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Monday, November 10, 2008

Is It Child Abuse to Have Obese Children?

While thinking about my own weight problems, the thought hit me that carrying this extra 50 pounds of fat is really a case of me abusing me. I was thinking about how it would be abusive if I had a boss at work who made me carry an extra 50 pounds of extra weight that served no purpose other than to make my work and my life more difficult. That would be an easy 50 pounds to shed, plus the resulting settlement from my lawsuit would allow me to go ahead and retire right now.

As an adult, I'm the person responsible for my being overweight, but what about parents and their kids? Is it unfair to say that a parent is abusing their child when they allow that child to suffer from childhood obesity? Certainly that's a harsh statement and one that is easy for me to make since I have no children to raise, but isn't there an element of truth to the charge.

Current knowledge says that humans develop the number of fat cells they will have in their lifetime by the age of two. If an infant develops more fat cells, then that infant will be more likely to struggle with being overweight later in life. We know that being overweight later in life is one thing that raises risks for all types of ailments. We are starting to learn that being overweight in life also raises rises for childhood diseases like diabetes and even heart disease in children. While there are emotional issues that come with being obese as a child, just the health questions alone are enough to conclude that an obese child is suffering from higher risks and often a lower quality of life.

There's no doubt that starving a child is child abuse because it harms the welfare of the child. Welfare services will go in and remove a child from a situation where that child is not getting enough food because it is child endangerment and the parents might go to jail for such actions. To a lesser degree, isn't overfeeding a child a different form of child endangerment? It's something to think about.

My weight today: 223 pounds

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