Parenting: Who’s running the show?

childhood-obesity1I was in Giant Eagle (a grocery store, for my non-Ohio/Pennsylvania friends) today and as I walked in, my fiancèe, Courtney and I noticed a very heavy middle aged woman with her two children at the front of the store.  She had a buggy parked in front of a large display of Kellogg’s and General Mills Cereal that was on sale, 4 boxes for $10.  Now these were the absolute worst cereals for you. Apple Jacks, Fruit Loops, Sugar Smacks, Reese’s, etc… She had one young daughter, roughly 9 years old, and a young son, not more than 11 or 12.  The girl was not very heavy, but the boy was completely obese.  He was probably pushing 250-260 lbs at this age and maybe 5′ tall.  I would be vastly surprised if there weren’t significant health problems already detected for him, as his cheeks and face were swollen so much it was pushing his eyes nearly closed.  We watched as they piled about 30 or so boxes of this sugary breakfast cereal into their cart.  The boy kept packing them in the buggy, as the mom helped.  I was absolutely disgusted and angry.

Now, we can listen to the sympathetic folks, who will argue, “Maybe their poor and can only buy what’s on sale and they were stocking up,” or my favorite, “He probably has a ‘thyroid’ problem, you shouldn’t pick on them.”  Let me be straight, I’m not picking on the child.  I am not making fun of his situation.  It’s downright sad.  Who’s running the show here?  The 12 year old?  I’m pretty sure he knows better, but that’s where PARENTING comes in!  This mother should be reported.  It’s child abuse.  If there is a diagnosed condition, what is she possibly doing to help?  If she doesn’t realize that her son has a problem, then she’s not fit to be a parent.  If you’re poor, make healthier choices.  Yeah, it’s not cheap to eat healthy, but diabetes isn’t cheap either.  Who’s paying the medical bills now?  How bad will the child resent you when he’s struggling to breath as a 350 lb 18 year old getting made fun of in high school and college?  What are you doing to this child’s life?  Ruining it.  I’m so tired of this politically correct society that is willing to tell everyone, “It’s okay, we love you anyway.”  No.  It’s time to say, “It’s NOT okay, because we love you!”  What are the health problem’s associated with malnutrition?  They’re not much more negative than some of the ones associated with severe obesity.  One gets a child taken from a parent.  One doesn’t.  What’s the difference?  None, in my opinion.

I think it’s time for a congressman to step up for the children here.  It’s time to make childhood obesity a crime just as much as childhood starvation.  Any takers?  You’ll have my vote and support!  Who’s with me?

Stay Healthy

-Dr. Craig

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