According to recent studies, childhood obesity is on the rise. We know all the facts, the health risks, the statistics, what needs to be done about it, and yet the problem continues to grow.
You and I see it everyday. Children and teens that are 50, 100 sometimes even 150 lbs overweight, accompanied by parents who seem to just look the other way as the child gorges themself on junk food and sugar. You can go into any fast food restaurant and see an entire family of morbidly obese people, unabashedly consuming super size meals and jumbo drinks. What the hell?? Is anybody listening? The parents lead, and of course, the children follow.
The latest trend has been to sue the companies that produce and sell these products we over consume.
Just as recently as a couple years ago, Kellogg and Nickelodeon were being sued over their junk food ad marketing tactics targeting children 8 years and under.
In addition, a child advocate activist group threatened to sue Viacom for using the Sponge Bob image to promote sugary snacks and cereals. In another lawsuit, a mother is suing Nabisco over the trans fat in Oreo cookies, citing that this is one of the causes for her child being obese. Are these lawsuits justified? Is it the fault of these companies for producing and marketing these items, or does the fault lie closer to home?
Even though a new law has passed requiring all restaurants to list the calorie content of all food items on their menus, fast food restaurants are still doing a brisk and steady business. They have complied with the prescribed laws on this matter. Now, if we still decide to go in these places to eat and choose high calorie selections daily, is it really their fault?
If we continue as we have, by 2015, 75 percent of adults and nearly 24 percent of U.S. children and adolescents will be overweight or obese.
Obesity is now the most prevalent health issue for kids and teens.
So, who's really at fault?
I'm going to take the other side, for a change. I'm usually the one beating up on the parents, but I want to be fair. In defense of the parent's "It's not my fault" claim,
we have these facts:
Most kid's meals at restaurants exceed recommended daily calorie limit
Few healthy items are found in kid's meals at many restaurants
Food is the most advertised kid product during children's programs
Soda and candy machines can be readily found in most junior high and high schools
Fast food chains heavily target children, and use toy giveaways and games to attract them to their products
You can't watch your kid 24-7
So, what do you think? Is allowing a child to become morbidly obese a form of child abuse? Should child protective services or some other agency become involved when a child's weight goes to such an extreme level that it becomes life threatening?
I know how I feel about it. Pass me the hand cuffs! What's your opinion?