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Parents of Fat Kids Should be Arrested!

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Recently, the mother of a 555 lb 14-year-old boy was arrested for medically neglecting him by allowing him to become obese. All I can say is that it's about time parents were held responsible for raising kids the size of baby elephants.

obese kids eating take-out by tv

Radical Mommy: As most parents out there are aware, being a parent is a huge responsibility -- it's also a huge pain in the ass.

I'm not saying that the children themselves are a pain (much), I'm saying that looking after them can be. In particular, cooking for kids can be a huge chore. Kids are picky eaters, and as parents, we're often too exhausted or overwhelmed to fight the good fight and get them to eat things that are healthy for them.

Often, exhausted parents resort to slapping a Big Mac or a pizza pie in front of a child because it's the easiest thing to do. As far as I'm concerned, when it's done in moderation and in conjunction with a good, physically active routine for the child, then more power to ya -- take the easy route. But when that's all a child eats, while sitting his fat ass on the couch -- then that is a freakin' crime, and you, the parent, should be held responsible.

Now I am not perfect -- my son doesn't always eat a perfectly balanced diet. In fact, last night he ate a cupcake before dinner and after dinner, so as you can see, I'm in no way a stickler.

The difference is, my 5-year-old son exercises. He takes swimming lessons twice a week, he plays soccer on Sundays, he runs around the park like a lunatic, and on the weekends you can't keep him out of the pool.

I know exactly what is happening right now as you all read this -- you're thinking that a lot of people don't have the luxury of a swimming pool in their backyard and many people cannot afford swimming lessons and soccer league. But let me tell you this: we save money so that my son can have access to these things, and as for the pool -- I live in Southern California and it came with the house.

Like many of you, I work, and I have to make my son dinner when I get home, so I know how tired you are when you get home and are faced with the ease of a frozen pizza versus the hassle of a healthy, cooked meal. Not only do I know, I've resorted to it on many occasions.

But as far as I am concerned, there is NO excuse for letting your kids get fat -- in fact, it makes me cringe to see kids that are even 10 lbs overweight. It's downright abusive to let your kids eat s*** and lay around like beached whales because you can't be bothered to cook for them or play with them and get them off their fat asses.

Being fat as a child is not only physically damaging, it's also socially and mentally damaging -- we all know kids will make fun of, and people will judge, your child for being overweight.

The turbulent waters of childhood and adolescence are hard enough to navigate when there is nothing physically "wrong" with you, so why would you allow your child to be set apart by something that can be 100% controlled? And don't tell me your child has a medical problem that makes him obese, because he doesn't (only something like 2% of the population has a medical condition that leads to obesity) -- his only problem is that he stuffs too many Ho Hos and Ding Dongs into his mouth and doesn't exercise enough.

Call me a bitch, I don't care. But if you allow your child to become obese, that child should be taken away from you -- because you are abusing him. It's as simple as that. You wouldn't allow a parent to give their child drugs, would you? Well, being morbidly obese at a young age is just as dangerous as doing drugs. 

next: Jon Gosselin is NOT a Stay-at-Home Dad!
46 comments so far | Post a comment now
Mrs Embers May 30, 2009, 6:57 AM

I don’t have a problem with the author’s message about parental responsibility, but I don’t think that this attitude’s going to change anyone’s minds or behaviour. Saying that kids should be taken away from their parents just makes people defensive, and really, that’s not going to solve anyone’s problems.

I’m with Frugal Babe on this one- understanding and education, as well as making healthy food more accessible and affordable will go a lot farther toward helping parents and kids with weight problems than accusations and judgements ever will.

Katja May 30, 2009, 3:09 PM

This is a more complex issues than genes vs. choice. I am a doctor, and now I am a childhood feeding coach. (With roughly 2/3 of adults having disordered eating, is it any wonder that some experts claim 20% of kids have feeding disorders? I think that number is a little high, but still alarming…) People come in a variety of sizes. Based on a simple Bell Curve, 15% of the population will be like the “ten pounds overweight” example or a little more. We see those who are really heavy as a result of our hysteria about weight and yo-yo dieting which results in repeated gain over time. The American Heart Association, the USPreventive Service Task Force agree that BMI (measure of weight to height) is NOT an accurate predictor of health risk. Behavior is. Someone “10 pounds overweight” can be perfectly healthy, exercise and hour a day and eat well. Plenty of skinny people die of heart disease and have unhealthy, sedentary lives. Obviously, a 550 pound 14 yo is not healthy. I belive the answer is in how our kids eat. We need to eat in a structured way, mostly nutritious foods, most of the time, but allow for variety and joy with eating. At the same time we should exercise because it makes us feel great. And, yes, anyone can lose weight, but comprehensive medical reviews find that 85-95% of people can’t keep it off longterm. I agree that we need to provide ample opportunity for kids to exercise, limit TV time etc, but let’s try to elevate the discussion. Things like poverty, hunger, poor body-image, dieting, stress etc are all linked to weight gain. Lets get back to common sense.

