Childhood obesity has been a long standing problem to societies since the 1970s and as far as things are concerned, the numbers have been increasing despite the efforts on preventing and reducing the case of obesity in children. There have been many noted possibilities on why obese children are still growing in numbers and experts believe that parents have a great role in contributing to their child’s abnormal behavior. Arguments between different groups and sectors are stressing that parents must be punished for causing their children to have these risks and even take the children away but some argue that there are instances that cannot be prevented and rights would be violated. It is my belief that obese children must not be taken away from their families as it is depriving them of their rights to have a home and to educate both the parent and the child in the risks and consequences in childhood obesity.
For this paper, I intend to discuss both sides of the argument and prove that it is not necessary to take the children away from their homes just because they are obese. I also intend to discuss that there are chances that being obese in an early age unavoidable and at some cases, may be due to the lack of information and data regarding the risks and consequences of childhood obesity. To conclude the paper, I would re-evaluate both sides of the argument and reassess my position and strengthen it. I will also stress out possible measures to ensure that parents and children would be properly educated and what the government should do to help them. In beginning this paper, let us discuss the position for those in favor of punishing the parents by taking away their children and bringing them home to foster homes.
Obese Children must be taken away from their parents
There have been some notable studies on how childhood obesity can be acquired and be made. Some noted that childhood obesity may start at an early age depending on the upbringing of the child. With infants as they grow faster than normal children, regularly and excessively feeding them may contribute to the signs that they will grow big and obese. Parents often do not have a notion of too much and too few when it comes to feeding children, especially if the child is their first born. It is also possible that poor parenting on an early age can also contribute into having obese infants. There are tendencies that the infant cannot take much consumption due to their undeveloped digestive system and this may blow things out of proportion .
There are also parents who use food as a reward to reinforce desired or undesired behavior. Parents would often reward children with sweets, unaware that they are causing their children to lean more on sweets and prefer them. It becomes the public image of the child and how he or she is brought up by his or her parents. This may also be seen as a behavioral problem as obese children may present a lack of self-control, regulation and sometimes misbehavior that have been caused by eating too much. Studies also point out that families with obese children tend to be broken as parents continue to reject their child because of his disability and weight, with them not realizing that it was their fault in the first place . Continuously being exposed into an abusive environment may also contribute to the child’s behavior on food and uses his obesity as a sign of rebellion and distrust with his parents .
These reasons alone constitutes enough evidences that the child must be taken away from his or her parents and bring them to foster homes that will properly cater to them. There have been many cases around the globe that site that child’s obesity is enough grounds to get the child from his family. Child social services continuously try to remind parents about watching their children’s weight and if they fail to do so, they will be charged with child-neglect charges that may mean jail time . There are also some doctors who believe that taking the child away from the family would free the child from unskilled and inadequate parent supervision which may cause them to be vulnerable from environmental influences. Removal from the home is justifiable as parents continue to fail in addressing the problem which can constitute as child-abuse .
The cause of obesity may not be avoidable
There is still no definite reason why childhood obesity exists and it may vary per case. Parents cannot be all at fault when it comes to their child’s obesity problem as it may be a birth defect. Although this case can be rare, there is still a possibility that the child gotten it from his genes upon birth. There are also chances that it is the environment and the child’s peers who cloud the child’s perception on food and to fit in, they would eat junk food and fast food so that they will not be left alone by their friends and family. Weight gain can also constitute from a myriad of factors that parents cannot prevent in some ways. It may even be because of a different disease or infection. Sometimes, children themselves try to sneak in food from behind their parents’ back .
It is also illegal to try to claim a child from his or her parents as it violates their right to have a family and have a home. True that social service may take the children by force from their homes because of their unchanged weight but this would be traumatic for the child and change completely. There is also the problem of socioeconomic status of the parents as they may not be able to provide their children enough proper food and diet because they cannot provide it. Parents may also not be fully aware of the risks and the treatments available because there is no information about it given by these health groups or even because they are not educated well to understand them. That also goes the same for the child as he may not have been educated fully or have not seen a doctor because of their economic problems .
There are many probably causes why childhood obesity exists and it is not solely because of the parents’ neglect and actions that contribute to it. People must not jump into conclusions that the parents let their children grow in their obese state as there are many factors that may have contributed to the child’s weight gain. Parents are also human thus they cannot fully supervise their child in everything, especially if they are in some place far from them. People must first know the complete story and if the problem still persists, then they should take action in taking the child away from his or her abusive parents. Just taking the child away without knowing the reasons and the problems of the family is both against their right and unjust. The government must be able to provide their citizens free orientations and seminars to be educated about the problems of childhood obesity and the risks it may entail to their love ones. Health workers must also be able to provide free check-ups and consultations for those with economic problems and be patient enough to explain to them the situation then guide them to fully combat the problem. Fully combating the problem of childhood obesity must be done hand-in-hand as not everyone can provide their children with everything they need.
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