Thursday, July 14, 2011

Government Intervention for Obese Children... *Sigh*

Ugh. This is one of those issues where there's just no great solution - and unfortunately, the children lose no matter what.

Everybody knows that we, as a country, are getting fatter, but as this article states, "What's even worse is the epidemic of blubber among children. Obesity rates have skyrocketed among the nation's kids in the past two decades. Nearly 32 percent of U.S. children ages 2 to 19 are overweight or obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Fully 12 percent have topped the category of extreme obesity. That's a lot of heavy kids."

It is a lot of heavy kids. And this article raises a great question: Whether or not severely obese children should be removed from their homes because their parents are contributing to the problem by essentially abusing their children through overfeeding.

We're all accustomed to children being removed from homes because of malnourishment/starvation, but "overfeeding" is new. It seems jarring for a moment to think of it as child abuse, but in essence, it is. The parents of these kids are clearly negligent. They are ignoring the fact that their offspring are unhealthy and undoubtedly going to develop horrible complications/comorbidities including diabetes, strokes, heart attacks, cancer, depression and arthritis. I would classify that as abusive. When you think of it in those terms, it is incredibly disheartening to realize then, that approximately 12% of the nation's parents have abused their children in this manner. What's even more disheartening is that I would venture to guess that the parents themselves are obese, so chances are they will ultimately orphan their children.

Here's one of the primary problems with the idea of using child abuse laws to remove extremely obese children from their homes. The article also sites the fact that social services is already overloaded. 12% of the nation's children = 2 million with a BMI over the 99th percentile. This is where I become a frustrated citizen. Clearly, there needs to be some type of intervention to get these kids on the right track, and clearly something needs to be done about the parents who allow their children to get this unhealthy, but our country can't afford to do anything - and even if it could, and I am sick and tired of our government having to resort to intervening in matters such as this because there is no such thing as personal responsibility anymore. It is INFURIATING. These parents are criminals.

What's even more disheartening is that chances are, the majority of these kids will be obese adults, which means our already defunct healthcare system is only gonna get worse. Can't wait for those insurance premiums to skyrocket...again... and I can't get in to see a doctor for a few months because they're too busy dealing with millions upon millions of coronaries and diabetics - many of whom will be kids.

Look, I know I must sound like a super-conservative callous bitch, but seriously folks. Should we really need the government to intervene because parents can't take care of their children??? Who lets their child become obese? And look, I understand what it is to be overweight, (I've struggled myself as I've mentioned before), but extremely obese? There's NO excuse when it comes to children. If I were to kid, and my child was starting to get a bit chubby, I, as a responsible parent, would address it STAT.

Remember that line in Parenthood, (the movie) - "You know, Mrs. Buckman, you need a license to buy a dog, to drive a car - hell, ... to catch a fish. But they'll let any butt-reaming asshole be a father."

Clearly any butt-reaming anything can be a parent - as evidenced by our nation's kids. They are not extremely obese because they wanted to be - of that I am certain.

So what is the solution? I have no idea - though obtaining licenses to have children doesn't sound so bad, even though it's just another indication that we are incapable of taking care of ourselves. Pathetic.

Comments, insults and attacks welcome as always.


  1. As the husband of this blog's author, I choose to resist the urge to comment most of the time because, frankly, the whole appeal to me is that Leigh's perspective is unique and therefore I don't like to 'interrupt.'
    Thus, the fact that I'm commenting must mean that I feel pretty strongly about this...
    Leigh legitimately asks 'what is the solution?' and, in my opinion, there is no ONE solution.
    However, what I WILL say is that ONE of the elements to a solution to help eradicate this problem is for society to drop this whole attitude that having babies is ALWAYS a wonderful miraculous thing.
    Now, before your urge to lynch me takes over, hear me out...
    Every existing child has endless potential for greatness and should be treated as such.
    Having said that, I feel as though society almost ENCOURAGES people to procreate irresponsibly.
    "You're obese, unemployed, you smoke twelve packs a day, you're an alcoholic and addicted to your depression medication... wait... you're PREGNANT?! THAT'S WONDERFUL! CONGRATULATIONS! OH BLESSED DAY! You don't know who the father is? WHO CARES!? OH JOY! OH CONGRATULATIONS! GOOD FOR YOU!"
    I know it sounds terrible and I'm not going to propose that I'm "right" about this, but I really think we - as a society (society - not government) - need to start treating irresponsible procreation with the shame it deserves. It IS abuse.
    I'm not making a case for or against abortion or anything like that... once the baby is in existence, let's try to give it a good and happy life. But can we PLEASE start encouraging more responsible behavior!?
    I would never endorse government intervention in our right to reproduce, but I sure wish we could all agree to stop CELEBRATING people who procreate irresponsibly.
    Thank you for your time.
    - Leigh's Husband

  2. You two make no sense. Your arguments at best are weak and really incoherent.