Dangerous Waters 2: “Fat kids = child abuse”

“Dangerous Waters” is a series whereby I take the “pulse” of sentiment on fat issues, and report those comments/articles/sites/etc that I feel to be physically harmful to fat people. For the first installment in this series, please see Dangerous Waters – Part 1.

In honor of Sandy Szwarc’s latest post titled Fat children and the courts, I typed these words into Google:

“fat kids abuse”

This is what I like to call “pulse-taking.” The first two, three pages of the standard Google search show what is most linked, and therefore exclude fringe elements and give you a gritty sense for what people ‘really’ think. I wanted to find if the sentiment “Fat kids = child abuse” really held popular water. Unfortunately, it seems as if it does.

Here’s what I found, in order of popularity:

Fat kids = child abuse – firstyear.blogspot.com

Good for child protective services I say, letting or making your kid get so fat is in fact your fault and its cruel to a child. Why would a mother want to subject her own children to the health problems and social concerns that come from being obese. Does she want them to end up like those 1000 pound people who cannot leave their house and need to be weighed on scales made for whales and other large sea animals?

And as an answer to the question, “Well what can I do, that’s what he likes to eat.”…..you can…..wait for it…..be a parent! That’s right, instead of going to hit up the pizza hut and taco bell to buy him 12 tacos and a pizza plus chicken wings for dinner go buy a bag of that pre-washed lettuce, grill up a chicken breast and cut it up, then dumb the lettuce plus chicken breast into a bowl and put it in front of tubby. Since you were incompetent in your initial attempt to parent him/her the kid will probably refuse the healthy food. That’s OK, he’s fat he can skip a meal. Eventually hunger will win out. If you feed your kid mass quantities of junk that’s all they will eat. If you give them many types of food, most of which is healthy then they will grow up all the better for it. [bold mine]

And all the above is why I agree with taking children away from parents who refuse to do anything about their obesity and generally are the cause of it because I do feel as it’s a form of abuse

Wow, so we’ve found the CAUSE of the entire Obesity EpiPanic! PARENTS OF FATTIES! Well, duh, I should have seen that scapegoatism a mile away! We should just bar fatties from having kids until they lose they weight, shouldn’t we? Oh wait, that’s already happening for many infertile couples.

‘Fat police’ put children on abuse list (Propeller)

This is a small news blip that is voted up (positive) or down (sink) by members, and discussed. So far it has 62 positive votes, and 5 sinks:

“Fat police’ put children on abuse list

Family – Social workers are placing obese children on the child protection register alongside victims thought to be at risk of sexual or physical abuse.”

Some posts from the discussion:

Poster A1

I am absolutely sure I don’t like it. Any time social services gets involved in your life, there is a whole lot more stress on everybody, especially the kids. However; I must admit that there are people in this world that have children, that are too stupid to properly feed them. If they don’t listen to the advice of friends, family, or the social worker, then maybe they don’t need to be raising kids at all.

Oh, so sorry you were forced to “admit” that parents of fat children are stupid. Since many parents of fat people are also fat, then that must mean fat people are stupid, too! D’oh!

Poster B1

This is interesting. I personally think that giving your kids poor nutrition is a form of abuse. You’re just setting them up for a lifetime of illness. A parent’s job is to protect their child from that and educate them about things that school may not necessarily teach, such as healthy food choices. Unfortunately, too many parents out there are themselves clueless when it comes to making healthy food choices. Add into that the fact that we live in such a rush society, we don’t have time to make those choices and end up getting fast food for supper, or we tell 7 year old’s to eat whatever they want ’cause mom or dad is too tired to make them something. I don’t think this is something social services needs to get involved in. I do, however, think that parents need to start opening up their eyes to their kid’s health and weight instead of turning a blind eye. A proper nutrional education is what’s needed here, not social services.

Well, what is it? “Improper nutrition” is abuse or not? Because there’s no fooling around with what the government and pharma companies would love, love, love – to blame parents of fat kids for causing the so-called “obesity epidemic” disease of fat, which must be ‘cured’ by both drugs and governmental action, and probably some kind of eugenics program.

