Foster Care for Obese Kids!

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Jules's picture
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Foster Care for Obese Kids!

http://news.yahoo.com/parents-lose-custody-super-obese-kids-200342454.html

An opinion piece in Wednesday's Journal of the American Medical Association says putting children temporarily in foster care is in some cases more ethical than obesity surgery.

No new laws needed. Health care providers are mandated to report children in immediate risk. Are you onboard with this type of wake-up call for parents who don't work on improving a morbidly obese child's fitness level?

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

The children listed in that story should absolutely be reported. 555 lb teenagers? Sick. Sick and wrong. Just like a Dr or other mandated reporter would have to report a severely underweight child if there was suspicion of abuse, I support them reporting these gravely ill and morbidly obese children. Allowing a child to get to that state is absolutely abuse, period. These are not "big boned" children ~ these are children with dire medical and/or emotional problems. If their needs are not being met in the home I fully support them being moved out of the home.

fuchsiasky's picture
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I was just going to post this debate!

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"Potter75" wrote:

The children listed in that story should absolutely be reported. 555 lb teenagers? Sick. Sick and wrong. Just like a Dr or other mandated reporter would have to report a severely underweight child if there was suspicion of abuse, I support them reporting these gravely ill and morbidly obese children. Allowing a child to get to that state is absolutely abuse, period. These are not "big boned" children ~ these are children with dire medical and/or emotional problems. If their needs are not being met in the home I fully support them being moved out of the home.

I agree.

I also dislike the argument that healthy food has to cost more so poor people are permitted to eat like sh*t. We have been poor. We have been electricy-got-shut-off poor. But we eat and we eat healthy because it doesn't have to cost a fortune. Dried legumes, oats, ect are filling, nutritious and inexpensive. Besides, I can buy appropriate portions of healthier food for the same cost as the large portions of unhealthy food that these economically challenged families buy.

Joined: 12/10/05
Posts: 1681

I absolutely agree it is a form of neglect and in those extreme cases the children should be removed from the home.

And I agree with Emily that many cheap foods are nutritious... They just take a little more effort to prepare, as opposed to picking up fast food on the way home, as the one mom said she did. Besides, the kid didn't end up being morbidly obese by having the odd burger... He got that way by eating far TOO MUCH food and far too little activity for his entire life.

TyrantOfTheWeek's picture
Joined: 12/26/05
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These parents are obviously putting their kids in serious danger. But I think that a requirement to get the kids back would be that they have to take an extensive dietary and health course on meal planning, obesity related health conditions, etc.

culturedmom's picture
Joined: 09/30/06
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I do believe it is a level of neglect to allow a child to become that obese to where their health is severly compromised. But I do not believe that taking the child away from their parent is the answer unless the parent's intent was to make the child unhealthy and overweight.

I refuse to touch the debate about poor people and the cost of food. You would have better luck getting me into a debate on immigrants and circ. LOL

culturedmom's picture
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I have a question though. Where do we draw the line? It is shown that second hand smoke causes lung cancer and tons of othe health issues. Should we take away kids from smoking parents?

fuchsiasky's picture
Joined: 11/16/07
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I am torn on this. While I agree that for a 400lb teenager intervention is needed. I am not sure if taking the child away is the answer. The issues that caused the obesity needs to be addressed if any solutions are to be permanent.

Joined: 12/10/05
Posts: 1681

"fuchsiasky" wrote:

I am torn on this. While I agree that for a 400lb teenager intervention is needed. I am not sure if taking the child away is the answer. The issues that caused the obesity needs to be addressed if any solutions are to be permanent.

The issue causing these kids to be obese is the parents. The article mentions a 90lb 3 year old! A 3 year old can't purchase or prepare their own food. They are eating the obscene amounts of junk food their parents are serving them.

The only issue that needs to be looked into is what is wrong with those parents. Who would feed their child to such extremes and why can't those parents say "no" for the health of their child? Until the parents figure out their own issues, then the kids should be under the supervision of someone willing to do what is best for the long term health of that child.

I have no doubt that down the road these kids will develop underlying issue related to their weight, but I find it hard to believe they caused the weight gain in the child.

ange84's picture
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It's not healthy, but in taking the child away how much will change, yes the child would lose weight in care but unless you did extensive work with the parents on health, nutrition and food preparation reunifcation wouldn't work, you would again end up with an obese child. If you are putting those resources into a family anyway why not do it with the child in the home and let the parents work as a family to help their child and change all their lifestyles. Some, not all, parents don't know how to prepare food properly and turn to take away because in their mind at least their child is fed.

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"kris_w" wrote:

I have no doubt that down the road these kids will develop underlying issue related to their weight, but I find it hard to believe they caused the weight gain in the child.

Not 'will develop' but 'have developed'. The children who have been removed from their homes HAVE life-threatening conditions as a result of their weight.

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"culturedmom" wrote:

I refuse to touch the debate about poor people and the cost of food. You would have better luck getting me into a debate on immigrants and circ. LOL

Lana, just think how much money (and poor health) poor people could save if they planted gardens in their front yard Wink

Joined: 03/16/15
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And raised their own chickens!!

