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Child Obesity - Some Call it...Child Abuse

Updated on October 9, 2014

Am I Feeding My Kids Too Much Food?

According to MailOnline 3/4 of parents refuse to admit their kids are overweight. If they don't see there's a problem with their kids' weight, then when it's too late, the kids grow up in pain ridicule, and low self-esteem. The parents placate themselves by saying; "we did the best we knew how." If their kids get bullied at school (because of being noticeably overweight), then the parents will sidestep their parental role on to the principal and make him / her address the issue by putting a "hush" to it. Parents just don't want to face reality and assume responsibility for their children's weight gain. Until parents acknowledge there's a weight issue running rampant in the family, we're gonna have exponentially more "oompa loompas" sitting in our classrooms.

The average weight for a 5 year old boy is 39.5 lbs. Leon, a 5 year old boy in England has the average weight of a 17 year old boy (120 lbs). His mother picks him up from school and brings him a wheelchair, when he gets tired of walking home, he sits in his wheelchair and mom pushes him home. She says his weight is attributed to genes, yet the documentary shows that mom was feeding Leon mass quantities of food. It's no different in America. Junk food now comes supersized for around 15 cents more per serving, so why not? Keep em' stuffed and happy, they'll love us for it. Yea, sure, mom. Recent studies have shown that parents typically teach their kids at an early age to finish "clean" their plate before they'll get any desert. Regardless of the meal portion, kids are going to eat whats put in front of them and "clean off the whole plate." Has anybody ever asked what is the psychological reasoning of telling a kid to finish his whole plate? It's nothing but tradition and idiocy, if a kid's full, he's full. I'm 48 years old and I was taught this hand me down, depression era, tradition, I still to do it this day "clean my plate", it's ingrained.

The American Heart Association recommends this eating pattern for families:

  • Energy (calories) should be adequate to support growth and development and to reach or maintain desirable body weight.
  • Eat foods low in saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, salt (sodium), and added sugars.
  • Keep total fat intake between 30 to 35 percent of calories for children 2 to 3 years of age and between 25 to 35 percent of calories for children and adolescents 4 to 18 years of age, with most fats coming from sources of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids, such as fish, nuts and vegetable oils.
  • Choose a variety of foods to get enough carbohydrates, protein and other nutrients.
  • Eat only enough calories to maintain a healthy weight for your height and build. Kids should be physically active for at least 60 minutes a day.
  • Serve whole-grain/high-fiber breads and cereals rather than refined grain products. Look for “whole grain” as the first ingredient on the food label and make at least half your grain servings whole grain.
  • Serve a variety of fruits and vegetables daily, while limiting juice intake. Each meal should contain at least 1 fruit or vegetable. Children’s recommended fruit intake ranges from 1 cup/day, between ages 1 and 3, to 2 cups for a 14–18-year-old boy. Recommended vegetable intake ranges from ¾ cup a day at age one to 3 cups for a 14–18-year-old boy.
  • Introduce and regularly serve fish as an entrée. Avoid commercially fried fish.
  • Serve fat-free and low-fat dairy foods. From ages 1–8, children need 2 cups of milk or its equivalent each day. Children ages 9–18 need 3 cups.
  • Don’t overfeed. Estimated calories needed by children range from 900/day for a 1-year-old to 1,800 for a 14–18-year-old girl and 2,200 for a 14–18-year-old boy.

This eating pattern supports a child's normal growth and development. It provides enough total energy and meets or exceeds the recommended daily allowances for all nutrients for children and adolescents, including iron and calcium.

I Don't See a Problem With My Kid's Weight

A study published in the March issue of Pediatrics magazine says half of the parents "simply don’t see, or want to see, that their child is severely overweight." Why is this so? MailOnline says 77% of parents are in denial about their offsprings weight. They attribute it to genes, big bones, puppy fat, big build, etc. The American Psychological Association reports that in the 60's and 70's 5-7% of kids were obese but today the Food Research and Action Center reports 16.9% of kids are obese and 31.8% are considered overweight. The Center For Disease Control and Prevention reports the amount of obese kids today has quadrupled. Parents are putting these kids at risk for type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, hypertension, and sleep apnea, let alone the immediate obvious, social stigma issues.

