Poll - Is letting your child become obese, child abuse?

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Does letting your child become obese constitute child abuse?

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Jamie
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Re: Poll - Is letting your child become obese, child abuse?

Post by Jamie »

I think alcohol abuse is frowned upon much more than obesity. Its also slightly different in this instance. Although I accept can be just as, if not more than abusive.

I'd feel the same way about parents feeding their children alcohol as I do about them over-feeding them to obesity.

I also accept parenting is hard. I'm not suggesting it isn't but that doesn't mitigate over feeding.
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Re: Poll - Is letting your child become obese, child abuse?

Post by Sigma »

I am wondering if it is the word 'abuse' that is generating the debate.

Abuse is a strong word when child is put in front. If you put the word alcohol in front I am not sure it generates the same emotions. Just a thought. And again to a person who has battled alcohol abuse they would perhaps argue with me on that one.

Feeding a child or rather providing enough of the wrong food and too much is abuse. I do not think on that simple level it can be anything else. It is not so different to say withholding food. And that would certainly be looked upon as abuse so the opposite end of the scale must equal the same. Would be interesting to see if people called starvation abuse more easily :wink:

However, the circumstances and the motivation behind the two ends of the scale are perhaps vastly different. And may be thats why it seems less comfortable to actually claim or stand firm and call it abuse.
Jamie wrote:I also agree with Sigma's point that education is also about arming people to act upon that education.
Why thank you Jamie :) - Education is all well and good for the people who can apply it, but some people need some help.

Just my thoughts really :roll:

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Liz
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Re: Poll - Is letting your child become obese, child abuse?

Post by Liz »

Sigma wrote:... Education is all well and good for the people who can apply it, but some people need some help.
Well put Sigma. And i think there are alot of ppl who need that help either to access it in the first place and/or to have the support then to put it into practice so that it becomes a way of life.

I think too the word abuse is too heavily loaded! slight understatement there... :wink:

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Re: Poll - Is letting your child become obese, child abuse?

Post by Carrie »

The other thing as well is that 'society' seems to judge obese people as greedy as Liz says, but I think what we are talking about here is not adults who have ultimate control over their own lives (while totally accepting that over eating is often part of a bigger issue & is in itself difficult to deal with), but children who have absolutely no control & no powerr to change things for themselves, let alone the broader education & overview that adults have of the bigger picture and long term consequences.
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Re: Poll - Is letting your child become obese, child abuse?

Post by Jamie »

carrie wrote: but children who have absolutely no control & no powerr to change things for themselves, let alone the broader education & overview that adults have of the bigger picture and long term consequences.
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Re: Poll - Is letting your child become obese, child abuse?

Post by Liz »

OK then - so ppl think it is abuse. Yes, it is abuse.

So what's your point exactly? What's the point of a poll which doesnt lead anywhere?

I fail to understand.

I clearly see that children dont have the power here as stated by others. I can see that.

But unless you look at the wider issues then nothing changes.

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Re: Poll - Is letting your child become obese, child abuse?

Post by Sigma »

Should the question have been - is forcing your child to become obese child abuse ? I understand the power.

But then I have an image of a child being force fed chips which is very different to allowing a child to eat whatever the child chooses (and I have yet to meet a child who will eat veg over chips or moderate their intake of sweeties). Hence why the parent is required to do that job, without doubt. I am very settled on that score

But force feeding and allowing is different -right? Emotional abuse and so forth is attached to the former. Does that mean that you can be abusive as in, allowing a child to over eat and yet be a good parent as in meet all the other childs needs? Like what if you allowed your child to eat too many sweets and their teeth fall out ? Abuse ? Yet they had a fab childhood. Is there levels and does it make a difference? Something inside me is compelled to shout nooo all abuse is abuse, and you can not have the word good with abuse. Makes no sense. I am sticking to yes abuse, but I get this urge to follow it up.

I am confusing myself - seeing all shades of grey today :oops:

Something niggling me - not sure what.

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Re: Poll - Is letting your child become obese, child abuse?

Post by Sigma »

'The article examines the case of a severely obese child whose parents were unwilling or unable to adhere to management programs aimed at helping her lose weight'

I think this is my niggle - its about the parent being unwilling or unable to change when they have been given help, told, shown etc etc. If a parent is willing and does change then to me that is a 'good enough' parent. Granted they should not have allowed their child to become obese in the first place, but many factors may have accounted for that (mental health for example). Abuse yes of course, child protection issue not necessarily.

Ok I done - over and out :)

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Re: Poll - Is letting your child become obese, child abuse?

Post by Carrie »

I don't think actual force-feeding is very common, & it doesn't actually take force-feeding to become obese I don't think. It's as much a lifestyle thing which is where the bigger picture comes in, it's about not being aware enough of the child's physical needs. Their needs to be healthy & also have boundaries set. I can see most children would choose sweeties over veg, but I also know my nephew would have chosen grapes, raisins & cherry tomatoes over most sweets because that is what he was 'taught' was a treat. He learned, mostly with us as my sister is a rubbish cook, how to enjoy food & compare tastes & textures. I am proud to have been part of that bit of his upbringing, he will now have a lifelong appreciation of good wholesome food & know how to prepare it for himself & his friends. & part of health is about movement, play, doing things - not just being put in front of a TV or computer & left to fend for yourself for hours or days or years - human interaction is vital for children, they learn by copying.
I love food as much as anyone & can comfort eat with the best of them so please don't think I'm being judgemental, I don't mean to be. But the foundations of a person's relationship with food, as in so much else, are laid as a child. There is a guy who I work with who feeds his daughter on complete crap all the time & neither he nor his wife will learn to cook so that they can teach her - that's just shameful. What chance does she stand? & he claims they can't afford 'decent' food but he buys nasty fried chicken or pizza every single lunchtime & has a top of the range computer for gaming (& he's 32) - it's all about priorities.

