Do parents have control over their child being obese? I do not believe so. I believe that parents while their child is growing up try to make the right decisions by feeding their child healthy nutritious foods but once they are able to eat on their own, it is in their control. Many parents let their children eat cookies, chips and unhealthy foods for dinner which is a huge contributing factor to obesity. However, it isn't up to their parents to watch every piece of their food that goes into their mouth. Once the child goes to school and spends more time outside the house than in the house it is up to them to eat healthy.
It may be up to the kids to make healthy choices later on in life, but who are the ones that are supposed to be teaching their children how to make the right choice? It's the parents. They're the ones that have to teach their children the benefits of eating right as well as the detrimental effects that poor eating habits can have. The problem isn't what kids eat when their parents aren't looking. Just because a toddler steals a couple cookies from the cabinet doesn't mean that child is going to be obese. The problem is the parents who don't have time or present the effort to feed their children healthy foods on a daily basis. That's what's setting kids up for failure when they grow up and have the choice of what to eat for every meal. They have to understand the importance of eating right, and that starts with the parents.
I would also like to point out that there are so many temptations out there in the world for kids to make poor choices when it comes to eating right. Every day, there are countless advertisements for McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's, etc; but you hardly ever see any for healthy foods like fruits and vegetables. Children are constantly being bombarded with advertisements directed at them (like Ronald McDonald and other child geared characters) that try to coax kids into buying their product. It can't be left up to the kids to decide if they want to eat french fries or fruit. Just by watching TV, the decision has already been made for them. This is why its up to the parents to help make those decisions; because if left up to the kids, they're going to go for the advertisements because they don't know any better.