dessert. And a third order of mac & cheese. Ice cream when we got home. 

 

And before you all gasp? She weighs in at 110 and is an athlete. She NEEDS that food. 

post #29 of 196
Pushing babies to eat, then being surprised when they fail to realize when they are full when they're older is an issue. Education can help with that.

Worrying about whether or not the parent(s) is/are neglecting may not correct the problem as much as identifying underlying causes of obesity, and addressing those with practical change. Education may be a part of the process. Only if the parent(s) is/are uncooperative would I worry about about neglect or abuse.
post #30 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by AmandaK View Post

Isn't neglect purposefully not giving children what they need?  Isn't it an all encompassing problem?  A way of life and of parenting?  Could you call extremely loving and attentive parents neglectful because of a food addiction?  Isn't that judging a parent's entire job based upon the weight of their child?  Isn't it judging and labeling them based upon their greatest weakness?  And isn't it judging them based upon what they can see (weight) rather than the actual scientific reality (health?)

 

Then is it also neglectful for a parent to smoke?  What about parents who don't give vitamins?  The AAP is against bed sharing.  Should bed sharing parents then be considered neglectful?  

 

Obviously I don't think any of that is neglect.  It's just a slippery slope.  But it seems that all of these discussions about neglect (in many different forums) center around food, and I can't help but think it ties in with our entire society's view and judgment of weight issues.  It would seem to me that smoking really is more harmful to kids that weight, but you never hear people wonder if that is neglect.  

 

 

Def agree here. 

post #31 of 196

I think I'm more worried about Diet Mom behaviors than overfeeding kids.

 

Besides, I think if the kid is morbidly obese, rather than um, regular obese, there's more at play than an unhealthy grocery list and the parents being free range about food. Maybe he has another health problem. Maybe his parents are forcing him to eat a lot, which I think is abusive regardless of how fat he becomes. Maybe he has an eating disorder and wants way too much food. I can't blame the parents for not treating the eating disorder, because it seems most parents don't know a damn thing about mental health issues. A lot of mental health treatment is encouraged by schools, but schools are only concerned when it affects school-related behavior. (And if schools did start pushing for treatment of eating disorders, would the general public start start thinking of over-eating as some school-related problem, like they do with ADHD?)

post #32 of 196
My mother was always on a diet. I went on my first diet at eight years old. By the time I was 17 I was bulimic. I can't really blame her as she was also a victim. All of society has to change to change this problem.
post #33 of 196

going a little OT...

 

... being the mother of an obese child i am rather sensitive to the present view of obese children.

 

... dd was obese due to genetics.

 

she is 10 now. nothing changed in her life. she still eats a LOT but she hit puberty. and most of her weight went away. she followed in her father's footsteps. fat till he hit puberty. 

 

so when the pediatrician would wag a finger at dd - i'd jump on her. some kids are meant to be obese when young. just like some teens are meant to have a 'wheat' belly like me. she would never look at the full picture. dd ate healthy. really healthy. she was physically active. 

 

she was not a junk food wall-E child. it was wrong of the ped (who hasnt followed dd since birth) to see all fat children with the same lens. 

post #34 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by dalia View Post

My mother was always on a diet. I went on my first diet at eight years old. By the time I was 17 I was bulimic. I can't really blame her as she was also a victim. All of society has to change to change this problem.

Was it your mother's idea that you should diet?
post #35 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by pek64 View Post

Was it your mother's idea that you should diet?

No. It was my idea.
post #36 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by meemee View Post

going a little OT...

... being the mother of an obese child i am rather sensitive to the present view of obese children.

... dd was obese due to genetics.

she is 10 now. nothing changed in her life. she still eats a LOT but she hit puberty. and most of her weight went away. she followed in her father's footsteps. fat till he hit puberty. 

so when the pediatrician would wag a finger at dd - i'd jump on her. some kids are meant to be obese when young. just like some teens are meant to have a 'wheat' belly like me. she would never look at the full picture. dd ate healthy. really healthy. she was physically active. 

she was not a junk food wall-E child. it was wrong of the ped (who hasnt followed dd since birth) to see all fat children with the same lens. 

