Katherine Berry at PJM has a column
entitled, "Fat Kids Have Their Parents to Blame" with an accompanying caption, "Childhood obesity ultimately comes down to the choices mom and dad make." I am not sure I agree entirely with this.
Parents may be in part to blame for poor choices but I have to ask where these poor choices came from. In a society that makes a mockery of self-discipline (bailouts anyone?), tells us that it's always someone else's fault when something bad happens, tells us that everything is a "right," and we deserve everything we want, what the hell can we expect? Parents are just doing as they are taught by the nanny-staters in this country and passing these "pearls of wisdom" down to their kids. "Self-discipline is for suckers, you deserve the best, you can have it all just because you're you." Why shouldn't these messages translate over to eating? You can have it all, live life with gusto, no need to restrain yourself, discipline is for suckers and abusers etc. Kids get away with anything they want these days and frankly, I have seen parents, teachers and caregivers use food to reward kids because they are not allowed
to use any other means of discipline. Just give Johnny a cupcake and maybe he'll behave. It's a vicious cycle. I am not saying that just because of lack of discipline, kids and parents are turning to eating, but I do think it plays a role, one that society contributes to, by not allowing parents to truly parent.
I am troubled by Berry's last 2 paragraphs in the article:
It’s a job that parents of overweight children better get serious about performing, too, or they may lose their kids entirely, and not necessarily due to the dire health consequences they’re allowing their children to suffer. In Britain last year, a child’s excess weight was a factor in over 20 child protection cases, and just this week a six-year-old boy was taken from his parents care solely due to his obesity.
Think it couldn't’t happen here? Then, next time you’re pulling into McDonald’s for dinner (again) or reaching for that microwaveable high-fat, high-calorie dinner-in-a-box, ask yourself which entity requires you to get your kids vaccinated and send them to school for their own good and what would happen to you if you blew off that responsibility because “it’s not convenient.”
So, rather than fight the state for it's draconian laws that take kids from their parents, Berry seems to suggest that parents appease the state by keeping the kids slim? Yes, I do think parents should look after the best interests of their kids by feeding them healthy food. I try to do that myself. However, I think that our society and other cultural issues play just as big a role in keeping our kids fat as parents do. It is much easier for some, I suppose, to point the finger at mom and dad as the main source of the problem, even to the point of taking their kids away. But that hardly seems a suitable solution.