Is childhood obesity criminal neglect?

Discussion in 'Politics & Law' started by Merc, Jul 22, 2009.

  1. Merc

    Merc Certified Shitlord V.I.P. Lifetime

    I watched a video this morning on CNN about a mother of a 555 pound teenager who was just sent to prison for neglect. Her story is that she has to work so often that fast food is often all she could offer him.

    Now, that's only an example. What do you feel about this? Obviously, in a sliver of cases, it's a biological issue why the child is overweight. However, the one thing that gets in my way of wanting to side with this being neglect is what about parents who allow their kids to play sports? You know how many kids die playing organized sports each year? Should we start locking up soccer moms? I guess what I'm saying is that there is a lot of obesity research, yes, but to be locking people up and snatching up their kids is a bit harsh. Not to mention, this society produces obesity itself with the need for a fast paced lifestyle.

    I know, I know. Someone is sitting at their computer thinking, "It's not hard to eat quick and healthy" but the truth is it certainly can be not to mention, the healthier food is more expensive. If you've got a hectic lifestyle, a breakfast hot pocket is going to be much more appealing than putting together a healthy omelet and toast.

    So considering a lot of the angles out there, should childhood obesity be classed as neglect?

  2. sb1732

    sb1732 Registered Member

    Hmm... no i wouldn't class it as neglect. Like you say, healthier food is more expensive than junk food so the poorer families are going to find it harder to keep their kids a healthy weight, no matter how much they love them. Also, i'm still convinced that it's in your genes whether you can keep weight off you or not. I'm one of those lucky people that i can just eat whatever i want without gaining weight, but obviously not everyone's like that.

    But i guess if you give your kid little or no exercise that's pretty bad. But i still wouldn't class it as neglect exactly... just maybe, not being the best parent you could be? Haha, idk, im talking rubbish.
  3. AnitaKnapp

    AnitaKnapp It's not me, it's you. V.I.P. Lifetime

    Absolutely not. While in this case the child is morbidly obese, what about cases where the child is 100 lbs overweight? If they can jail this mother for her kid being obese, at what pound mark are they going to draw the line?
  4. Jeanie

    Jeanie still nobody's bitch V.I.P. Lifetime

    It's not necessarily true that healthy food is more expensive than junk food. You can buy a bunch of bananas for less than a dollar, but a package of oreos costs over $3. Taking a walk every day or going for a run, or whatever it takes to get your kids's asses of the couch and active, is free.

    Considering the long-term consequences of childhood obesity - diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, stress on joints, etc. not to mention self-esteem issues - yes, I think childhood obesity does constitute criminal neglect.
  5. Merc

    Merc Certified Shitlord V.I.P. Lifetime

    To play devil's advocate here:

    Isn't it the parents' responsibility to make sure their child is healthy? If so, regarding recent research states that obesity is a significant health risk. This means the parent is not fufilling their responsibility to the well being of their child.

    /devil's advocate

    I do agree Anita that we would most likely end up with some sort of bullshit weight line or way of determining obesity.
    Okay, so bananas are cheap. What else? To have a healthy lifestyle, you need more than just bananas and you and I both know they cost a lot more than cheap, unhealthy food. Not saying the parents should be let off the hook, but if you can't afford to upgrade the quality of your food, then what?

    Those are potential risks not consequences. There is no guarantee.

    Like I said in my original post, what do you think of parents that let their kids play sports?
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2009
  6. Jeanie

    Jeanie still nobody's bitch V.I.P. Lifetime

    It's definitely neglect; I guess the question is to what degree and what the punishment should be. Jail would be stupid, because a kid needs at least one parent to be around, but maybe mandated nutrition counseling or something. There definitely should be some type of intervention; after all, if a kid were not being fed at all, that would be considered neglect. If a kid were left in a dangerous situation, that would be neglect. Maybe a specific BMI cut off would be a good start.
    viLky likes this.
  7. viLky

    viLky ykLiv

    Stater Bros. Markets - Our Current Stater Saver Weekly Ad

    That ad is from a chain grocery store in Southern California. 19c (per lb.) for cantaloupe, 79c (per lb.) for grapes and $1.49 (per lb.) for asparagus. That's great compared to the 2 for $5 bag of chips.

    You need to be a smart shopper and look for deals each week when it comes to eating right. This "it's too expensive" argument is something I don't buy (no pun intended).

    Is it neglect to have an obese child and not do anything about it? Yes. Yes it is. From a lot of what I read people make excuses about how they don't have money, they don't have time, they don't have help from the government. Excuses. Why even have kids then if you have all those problems? The parents are being really selfish, I believe.

    As Jeanie said, you can go walk outside and it doesn't cost you a penny. Parents need to be pro-active and good role models, or they shouldn't have kids until they learn to take responsibility.
  8. AnitaKnapp

    AnitaKnapp It's not me, it's you. V.I.P. Lifetime

    Ok, I'm sorry, but I don't see much of a difference between this and abortion. A lot of people think that the government doesn't have the right to say what you do with your body. What right does the government have to tell you how to raise your children and regulate their bodies? Everything can be nitpicked at and said...zomg, this is child abuse!
    I had to walk to! Do you know how hot it gets in Texas? I could have suffered from heat stroke. zomg, child abuse.

    Sure, if a child is being beaten or starved, then it should be stopped. But to go so far as to regulate what they way. It's none of their business.

    Oh I know, lets outlaw fatty foods for our own good and just take the bad choices away to begin with.
  9. sb1732

    sb1732 Registered Member

    Except- you wouldn't feed your child just a bunch of grapes as their main meal, the same way as you wouldn't give them just a bag of chips. In terms of a full meal- say a takeaway, thats much cheaper than going to the supermarket and buying a whole load of ingredients to make a healthy meal or going to a restaurant to get a healthy meal.

    That's the way i see it anyway...
  10. Jeanie

    Jeanie still nobody's bitch V.I.P. Lifetime

    Why would you want to choose to raise your children in an unhealthy manner, though? I don't get that. I don't think it's a choice people make consciously, I think that parents whose children are morbidly obese truly don't know better. People don't always realize the full implications of what is put into their/their children's bodies. There was a show on one of those cable channels a few years ago called "Honey We're Killing The Kids" where they profiled families with children who were obese, and a nutritionist came in and taught the family how to eat healthier. The kids always resisted it at first, but after about a month, the whole family felt better and they were happy that they had the lifestyle makeover.

    I also saw an episode of "Untold Stories of the ER" where this young couple was only feeding their 2-year-old son oatmeal, because "that's all he would eat". He ended up with scurvy.

    If a pediatrician/family physician has a child patient who is obese and at risk of developing disease as a result, then the parents should receive some type of nutritional counseling. In my mind, that does not constitute the government telling parents what they can and cannot feed their kids. It's a society showing concern for all of its members, including those who cannot advocate for themselves.

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