Poster C1

Letting your child suffer the lifestyle and embarassment of being overweight IS the responsibility of the parent when the child is young. If you can’t stop your child from binging on food, who will?

I speak out of personal experience. Both of my parents are overweight. Heart disease and obesity problems run in my family. I’m scared to death I’m going to die at 30 from a heart attack. I exercise daily and watch what I eat out of fear. Is that a life people should be forced to suffer through?

Shouldn’t people be accountable for practically causing their 8 year old to drop dead from a heart attack? I think something drastic like this or something close is going to have to happen to get this epidemic in America under control.

We have no self-control and we’re tearing ourselves apart from the inside. It’s time to wake up and smell the roses, not the Krispy Kremes. [bold mine]

Really? Do you really think an 8 year-old is going to drop dead of a heart attack? How many 8 year-old do you hear about dropping dead from a heart attack? I’d think the media would report on that with morbid Obesity EpiPanic glee. I mean, for god’s sake, when did people screw up diseases of aging, genetic tendencies towards others diseases, and fat at any rate?

Poster D1

What if the kid has a metabolic disorder? This is frikkin’ crazy! I mean if they have a 500 lb kid who’s 12, maybe. But where is it going to end…

Mother to her son: Well Bobby, the caseworker says you have to go to this state home because you eat too many ding dongs and play too many video games and don’t get enough exercise. Yep! Sorry. Hope you like the foster family you get stuck with, hopefully they won’t physically or sexually abuse you. Bye bye!

Poster C1 in response to Poster D1:

Physical wounds heal, a 500lb man usually dies. I’d take my chances getting beat on.

This is a true problem and I can’t understand the ‘logic’ of the people that say it’s up to the parents when the issue here is the fact that the parents aren’t doing anything to help it.

Okay, so Poster C1 thinks that physical and sexual abuse is is preferable to having an obese child? Also, “a 500lb man usually dies” is just a lie. You can take your chances getting beat on, Poster C1, but does that mean you have the right to say Mr and Mrs X’s children should get beat on rather than be obese? And who’s to say these kids aren’t going to be obese with their foster family, at any rate? In fact, sending kids to “foster homes” in order to lose weight (which is precisely what this is about) is sending them directly into the arms of abuse: undernutrition, semi-starvation, the ritualization of food and the forever battling of one’s body. Not to mention possible other forms of non-fat abuse. Yeah, that sounds like a fantastic arrangement. Sign me up, you abomination of a human being.

Parents in denial on fat kids – Topix.net

Poster A2:

Clearly the issue is what these kids are eating: most parents buy McDonalds, have snacks at home that are loaded with fat and supply the kids with drinks containing high-fructose corn syrup. The combination of these ends up with increased caloric intake and little real nutrition. Add in the internet or video games and you have slugs on the couch that aren’t doing anything to raise up their metabolism. Basically the kids don’t do anything to burn energy and since it takes 3500 more calories over what you take in, it doesn’t take a mathematician to figure out that kids eat more than they burn and that equals fat kids. Parents are just too blind to their mistakes to realize it.

Apparently parents of fat kids are stupid and blind, eh, because “calories in = calories out” — a simple, time-tested (or disproved?) recipe for fat kids, heck, fat people! It’s as simple as that.

Poster A2:

I told my son years ago if he was going to be a video game junkie he had better stop eating junk.I bought fruits and veggies.and he is a slim trim video game, text messaging, freak whom I proudly say is my son.( I say freak only because I can’t imagine spending that much time texting or playing video games) The parents have a choice as to what the children eat at home. P>S> I also told him that the school system has my blessing to take the paddle to him if he misbehaves and had no trouble from him at school…..could it be that kids do really listen or are the parents today to involved in the life they lead to be a role model???

