Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Another Form of Child Abuse-

This past week a mother in London was able to keep custody of her 8 year old, 218 pound, son. Hopefully she will take the court's orders seriously and help her son to eat a healthy diet and exercise.

In my opinion, parents who allow their children to eat whatever they want, whenever they want, are committing another form of child abuse. This poor boy's health will be impacted for his entire life by his weight if something isn't done about it. Even if he loses weight, it is unknown what the effects of his weight have already had on his internal organs.

The other day while riding on public transportation, I saw a family of four-mother, father, son, daughter. All of them were severely overweight. The mother and father were far over 200lbs, and the children, who seemed to be 8-10 years old, were each at least 130 pounds despite the fact that they were only around 4'6. I think that doctors should be more aggressive in telling parents of overweight children that they are to blame, that they need to toughen up, and that they (in my opinion) committing a form of passive child abuse. I know this sounds extreme, but if a person allows their child to become obese, is that not abuse? I believe it is Passive Abuse--the result of a parent unable to say no. If the child has a genetic disorder, that is a different matter, however the majority of children who are obese ARE NOT suffering from genetic disorders.

See the article below from the Canadian Press:

Overweight 8-year-old sets off child obesity debate in Britain

Published: Tuesday, February 27, 2007 | 5:35 PM ET
Canadian Press: THOMAS WAGNER

LONDON (AP) - A mother who feared she might lose custody of her obese eight-year-old son unless he lost weight was allowed to keep the boy after striking a deal Tuesday with social workers to safeguard his welfare.

The case has set off a debate over child obesity and raised questions about whether genetics, junk food or bad parenting is to blame. Connor McCreaddie, of Wallsend in northeastern England, weighs 218 pounds, four times the weight of a healthy child his age. Connor and his mother, Nicola McKeown, 35, both attended a child protection meeting Tuesday with North Tyneside Council officials.

Before it began, McKeown, a single mother of two, said she hoped she would not lose custody of her son.

Afterward, the Local Safeguarding Children Board issued a statement saying it "was able to confirm that its hope and ambition is to enable this child to remain with his family. In order to move this matter forward, we have made a formal agreement with the family to safeguard and promote the child's welfare."

The agency provided no details about what Connor or his mother would have to do to fight his obesity.

The hearing was held under the Children Act, which places a duty on the local authority to conduct an inquiry if it has "reasonable cause to suspect that a child . . . in their area is suffering, or is likely to suffer, significant harm."

The boy's case attracted national attention after his mother allowed an ITV News crew to film his day-to-day life for a month.

When he was 2½, Connor was too heavy for his mother to pick him up, and at age five, he weighed more than 126 pounds, said The Journal, a regional newspaper. Now the boy, who is tall for his age at five feet, wears adult clothes, the newspaper said.

Sky TV showed footage of Connor's mother serving him meals of french fries, meat and buttered bread. "He'll hover around the kitchen for food. He'll continually go in the fridge," McKeown said of her son. "I just keep telling him to get out of the fridge, wait until meal times and stuff. But . . . he was born hungry. He has always been hungry."

"Bacon. Mmmm. . . . That's my favourite. Um . . . chicken , steak, sausage," the boy told the camera.

Obesity is essentially caused by eating more calories than you burn. Obese people are sometimes thought to have lower metabolic rates than normal, meaning they need less food to maintain their weight. Childhood obesity is of particular concern because it greatly increases the risks of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, skeletal disorders and strokes. Certain cancers are also associated with obesity, and obese children have a higher chance of premature death.

Read the remainder of the article at CBC.


Renegade Eye said...

I have to think about this. The idea of allowing passively overeating is child abuse, my instincts tell me it's really complicated.

ella said...

I think it is definitely complicated, but not as complicated as people seem to treat it. It is a family issue, and therefore subject to a great deal of scrutiny. However, I really think it is sad that these children are being allowed to over-stuff themselves, being taught awful eating habits, and will suffer for it the rest of their lives. It also increases health care costs, insurance costs, etc. Something must be done about it.

Renegade Eye said...

Do you say to a child; " have a cookie?", or "have a glass of water?"?

Reidski said...

Not a pretty sight was the camera shot of his mother lighting up a cigarette first thing in the morning with her head not off the pillow. Sometimes children such as this one would be better off in care!