iOS app Android app

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors
Olivia Busch

GET UPDATES FROM Olivia Busch
 

Childhood Obesity or Abuse?

Posted: 04/16/2012 9:53 am

Honestly, it's hard to say that at least once a week you don't see something on the national news or even local news about the wild widespread obesity in America and how it is becoming an increasing problem. Just last week, I was in the car listening to the radio and they had a call-in question of the day: "Is a child's obesity able to be held as child abuse in the court system?" Hmmm... That was a tough one -- not many people would think of it as child abuse, but it sure does make sense.

A lot of parents' excuses may be along the lines of, "They can't help it," or "It runs in the family." Although that may be the case in some situations, is it possible that parents can be held accountable for not taking good enough care of their own children? In schools, TV shows, and on all news channels, they encourage kids of all ages to live healthy, meaning eating and staying active. However, it's hard to say if a parent should be held accountable for not monitoring their child's eating habits.

With diabetes becoming more common among children and adults, is the damage being done too quickly for the oncoming generations? Or is it really not a big deal? There are going to be people saying that there's no way to stop it, but also, no doubt will there be the controversy when people say that maybe the parents should take charge; maybe they should tell the child to get off of Facebook, put down the game system controller and go out and play.

Also, this could even be blamed on the child's school. Schools always encourage their students to lead a healthy, active life. They have the assemblies for it, but outside of that, that is all they do. They don't do anything to enforce it in the one place kids spend about half of their day. For my school, at least, each student has physical education as a class for one semester out of the year. Shouldn't it be the school's duty help them keep fit all year around? The schools may think it's the parents' responsibility. But to add on to this, not all schools give their students a good, nutritional lunch everyday. Quite honestly, still being in school, more than half of the food they feed us is like chewing on cardboard. They give us a greasy piece of pizza with no taste that in no way can be good for you. Instead of buying what's cheapest, some of the people in charge of how much a school spends should consider whose health they're effecting.

Another idea is that it's just how America has been developing over the years. Just think to yourself: How many times do you eat at a fast food a week? Think about how nearly everyone you know doesn't need to look at the menu at McDonald's because they know everything already; they know what they want when they're at the ordering speaker. Additionally, I bet most kids would not want to get a bottled water with their Happy Meal; they are going to want a milkshake or a soda to go with that. Parents are too "busy" to make a home-cooked meal for their family. But is it that hard to make a sandwich for your child at the end of the day? I really believe that parents should go the extra mile to put a healthy meal on the table for their kids.

So to wrap it up, should it be a parent's responsibility to keep their children's health in check? Could it be taken to court if it is getting out of hand? Is it a valid argument to put it all on the school? This is a controversial question, but it has many different views. I personally thing the parent's should monitor how they kids spend their leisure time, and actually take the role to ensure that they have a healthy child. But hey, that's just me!