Childhood obesity is a form of child abuse.
Debate Rounds (3)
Children and adolescents generally don't pick the choices of food that they have. They aren't the ones bringing in sugary cereals into the home. Sure, they may ask for it, but it is the parent's responsibility to make sure they eat well. There's nothing wrong with sugary cereals in moderation.
By giving a child an excess of unhealthy foods and not instilling good health habits (less TV/video games, exercise, play sports, etc.) Parents are abusing their children because they are allowing their bodies to get used to overeating. Thus leading to type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc.By giving your child the opportunity to play outside you are allowing them exert energy and get the recommended 30 minutes of physical activity.
Also, by age 6 most kids are in school. The fat kid will be teased. The fat kid can't run around like his classmates. Why? Because his parents let him get so big. Students will bully him because of his weight, which is something that he cannot control. We know that bullying can lead to depression, anxiety, and even suicide.
I'd like for my opponent to argue the following arguments:
-Parents work too many hours, so therefore the easiest option is to buy fast food, pizza, etc.
-Since the average household income is $40,000 junk food is cheaper than healthy food.
-The schools should keep our kids active by mandating physical education classes
-Parents are doing the best they can
It is agreeable that no, children don't always choose what they would like to eat, some times there are simply no other options. I, myself always being on the go as a child, am aware of the strain it puts on a family. It isn't always possible to sit down at a table and eat a nice, healthy dinner. Not only is it cheaper, but it is also easier to grab something on the go. In opposition of comparing childhood obesity to abuse, we should be making families aware of the dangers of constantly eating unhealthy. And since there are not always alternative options, if it is necessary to eat unhealthy - it should be eaten in moderation. For example, rather than ordering a twenty piece chicken nugget with a large soda and a large fry, perhaps an alternative should be a 6 piece chicken nugget, small fry, and a water.
It doesn't matter how hard someone tries to instill good habits in a child, if the child is not motivated it will not happen. Perhaps it would be better to encourage a mandatory physical education class.
As my opponent stated, "The fat kid will be teased" because "students will bully him because of his weight." Rather than worrying about this child's weight, we should be concerned with the school. If the school is allowing children to bully one another over something as trivial as weight, then we evidently have a bigger issue on hand. The school should be worried about making both children and their parents aware of bullying issues rather than a child's weight. And even if a child is overweight, why should it matter? Shouldn't we be encouraging children to feel comfortable in their bodies rather than concerning them with not fitting in with society's opinion
Child abuse is the physical, sexual, or emotional maltreatment or neglect of a child(ren). By neglecting to feed a child nutritious foods and allowing them adequate amount of exercise, you are abusing them. We can encourage them to feel better (which would maintain mental health), but they still will be physically unhealthy. The emotional damage of being teased for your weight (something I can relate to) is absolutely devastating.
Eating dinner as a family (without distractions) has been proven to be better for the kids. Children are less likely to smoke and engage in risky behaviors. If parents are too busy to cook dinner and eat with their kids at the dinner table, maybe they should've reconsidered having a family.
To answer my opponent's question, "And even if a child is overweight, why should it matter?": Of course it should matter! The human body wasn't meant to carry 30 extra lbs. of fat. The fat kid most likely has a sleep apnea or a CPAP machine to held them breathe at night. The fat kid will probably develop type 2 diabetes. The fat kid probably has high blood pressure and/or high cholesterol.
In response to my opponent's question, "Shouldn't we be encouraging children to feel comfortable in their bodies rather than concerning them with not fitting in with society's opinion[?]": Society's opinion is the right opinion. Being overweight or obese isn't normal and should not be tolerated. Yes, we need to encourage positive self-esteem habits in our children, but something like being heavy is completely preventable.
To understand this phrase my opponent stated, we must first understand who "society" is. Defined by the dictionary, a society is a community with shared customs. By that standard, a high school can be a society. Here's a quick example of when society's opinion was, in fact, wrong. 18 young girls at Gloucester High School (Massachusetts) decided it would be the right thing to do if they all go pregnant together. In addition, what happens when a society's beliefs leads to bullying, harassment, or even suicide? Teaching a child that they aren't perfect because they don't fit society's beliefs unbearable to think about.
As stated by my opponent, childhood obesity is preventable. However, it isn't exactly easy to do. We live in a society where our national food is pretty much a Big Mac. The average income of a family does not necessarily provide people the ability to buy their children all organic, healthy food. It is both easier and more cost-effectively to simply provide a child with something that is unhealthier for them.
"Teaching a child that they aren't perfect because they don't fit society's beliefs unbearable to think about."
In response to my opponent's statement, we are taught from childhood that nobody is perfect. Parents shouldn't be teaching perfection. A parent should set standards for the child and encourage them to set goals which they should achieve in a reasonable amount of time.
"The average income of a family does not necessarily provide people the ability to buy their children all organic, healthy food. It is both easier and more cost-effectively to simply provide a child with something that is unhealthier for them."
With regards to this statement: "If you can't feed 'em, don't breed 'em". As much as people desire to have children, it is not fair to the child if their physical, emotional, and health needs aren't being taken care of. The average amount of children per household is 2.06. Instead of having 2 or 3 children, maybe people should have 1 child. This would cut back on expenses.
What do parents find so difficult about making sure that their children get at least 30 minutes of exercise each day?
Thanks for debating with me!
mikaelakt forfeited this round.
No votes have been placed for this debate.
You are not eligible to vote on this debate
This debate has been configured to only allow voters who meet the requirements set by the debaters. This debate either has an Elo score requirement or is to be voted on by a select panel of judges.