Is Child Obesity Child Abuse? childhood obesity has become one of the most serious issues of 21st century!

By Admin. Last updated 5/14/2022 3:25:52 AM. Previous || Next0 comments

Is Child Obesity Child Abuse?

According to World Health Organisation, child obesity has become one of the most serious threats to public health in the last few years. Taking this into account, the issue has put many children across the world at a serious risk of diabetes, heart failure, asthma, as well as other conditions related to obesity. According to Hemmingsson et al. (2014), about 30 percent of children in Canada and UK are obese or overweight. This figure is almost similar to many other countries across the world especially in the developed countries including Germany, Australia, Italy, and Spain among other countries. With childhood obesity increasing across many countries globally, courts as well as child welfare systems are facing a wide range of issues (Lobstein et al. 2015). Nonetheless, the one of the main issues is whether to take legal action against parents who neglect their children. This is because child obesity has been considered as child abuse, and thus the parents should be held accountable in case their children become obese.

Child obesity as child abuse

Child abuse has been regarded by Danese and Tan (2014) as the physical, psychological, as well as sexual mistreatment or neglect of a child by a parent or a caregiver. In regards to this, it typically include the act as well as failure to act by a parent of a caregiver, which leads to actual as well as potential harm to the child. Taking this into consideration, through considering child obese as a child abuse, Ho et al. (2012) have explained that it happens largely due to negligence of the parent. Besides, through child obesity, the child is usually subjected to a wide range of life threatening conditions, which may to a large extent compromise his or her life. In view of this, many scholars including Svensson (2014) and Tate, et al. (2014) have put across that child obesity is child abuse. Therefore, parents should be held accountable for their obese children, and legal actions should be taken against them.

As asserted by Hubbs-Tait, et al. (2016), the selfish nature of many parents is one of the main factors that have contributed to increased child obesity over the last few years. In regards to this, most parents would rather leave their children spending many hours on computer games than take the initiative of taking them to the park. Additionally, most of the parents would prefer giving their children what they desire or ask rather than giving them what they. This means they are usually concerned about their own selfish wants and disregard the needs of their children. According to the Sigmund Freud theory of child development, most children usually have a strong desire towards something, and this can significantly affect their childhood as well as adulthood. In this case, most children usually crave for junk foods, which are considered unhealthy. As a result, these children end up consuming unhealthy food, which eventually make them obese. Nonetheless, Danese and Tan (2014) have disputed these claims, asserting that most parents are not selfish when it comes to the matter of their children. This is because most of the parents value their children and would do anything for them. For this reason, most parents always end up wanting to please their children, and this they go the extent of giving their children the food they ask irrespective of the heath issues associated with such foods. Thus, the children end up becoming obese. On such instances, Hemmingsson et al. (2014) argue that this is child abuse, as it makes the children suffer in the long run due to emergence of various problems related to obesity including diabetes and hypertensions. The authors continue to add that there is a significant need to take a legal action against these parents for the purpose preventing such occurrences.

According to Ho et al. (2012), child obesity to a large extent is typically the fault of the parents. Taking this into consideration, the authors argue that most of the parents have been feeding their children with unhealthy foods, which has significantly increased child obesity issues. Despite the fact that most parents are usually aware of the consequences of giving the children such foods, Tate et al. (2014) argue that most of them typically disregard these consequences, and through this, this always encourage children from consuming such foods. In regards to the social child development theory as well as Urie Bronfenbrenner theory of child development, children usually learn by observing people around them. Therefore, when student are used to be given unhealthy foods, they tend to have a strong desire towards such foods, which increases their chances of becoming obese. Besides, although Jones et al. (2014) have indicated that parents may not be able to monitor what their children eat when in school, Svensson (2014) has disputed this sentiment. On this, he has indicated that parents have the role of ensuring that children feed on healthy food both at home as well as in school. This claim has been echoed by Hemmingsson et al. (2014), who have put across that it is also the role of the parents to educate their children about the dangers of eating unhealthy food such as junk food. Taking this into consideration, parents who fail to address this, as espoused by Lobstein et al. (2015) can be considered child abusers, given that they subject their children to obesity, which may to a considerable extent have negative consequences on the health in future. As found out by Hubbs-Tait, et al. (2016), the rates of childhood obesity have doubled in the last 3 decades. This, as explained by Svensson (2014) is a clear indication that this is something that can be prevented. However, many parents in many countries globally have become negligence about the issue. Therefore, Danese and Tan (2014) argued that it would be rational for the states to prosecute parents whose children are obese. It is only through the use of such methods that parents can be more careful about what they give their children to eat.
According to Ho et al. (2012), over the last few years, most parents have become busy with their work. This means they have little to examine what the children eat. Besides, with their busy lives, Tate et al. (2014) argue that most of them prefer to buy fast food for their children to cooking health food at home. For instance a study conducted by Jones et al. (2014) showed that about 30 percent of families across the world usually buy unhealthy food from fast food restaurant at least twice per month. These unhealthy foods as a return have contributed to a considerable extent to the cases of childhood obesity. Therefore, in such cases, it can be rational to indicate that children care abused by their parents through failing to give them healthy food.

As explained by Hemmingsson et al. (2014), prevention of obesity is fundamental to a considerable extent. Taking this into consideration, they argue that healthy eating habits such as eating a well balanced diet as well as participating in a wide range of physical activities typically lower the risk of children becoming obese. This is irrespective of their genetic susceptibility. Therefore, from this sentiment it can be deduced that it is usually the parents fault when their children become obese, owing to the fact that they can prevent through ensuring that the children feed on balance, and the children do enough exercises. Besides, as espoused by Svensson (2014), much of this advice is usually neglected by most parents owing to the recent changes in the societal values as well as priorities. This explains why the cases of child obesity have increased tremendously over the last few years in almost every country across the globe.

According to Svensson (2014), some kinds are usually predisposed for obesity, and thus it may not be blamed to the parents. On this, he argues that some individuals are usually deficient to the effect of protein, thus making them susceptible to obesity. Nonetheless, this claim has been disputed by various scholars. Precisely, according to Hubbs-Tait, et al. (2016), the genetic excuse for obesity is just a myth. In light of this, a research conducted by sought out to understand the correlation between obesity and genetic. After the DBA of over 20000 individuals was reviewed, it was found out that simple physical activities including walking as well as gardening can significantly reduce the impact of these genes. These findings have been backed up by Jones et al. (2014), who have elucidated that parents can make a huge difference towards the health of their children through changing their behaviours. Therefore, for those parents who blame genetics for child obesity should be prosecuted for child abuse.


In conclusion, it is deducible that child obesity is child abuse. From this essay, it is with no doubt that childhood obesity has become one of the most serious issues of 21st century. This is due to the fact the number of children who have become obese has increased to a considerable extent. Obesity has put the put many children across the world at a serious risk of diabetes, heart failure, asthma, as well as other conditions related to obesity. With this alarming rate of childhood obesity, parents have been hold responsible for negligence. Precisely, as established from this essay, most of the parents do not mind a lot what their children eat. Besides, most of them are too busy to cook for their children, and thus the option left is to buy food which is not healthy. As a result, children are usually put at a high risk of becoming obese. Taking this into consideration, it is with no doubt that parents are to blame for child obesity, and this can be regarded as a child abuse.


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