Ah yes, it’s because you bought him veggies that he’s “slim, trim, etc” and not because he’s genetically predisposed to be that way. Hey, I’m all for veggies. But to assume that all kids would be “slim, trim, etc” if they included veggies in their diet choices, is fallacious. Since you’re using your personal experience as a far-reaching, generalized example of behavior, I’ll use mine: We ate nothing but healthy, bland foods when I was growing up (baked skinless chicken breasts, veggies with no butter, 1% milk, low-fat cottage cheese/yogurt), and my brother and I were STILL fat. And still are.

Oh yes, and I’m so glad you’re proud of your son for being trim. Would you be proud of him if he weren’t?

Why do some parents allow their children to get fat? – Yahoo! Answers

Poster A3:

I do believe that in some cases it is abuse. If someone has a history of genetically overweight people in their family or if they are overweight then that is even more reason to make sure your child eats healthy and gets enough exercise. I’m not talking about people who are mildly overweight, I’m talking about people who are obese.

Well, hey then, as long as we’re talking about those obese people, as defined by the arbitrary (and ever downward-changing) BMI, and not the “mildly overweight” people. Ten bucks this poster is “mildly overweight.” Yeah, honey, as long as it doesn’t happen to you, right? But fuck those fuckwit fat fatties!

But wait, the brilliance (two ‘up’ votes for this abomination) continues!

Poster B3:

It is abuse.. it is NOT genetic. Fat is not genetic. Obesity is a problem in TODAYS world for a reason. more overeating, high fat, fast food etc. NOT genetics. Anyone who says its genetic is just another lazy american looking for an easy excuse to not eat right or work hard and exercise.

most fat kids have fat parents because they induct the kids into their lazy over eating lifestyle.

You mean, it’s not genetic, despite the overwhelming evidence?

And, by “eat right,” you mean eat Splenda-flavored air for the rest of one’s life, correct? Because that’s what weight-loss programs shill, and in order to ‘maintain’ that kind of weight loss, you have to be on the diet for life. Mmm, semi-starvation is nutrilicious!

Poster C3:

in a way yes [it is abuse]. they are being careless and terrible parents. first of all some parents let their kids eat whatever they want. all the candy they want and when they want mcdonalds they get mcdonalds. i think that they are stupid for letting the kids control them! there was this special on tv where there was this really fat boy and they showed him in his home. and they expect people to feel sorry for the family when THEY are the one’s feeding him fried chicken, a plate like for 3 people and the kid eats it ALL by himself and if he doesnt get what he wants he cries and busts tantrums. so he was sick because he was so obessee, how can you feel sorry for this family when the stupid mom caused this! yes i think its abuse, poor kid… and in some cases the kids ARE sick and that causes them to gain weight so that IS sad, but to these mothers who do it themselves are pathetic mothers who shouldn’t be allowed to have children!

For anyone who wondered if these carefully concocted TV horror show specials like Maury, Dr. Phil, and so forth didn’t do damage – read the above. This woman is a voter. These carefully-crafted-to-push-a-certain-agenda shows have made this woman believe that fat parents force-feed their children fried chicken 20 times a day, and live at McDonald’s. Thanks, Dr. Phil et al. You join my “abomination of a human” list.

Poster D3:

Yes it is a form of abuse, you’re taxing their young body with fattening foods which of course isn’t good.

Yes, because fat is toxic, correct?

Unfortunately the parents of fat kids tend to be fat themselves

Hmmm, I wonder why that is. Could it be, I dunno, hereditary?

and don’t see anything wrong with their lifestyle and they figure as long as they’re happy (which we know they’re not b/c theres deep emotional issues that go with obesity) they keep it up.

Oh, we know that, do we? Wow, you’ve solved the problem of obesity all on your own, youngin! What those McFatties need is counseling to solve their “deep emotional issues,” and they’ll be thin!

Parents should want better for their kids and in order to do so they need to lead by example and eat healthy and get active.

Ah yes, so parents shouldn’t be fat, either. In fact, we should make getting pregnant conditional on thinness, don’t you think?

I can’t go on with this one any longer. Just too depressing! There seems to be a veritable consensus that parents of fat kids are responsible for their kids’ fat in a non-genetic way, and the only dissents to the “child abuse” argument I’ve seen in the first two standard Google search pages have been by small-governmenters and libertarians, and one post on an FA blog.