Peer acceptance is a basic / important childhood need and when it's not met has damaging psychological consequences. Being part of a group helps kids feel safe, protected, and worthy. We have become a nation of tolerance and acceptance and nobody wants to talk about their kid being fat. If the adults don't talk about it, the kids at school will, that's for certain. It's the elephant in the room.

One night I had dinner at my brother's house with his wife and three kids. I nonchalantly said; "I tell my kids (I have two) not to get fat or people will treat them differently." My brother's wife went off on me like a tiger ripping meat off a bone. She said; "We need to accept people for who they are and not what they look like!" Really? Forget about the health issues and proven social stigmas associated with obesity? What planet did she just roll in off of? Unfortunately her viewpoint is of the norm. Another instance I was in class (surgical technology) I told the substitute my same viewpoint, a fellow classmate overheard our discussion, blew his stack, gave me a piece of his mind, and stormed out of the classroom. The irony was this kid was a bean pole, why he was so offended with such hostility, God only knows. Later he would apologize, I said no problem (obviously he had a problem with my viewpoint). We can sweep this thing under the rug and pretend it's not there, but in the long run everybody suffers. The kids' quality of life suffers and the American taxpayer suffers, supplementing their health costs.

The Children's Defense Fund reports:

Children who are overweight or obese are at greater risk for serious health problems. Overweight children are increasingly likely to suffer from illnesses that can affect their ability to live long, healthy, and productive lives.

  • Children who are overweight or obese face a greater risk of high blood pressure and high cholesterol (two serious risk factors for heart disease), Type 2 diabetes, bone and joint problems, and breathing problems like asthma and sleep apnea.
  • Overweight children are significantly more likely to become obese adults, setting them up for a lifetime of increased health risks, such as heart disease, stroke, and osteoarthritis that come from being overweight.
  • If childhood obesity trend continue, experts predict it could cut two to five years off the lifespan of the average child in America—making this the first generation to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents.

- See more at: http://www.childrensdefense.org/policy-priorities/childrens-health/child-nutrition/childhood-obesity.html#sthash.cHLm0qku.dpuf


My Friends and I Used to Play Tackle Football With My Mom

When I was a kid our mother was very active, in fact I would invite my friends over and she would play tackle football with us on the front lawn, I can still feel the fun and hear the laughter from those good times. Each winter she would take us snow skiing at different ski resorts. In the summer we would waterski together. My mother was very involved in showing us different types of fun activities we could do together as a family. Parents don't have to be "well off" to keep their kids active. They just need to get involved with their kids at an early age and exercise them, lose the T.V. and video games during the day.

Stay Active Everyday

The American Heart Association recommends that healthy children, age 2 and older, participate in an hour of moderate to vigorous activity every day. Children who meet this goal will find it easier to maintain a healthy weight as they work to prevent heart disease, cancer and stroke.

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Are We Really Making Our Kids Happy With Fast Food?

Let's face it. Fast food is easy, tastes good, and is the quick fix for our kids with our fast-paced lifestyles. It's cheap and there's no need for clean up, especially if you have four kids in tow. Lets go with the old adage: save now - pay later..

A fast food diet is extremely high in calories, high-fat, and is very low in nutrients. This daily junk food, consistent eating pattern is guaranteed undesirable weight gain and obesity.

When my brother and I we were kids, we were allowed "Jack-in-the-Box" once a week (not everyday), and we would have to row a boat across a channel to get there and back.

News Medical states: "Studies have shown that over the past four decades, consumption of food eaten away from home has also risen alarmingly. It is well known that eating out may lead to excess calorie intake and increases the risk of obesity because of large portion sizes and increased energy density of foods." According to a report published in "Obesity" in July 2011, childhood overweight and obesity contributes significantly to obesity-related problems, including early mortality, that stretch into adulthood. The New York times says the life expectancy of an adult is 77 years old. In the long run, we're setting our kids up for their own demise.

When my brother and I we were kids, we were allowed "Jack-in-the-Box" once a week (not everyday), and we would have to row a boat across a channel to get there and back.

Leon's Story

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Loving a Child...Tough Love

Does Your Child Throw a Tantrum When They Don't Get the Food They Want? And do You Give In?

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    • Coco Allure profile image

      Cortney Richards 2 years ago from United States

      Great article. I fail to see childhood obesity as actual child abuse, but I definitely do think there is a line between obesity and perhaps negligence. Helping your children to stay a healthy weight for the height and age is so important!