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Re: Poll - Is letting your child become obese, child abuse?

Post by NIgirl »

:oops: :oops: :oops:

I'm still sitting pretty much on the fence with this one!

But I also think its important to delve beneath the surface with this one!

Like Liz said about it being generational, I think that certain types of abuse is generational too...for instance physical and emotional! I'm not excusing the fact that perhaps wrong was committed but I think that for some parents perhaps food is used as a means of showing a child love :oops: :oops:!

Ok before I get attacked I will explain! If a parent who themselves was a victim of child abuse and who used food as a self-comforting measure, I wonder that because that parent has learned an alternative method of showing love or affection in a healthy way so tries to show it in the only way they know how too...through food! :oops: Erm.....This could be argued that a parent shows love through corporal punishment or physical abuse and yet that is still abuse!

I just think that its difficult to point fingers as such on this subject matter! I can see from both angles the arguments and agree to some extent with both! I just think abuse is far too strong a word for this particular issue! Perhaps negligence on the parents part but abuse??? 8) Not soo sure!
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Re: Poll - Is letting your child become obese, child abuse?

Post by NIgirl »

Ok don't think I explained that too well sorry guys!

Basically what I'm trying to say, is that food could be used as a way for a parent to show they're love for a child, I accept that perhaps this is wrong in the long-run but for some people it may be the only way they know how to express there love for that child! :oops: :oops: :oops:

Erm..think I should shut up here before I get bashed with a bagel :lol: :lol:!
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Re: Poll - Is letting your child become obese, child abuse?

Post by wantstolookforward »

I think it is a form of abuse and heres my reasons why.
I grow up with my mum brother and sister, from the age of 5 my weight started piling on, i was put on diets by doctors but never stuck to them as my mother would pile my plate high with alsorts of things from greasy food to healthy veg and snacks throughout the day. However my brother and sister were never made to eat half as much and rarely got the high calorie foods my mum always said it was because they were picky. I would eat all the time in the hope that my abuser would stop hurting me and think my mum thought the same, however she didnt stop it when he left she just contiued to feed me by the time i was 16 i was 26 stone! :shock:
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Re: Poll - Is letting your child become obese, child abuse?

Post by pet »

i think obesity in some cases is a symptom of a very unhappy child and we have a duty to find out what else is going on. i wish someone wudve asked those questions of me when i was a teenager getting fatter and fatter and more and more withdrawn having been abused physically emotionally and sexually on a daily basis since i was 3
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Re: Poll - Is letting your child become obese, child abuse?

Post by Piglet »

I answered yes to this, but that's not to say that every child who is obese is being abused.

I have 5 nieces and the 1 niece who could be described as obese exercises the most and eats more healthily than her sisters. This healthy regime isn't because of her weight - rather that she's always had a healthier lifestyle by comparison. For her, its just (bad) luck of the draw that she's obese, where her sisters are not - by the way she lives her life, she should be the skinniest!

There's no getting away from the fact that obesity (and other problems such as alcohol) are growing issues for many different ages.

I'm sure that sometimes the obesity is merely a symptom of an underlying cause, such as other forms of abuse. Obesity in children may be a form of neglect (intentional or not) but like anything, these things are often very complicated and a yes or no answer really doesn't scratch the surface.
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Re: Poll - Is letting your child become obese, child abuse?

Post by starshinesometimes »

If the joke that is the 'BMI' chart is what is defining them as obese then no.
There are kids who are technically obese who may well be overfed but at least are eating enough nutrients, more so than a skinnier kid who lives off sweets and juice and cereal. You cannot tell if a kid is given enough love, stimulation or activity just by looking at them.
We live in a fat phobic society and body size isnt as much of an indication of health as we are led to believe.
My niece comes from a loving home, she is well cared for, they live in a middle class world and go to a good school. They have plenty of materialistic goods and attention from both parents and yet she is a problem eater. Because of this she is extremely skinny and always has been. Her parents do all they can to encourage her to try and eat new foods and yet she is still underweight. this is not due to them setting a poor example or neglect. To accuse them of such would be unjust.
It is a parents job to set a good example and of course a child is likely to pick up habits from their family habitat. However I dont think its a moral oblegation for people to judge a parents abilities based on having a child who is outwith what is considered 'normal' shape and size. Its far more damaging to be a parent who is always on a diet and worrying about their weight. Its known that kids are more likely to pick up an eating disorder that way. Probably more likely than if they grow up fat and then as an adult, manage their eating/exercise habits better.

I think being a smoker is a bigger and far more serious offence when it comes to protecting a childs well being and yet its not frowned on as much a fat people are! Why? Because money can be made from selling cigerettes and it suits the health/beauty industry to promote an ideal body shape and size, rather than to preserve a persons self esteem by acknowledging that there is more to life than how others judge their appearance.
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