Jenny June 1, 2009, 2:01 PM

We also need to go back to whole foods and foods not mangled by science. My guess is that these children have been eating foods that are processed and convenient for the family.

People also need education on things such as High Fructose Corn Syrup, my uncle goes on and on about how it is that same as sugar calorie for calorie and I’m sure a lot of people figure the same thing. But I believe I am correct in saying (Katja correct me if I am wrong) that sucrose breaks down by the time it hits the liver whereas fructose gets to the liver nearly intact and causes insulin resistance.

Anonymous June 1, 2009, 2:28 PM

While there could be more services to help lower-income people make better food and exercise choices, there are already some services to help — Chicago’s Park District for example has lots of free programs for kids — swimming, soccer, T-ball, etc. And WIC helps pay for things like milk instead of soda. It IS possible to raise kids with at least decent habits and nutrition if you are poor.

Paul Blake MH June 3, 2009, 5:18 AM

With the way this epidemic is growing we could not build prisons fast enough or find enough foster parents who are not obese. Someone has not been mentioned here who shares much of the blame for what has been happening in the USA and Indian Nations. When 30% of the population of the USA is obese that has gone beyond diet, exercise and genetics. Through the food industry our food is subjected to poor farming methods, Irradiation, Pasteurization, Emulsification, Over refining, Genetic Modification, and via the animals Steroids and Antibiotics. Then before it gets to us they add Aspartame, MSG, Artificial colors, Sodium nitrite, Hydrogenated oils, High-Fructose Corn syrup, Acesulfame K, BHA, BHT, Olestra, Bromate, Sulfites, Seomyx, and I could go on and on. Good grief, what do they think we are? You and I know that this is not right, our food should not degrade into something chemically unrecognizable. Food should have food value and nourish us not turn us into an obese sickly country, you know it, I know it and they should know it.

mercaties June 5, 2009, 4:27 AM

My Niece (10) and Nephew (13) are severly overweight, like on their way to being obese overweight. Neither my brother in law or his wife are overweight infact my brother in laws wife is tiny. It breaks my heart to see how unhealthy my Niece and Nephew are. For them it’s lifestyle, they are not made to get any physical activity and there are absolutly no rules in their home about when and how mutch the kids can eat. I’am actually dumfounded at how mutch these children are allowed to eat. It’s very sad. They all came over for memorial day and my Niece ate all day I’m talking more than her father. My eight year old looked at her cousin and said “do you ever stop eating?” I immidiatly took my daughter into her room and had a talk with her and made her apologize to her cousin and my niece actually said “It’s okay people tell me I’m fat all the time.” This broke my heart she’s only ten. I feel like such a horrible Aunt, God knows my kids aren’t perfect but I’m actually imbarrased to be seen in public with them. I’ve had several conversations with my Sister-in-law but she always shrugs it off and says “well there too heavy to exersize, and I can’t starve them” WTF??

Marie June 15, 2009, 10:58 PM

I am a mother of a child who is overweight. I understand the concern for obesity. My child is medically diagnosed with Unidentified Overgrowth Syndrome, Advanced Bone Age, Soto’s Synbdrome and a tumor in his head that does not affect him at all. Medically, there are Questions that no doctor can answer. We have submitted food logs of the intake of my child, taken yearly MRI’s, yearly blood work and even prayer……….I am curious as to what anyone’s opinion on this is. I have two children. My oldest being 11 with many medical problems and my younges 7 with no medical problems other than ADHD. She is also normal weight.
I am asking for feedback.

Gjkpuktv June 26, 2009, 1:51 AM

tUv3EW comment6 ,

suzjazz June 30, 2009, 7:38 PM

Whether or not a parent is responsible for an obese child is a much trickier issue than it appears. A parent may give the child healthy meals and snacks at home and even forbid sweets, but the child can be eating junk food outside the home (especially if the child is a teenager) Mom (or Dad, for that matter) can’t keep tabs on the kid 24-7 to prevent overeating.
That said: parents DO have a responsibility to educate their children in healthy nutrition. The schools try to do this, but they can’t reinforce it at home. Poverty is no excuse for being overweight.
People with very modest incomes in Europe and Scandinavia manage to eat healthily and there is practically no childhood obesity. Fast food actually costs MORE than buying ingredients and making food from scratch. I am not unsympathetic to the time crunch faced by all too many parents struggling with 2 or 3 jobs, but priorities can be set. Family time can include exercise, riding bikes and walking don’t cost much and go a long way toward burning calories.

Ines July 2, 2009, 12:53 AM

Good evening. It is fortunate to be of high birth, but it is no less so to be of such character that people do not care to know whether you are or are not.
I am from Chad and too bad know English, give please true I wrote the following sentence: “Download flea electro house techno music singles, watch music videos, listen to free streaming mps, read flea blog.”

:( Thanks in advance. Ines.

