Thursday, July 21, 2011

Hot Button Issue: Obese Children

I thought I'd do a series of posts on here that'll be known as "Hot Button Issues," or stories that have been in the news that I feel strongly about. In high school I wanted to be a reporter, so I guess this is where I'll show my journalistic side! ;) So here is the first installment of Hot Button Issues!

Last week sometime there was a news story about Obese Children being sent to foster care if they were over weight. When I first heard the story I thought, how cruel to rip a child out of their familiar environment and put them in a place unfamilar and expect them to adapt, and in most cases the transition would more than likely cause them to continue to turn to food for comfort. I mean we don't send kids to foster care to rid them of other habits such as lying, cursing, getting into trouble at school, disobeying parents etc. so why would we send them because of their eating habits?

Well over the weekend, I observed an obese child and parent at a local restaurant. It was a sub shop, which is "healthy" all things considered, I mean it wasn't McDonalds, but I'm sure they eat there too! The sub shop where I was, doens't have 6in subs, they are 8in. The mother and daughter ordered and sat down. I should preface this next sentence by saying that the mother was not fat by any means, and I wouldn't even consider her to be overweight for her height. She was average. Her daughter, the obese child in which I am reffering to, who looked to be about 8 or 9 must have weighed 95-100 pounds. She and her daughter both got an 8in sub. The child ate the ENTIRE sandwhich and a bag of chips (not Baked Lays either!) I just thought, wow, she's a good eater and must have been at a camp this morning and worked up an appetite. We continued to sit there and eat and chat. They got up and went back to the counter. I glanced up there and thought oh she's getting a cookie or brownie or whatever. NO! The child came back with ANOTHER 8in SUB! When I saw this I became slightly nauseated! I can barely eat the 8in myself!

This whole incident reminded me of the news story I'd heard earlier in the week. It made me think that there was NO way that the child was still hungry and even if she were, it's the mother (or parents) responsibility to say, "No, this is all you can have for this meal. You can have an apple or banana later." I have noticed lately that parents will do anything to make their kids happy. For some kids it's buying clothes, video games, letting them participate in multiple extra-curricular activities etc. etc. apprently however, for some parents giving their kids the food they want, when they want it makes them feel like they are making their kids happy!

While I don't believe taking a child from their home environment to "cure" their obesity is the soultion, I do believe that educating both child and parent about healthy eating habits would be essential. This article basically states the same. I seriously believe that it all boils down the parents because until children are around the age of 14/15 they really depend on their parents to help them make decisions, including food choices, and that's mainly because the parents are the ones who are buying the food. So it all comes down to the parental responsibility and I've thought so many times to myself (while I'm not a parent) I think it's ridiculous to make your child "happy" all the time. Children need to learn that sometimes in life you don't get what you want and you have to deal with disappointment. Parents need to learn that buying items (or food in this case) isn't what is going to make your child happy, but spending quality time with them doing something they enjoy is what makes them happy!


  1. I agree with you Morgan! I would feel so guilty if I had a child and they were obese. That is just setting them up for a whole host of health issues later on in life.

  2. I like the hot-button idea!! :) I don't like the idea of them even talking about taking a child away for a reason that isn't crazy-bad...that being said I totally agree that it's the parents responsibility to find healthy options and to set limits in every area (even eating).

  3. I totally feed my kid to make her stop crying :-)
    However...Cheerios is not exactly the same as an 8" sub!

  4. My law firm is preparing a seminar Power Point presentation for an insurance conference, the PLRB Claims Conference in Orlando, Florida, and I came across the Hot Button image above on Google Images. It is the perfect image for a talk about disputes between condo owners and homeowner’s associations regarding condominium insurance.

    May we have your permission to use it in our Power Point presentation? It will not be on the handouts, just for use on the overhead. We need to make a dreary talk a little more fun!