Yeah, if my son's doc said anything about his weight I would be all over him. None of his business as far as I'm concerned. I also think that the mainstream idea of what is obese is completely messed up. And that whole body mass thing really drives me nuts. Everyone's body is different!
post #37 of 196
Thread Starter 
I agree that all overweight kids aren't victims of neglect, but I do think that there's a level of obesity where, unless caused by a medical problem, the parents should have been in better control of the kid's diet and the parents have some responsibility. It is neglectful to allow your kids to become morbidly overweight if it is caused by the food they are eating.

On the other hand, I agree that the foods available in some poor neighborhoods are not healthy, and that people on food stamps or otherwise without much of a food budget sometimes have to get as many calories as they can for what money they have, and that might involve unhealthy food. Also, not everyone has good kitchen facilities or time to cook much, and convenience foods are much less healthy than foods cooked from scratch. So that complicates things tremendously.

I think it's a complicated issue. I don't think you can see an overweight kid and assume the kid is a victim of neglect, but on the other hand I think there are some situations where parents who could make better choices are buying junk and not putting limits on food for kids who need limits set. Obesity can be a serious medical issue and if it reaches the point where it's causing health problems, it warrants parents putting their feet down and not having unhealthy stuff in the house.
post #38 of 196

http://healthland.time.com/2013/04/12/study-finds-genetic-markers-for-severe-childhood-obesity/

http://childrens.org/health/causes-of-child-obesity/

 

genetics plays a role (only in certain medical conditions) but it does not play a role in the surge in numbers of children with morbid obesity (that is new in society)

Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post

I agree that all overweight kids aren't victims of neglect, but I do think that there's a level of obesity where, unless caused by a medical problem, the parents should have been in better control of the kid's diet and the parents have some responsibility. It is neglectful to allow your kids to become morbidly overweight if it is caused by the food they are eating.

 

as the same as you are held neglectful if you starve you child - I feel if you (and or society)  don't/doesn't address that it is a problem that can cause medical conditions and or death, there is not hope of getting the parents help in addressing the issue (s) - just saying it all about genetics is clearly not true in all cases

post #39 of 196

almost all of the breads you see on the supermarket shelves (excluding trader joes and wholefoods) are junk. I can smell  the sugar  an aisle away.  I remember being on wic and having to choose a bread to buy...there was nothing worth consuming.(thats if you accept that gluten and sugar are things that kids should be eating alot of in the first place)

 

I think its ignorance on the part of parents. Not neglect.   

post #40 of 196

I'm obese and my kids are regular sized, about average. Little taller and little more weight than their peers, but never considered overweight.

The big difference between my kids and the average obese/overweight child is that my kids are home schooled, have more time to run around and less social pressure to eat junk. We do eat junk sometimes, but most of our diet is natural foods.

Their weight has very little to do with *me*.

 

One of my nephews was 140 pounds at 7 years old. It was sad, and even sadder is how he took pride in how big he was!

He sat in school most of the day, ate the newest fad "foods" and preferred hanging in the kitchen to playing outside. I wrongly assumed it was my aunt & uncle feeding him tons of junk because they do tend to have the newest snack foods around their house usually...

As the years went on, it really has become obvious it is some kind of difference in his brain.

He just looks at food very differently than many people, and I'm not sure it is something that could be easily remedied without a lot of counseling and life long intervention which comes at a high cost not counting that a person has to *want* to change.

 

Definitely don't think the parents (even if they are obese themselves) deserve condemnation for this....Just as I have normal sized children and I'm obese doesn't mean I've done extra great either.

 

We are responsible for our childrens health, and some times it is ridiculous how people eat- but neglect? No. I don't believe we can charge people with neglect for failing to provide something that comes at a high cost. (The "every child must have a yard of you're an unfit parent" syndrome)

 

I will give an example.

1 pound of lima beans in my area costs $2.19 (serious).

Living rural (60 miles to the nearest bulk food distributor) it costs $$ in gas and time to shop for bulk beans, produce and the like, so say that I need to feed my family on local (within 5 mile) food stores.

 

A dinner of lima beans with an onion thrown in and a couple boullion cubes would run about $5-$6. For one meal.

Mac n cheese or ramen could be whipped up for $3.

 

Add in the fact that many people have no idea how delicious eating beans, lentils and the like can be - and how un time consuming they can be with some advanced planning - you can easily see how in certain areas the unhealthy 'tastes good' food wins out.

 

Thankfully I am able to hit the bulk stores for healthy foods, but left to shop around here? Produce bill triples - easily...along with everything else.

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