Dakota July 10, 2009, 2:47 PM

We can all agree that a 550 lb 14 year old is unhealthy, but how is arresting the parent going to fix anything? I imagine at that weight, the child is probably an emotional or stressed eater. Taking his mother away will just add more stress and emotional problems. Why not mandatory nutritional and psychology sessions instead?
We try to put all of the blame on the parent, but there are many other factors…high schoolers can eat their lunches out of vending machines, middle and elementary schoolers can buy Doritos or other junk, and things like cupcakes, candy, or ice cream are common rewards in schools, churches, and other after school groups.
Then there’s all of the advertising that is allowed. I went to Bi-Lo recently and saw a display around Skinny Cow and Weight Watchers ice cream that said “Good Tasting and Good For You.” Since when is ice cream good for you? If I hadn’t done nutrition research, I would assume anything that says “whole grain” or “9 grains” or something to that matter is actually healthy, even if it’s bread made with refined flours or cereals loaded with sugar. We’re constantly bombarded with confusing food labels and complex nutrition facts.
And for the comment about low income families who just make bad choices: That’s not the case for EVERY family. Imgaine a single parent who works more than one job simply to make ends meet. There’s no time to drive the kids to sports practices or watch them at the park. And the closest place for groceries could be a corner mart or gas station, which rarely sell whole fruits and veggies. If there’s no money for a car, they can’t drive to Walmart or farmer’s markets. Some families are doing good to have ANY food on the table, nevermind whether it’s healthy or not.

Basically, I just can’t justify arresting the mother.

Amanda July 23, 2009, 2:57 PM

Why are we not chasing down parents of children who are under weight? The government out to be ashamed of themselves. Do they really have nothing better to do? Basically fat people are getting in trouble for being fat. Not the “American” way. Blame the parents? Maybe, but I know being a single parent that I am not around my daughter all day to watch her intake. This child could have a number of medical conditions that have led to his obeseity. Have tests been done? Prob not. I wish that MS.Momlogic had an obese child or at one time was herself. The pain that the family is going through right now b/c he is over weight has got to be mortifying. And why are we not arresting the parents of children who make themselves throw up after meals? You can not control someone elses actions, even as a parent, as much as you would like to everyone is their own person and makes their own decisions. I understand that he is a child but his mother is not full blame. They said he was eating 3 or 4 lunches at school. While were on a witch hunt lets charge the school. They were feeding him to much also. And all his friends that would bring him snacks their all to blame also. Seriously if were not going to arrest parents of skinny children then we don’t need to arrest parents of obese children.

Gemma July 26, 2009, 2:16 AM

wow. This is probably the most ridiculous article I have ever read in my life. I will tell you that I have 2 sisters, I am about 110 lbs and my sisters were overweight most of their childhood. I ate all the same things my sisters did and actually, I was lazier than them as far as physical activity. We had a single mother for 10 years who did everything in her power to give us the best life possible. Should someone arrest her for giving us a life? If that is what you are suggesting, shame on you. How insensitive can you be? You are a truly awful person if that is what you are concerned about. Weight gain is not purely lifestyle. Emotions and many other factors go into it. This is the most pretentious and horrifying article for mothers. Just because you have the luxury of giving your son things and lessons does not mean that everyone else in America does. Think about what you say and how you hurt people. I am very skinny and this article hurt me to the core because you have no sensitivity to others. Good luck in life, you’ll need it.

Ash. July 30, 2009, 6:12 PM

The boy in the picture looks like he has down syndrome…

JOAN August 18, 2009, 4:02 PM

whatdou think of a 230 pound 11 yr old

JOAN August 18, 2009, 4:05 PM

what do u think of a 230 pound 11yr old girl

Kirsi September 11, 2009, 11:00 AM

Hi. There is no revenge so complete as forgiveness.
I am from Denmark and bad know English, give true I wrote the following sentence: “Changes move the other profitability for respects essential as they would purchase to their avon co-author implementing the dye of activities finishing their lives to help a better point.”

Regards :o Kirsi.

Rachelle October 10, 2009, 8:14 AM

I mostly agree with the author, except kids that are 10lbs overweight are not nearly as bad as kids who are 550lbs, & I certainly wouldn’t take them from their parents! At 550lbs, yes, by all means, send the kid to a relative, or someone safe. They HAVE been neglected. What I don’t get are all the arguments of the poor not being able to “afford” healthy food. That is 100% bulls**t! It doesn’t even make sense! Things like fresh apples, lettuce, tomatoes, potatoes, bananas, corn, etc. are much less than buying canned, and frozen goods, or boxed dinners. Whenever I buy fresh foods I get SO MUCH MORE for my money! People just don’t like to get off their butts and actually PREPARE a meal anymore.

Pat October 23, 2009, 10:02 AM

It couldnt be kids are over weight because of all the GMO foods could it?Or that the water is full of chemicals and drugs?hmmmmm

carmen October 23, 2009, 8:13 PM

Heaven forbid any of you should be arrested (or even criticized) for your parenting mistakes, especially teaching your children extreme intolerance. Clearly, you all have your prejudices that people who are overweight (even 10 lbs! come on!) are all lazy and greedy. Look at the research. There’s more to it than that. What if your kids, despite your best efforts, start smoking, or using pot, or having unprotected sex (all potentially leading to more grave health issues) — should you be arrested?

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