Ai yai yai.

Start ’em when they’re young…and younger…and younger.

Sandy Szwarc’s post on Baby Weight Watchers infuriated me.

First we hear that kids are being purposefully malnourished in Florida schools, and now this?

An “alarming” crisis of large babies in Scotland was reported yesterday as evidence of a worsening obesity epidemic. Fat mothers were blamed for putting their babies’ health at risk by Tam Fry, honorary chairman of the Child Growth Foundation, who said: “There are a significant number of mothers who are not only obese but alarmingly so, and they are giving birth to alarmingly large babies. Scotland’s obesity problem has obviously caused the average weight of babies to zoom up.” [note: by 2.24 oz!]

Even articles in baby magazines are telling new parents, “especially mothers,” they need to “fat-proof” their babies to save them from the health dangers that go along with a “fat-filled future.” In Baby Expert, mothers were given an eight-point plan for watching their baby’s weight to stop their baby from becoming a fat toddler. “Your child’s first 12 months are the most critical in setting him on the right path to a healthy weight,” Fry was quoted as saying.

Do you know what happens when you “fat-proof” your baby? It’s been shown that malnourishment can cause stunting and permanently lower BMI (i.e., a shifting down of the weight setpoint)—why is this desirable, besides winning a ‘skinny’ child and giving into the Obesity EpiPanic? Does a parent really think that malnourishment can be in any way, shape, or form (pun intended) good for their children? Maybe if you want them to have stunted growth, deficient renal tubular function, retarded neuromotor development, and impaired learning capacity.

Fine, you say! Expose them to undernutrition (i.e., a diet) after they’re born. Perhaps if you want permanent height stunting and Irreversible damage to the CNS , in addition to your precious acquisition of a thin child.

Suck on that 29.78 million dollars worth of child abuse, Scotland.

Now even “normal” isn’t thin enough

On a new study as reported by Reuter’s Health Blog: Now even a “normal” BMI may not be an indicator of whether or not to lose weight.

It seems that measuring body fat, rather than tracking your weight on a body mass index scale, can more accurately identify whether you need a lifestyle overhaul to lose weight. Excess body fat is a risk factor for a myriad of health problems, including heart disease and diabetes.

Two assumptions made here: the level of body fat on a person’s body is due to lifestyle (and is a “choice”), and the last line about how excess body fat is a “risk factor” of disease X, Y, and DIABEETUS. Fat is not a choice, it has not been shown that fat causes diabetes.

But wait, there’s more:

Researchers found that the BMI Index usually under identifies risk, meaning that even those categorized as “Normal” might have a risky level of body fat.

Yes, haven’t we suspected all along this isn’t really about “normal,” is it? This is about thin. This is about anti-fat, anti-jiggle anywhere on the body. This is about a hatred of people who have any fat on them.

Wait a minute, what about large-breasted, large-assed women? Do they have a “risky” level of body fat? Oh, you say that that kind of body fat is okay, it’s just that icky stomach jiggle that causes risks?

Colombo and colleagues recruited 23 men and 40 women, aged 20 to 65 years, to undergo body composition analysis. The volunteers were healthy, but led sedentary lives and were not following a low-calorie diet.

Wait a minute, you mean that people can be healthy even if they lead sedentary lives and don’t follow a low-calorie diet? Better not let that information spread too far, or some people might actually want to attempt to free themselves from the oppression of calorie-counting and minute-counting.

The BMI Index calculations identified 11% of the group as strongly needing to lose weight, while waist circumference measurements identified 25%.

“Using criteria based on body adiposity (fatness) rather than body weight would result in a much greater proportion of the study population receiving recommendations for weight loss,” Colombo said.

Great, that’s what we need: an even tighter ‘crack-down’ on our smallest jiggle. For those of “normal” BMI who could have a “risky” amount of fat, check out the BMI Project.

Note: I accidentally published this instead of saving it as a draft, so it’s going to get a couple more edits before I’m done this morning (notably, filling in a couple links).