Organic eggs could cost me $600/year at the grocery. Raising my own costs me $100 (chicken feed is REALLY cheap, and so is hay for bedding). For that cost, I'm getting 100% of the protein needs for 2 grown people for an entire year. Oooooooo.

/loves talking chooks

zefroim's picture
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"Emilys4Guppies" wrote:

I agree.

I also dislike the argument that healthy food has to cost more so poor people are permitted to eat like sh*t. We have been poor. We have been electricy-got-shut-off poor. But we eat and we eat healthy because it doesn't have to cost a fortune. Dried legumes, oats, ect are filling, nutritious and inexpensive. Besides, I can buy appropriate portions of healthier food for the same cost as the large portions of unhealthy food that these economically challenged families buy.

This, a million times over. Healthy food is affordable and it drives me crazy when someone tries to claim otherwise. I also agree with Melis.

culturedmom's picture
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"Potter75" wrote:

Lana, just think how much money (and poor health) poor people could save if they planted gardens in their front yard Wink

You kind of need to have a yard, smarty pants. lol I don't think veggies and chickens can live on the fire escape or the concrete parking lot.

wlillie's picture
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"zefroim" wrote:

This, a million times over. Healthy food is affordable and it drives me crazy when someone tries to claim otherwise. I also agree with Melis.

I know. There was a man in my last Masters class arguing that feeding his family of four McDonalds was just as cheap as cooking at home. :eek: I even priced it out for him to point out that even if they all got kids meals, rice and beans with some chicken and vegetables was much cheaper. This guy was a freaking doctor. WTF?

"culturedmom" wrote:

You kind of need to have a yard, smarty pants. lol I don't think veggies and chickens can live on the fire escape or the concrete parking lot.

Agree with the chickens, but don't people use their window/balcony area in cities all the time for gardens? With potted plants, you can grow vegetables anywhere, besides those places where people have the right to tell you it's ugly and therefore can't do it.

culturedmom's picture
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"wlillie" wrote:

I know. There was a man in my last Masters class arguing that feeding his family of four McDonalds was just as cheap as cooking at home. :eek: I even priced it out for him to point out that even if they all got kids meals, rice and beans with some chicken and vegetables was much cheaper. This guy was a freaking doctor. WTF?

Agree with the chickens, but don't people use their window/balcony area in cities all the time for gardens? With potted plants, you can grow vegetables anywhere, besides those places where people have the right to tell you it's ugly and therefore can't do it.

Man I don;t kow what kind of places the poor people you know live, but they seem pretty darn swanky. If you think a family of 4 can grow enough food in a window planter to make that much of a difference then you are one hell of a gardener.

whatever, I'm not arguing which food is cheaper. Y'all think it's cheaper and accessable to eat healthy food in the 'hood. OK.

elleon17's picture
Joined: 01/26/09
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Why is this argument based on obesity??

A parent can feed two children equally horrible food and just because one has a really fast metabolism and doesn't gain weight they are not abusing that child?

Honestly, the idea that a government body tells me what I should and shouldn't do is something I consider innately and morally wrong.

What if the child is sneaking cookies? What if the teenager is putting their allowance towards sneaking burgers and fries on top of the school lunch? So many factors and people just think its ok to judge fat people because they are fat.

ftmom's picture
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I see where they are coming from in that having a child so obese 'could' be neglect. But I dont think it should be the only indicator. For example, the 90 lb toddler in the article, was being seen in an obesity clinic, that one would assume her parents were taking her too. This does not seem like neglect to me if you recognize the problem and are just unable (unskilled, knowledgeable....ect) to fix it. I think there would need to be a documented history of parents being informed of the problem, classes in parenting and diet being offered and, especially in the case of teenagers, surprise home visits to check out what is actually in the cupboards and fridge. If the parents are knowledgeable about the effects on their child, are given the tools and choose to not make changes in diet and lifestyle, then it may be necessary to remove these children from the home.

And before people say that these children are in imminent danger and we dont have time for the process, I think it should start sooner. For example, all parents of kids over a certain (and it would need to be really high) BMI need to take x classes with the knowledge that if their child keeps gaining weight he/she could be taken away.

elleon17's picture
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With my previous post stated, I do believe in healthy-home cooked foods.

I'm a traditional cook and make alot of foods based on heritage (which are hearty dishes) and I'm a foodie, so I just enjoy cooking in general. I keep us on a $450 - $500 a month budget for ALL food Breakfast, Lunch & dinner for 2 adults and a toddler(with the exception of 1 breakfast out and 1 dinner out)

We eat fresh meats, fruits, and I buy frozen veggies (because they are frozen at the peak of season).

it can be done, but it really takes planning. I work full-time and inorder to stick to the budget I shop sales and coupon clip. I can see that if you weren't dedicated to it or hated cooking that you wouldn't want to put all the time and effort it takes to eat healthy, homecooked and well. Also, the time it takes to plan the meals ahead, cook ahead so that you are not eating dinner at 8pm.

I'm not excusing Mcdonalds every night for dinner, but from experience it is REALLY hard to try to do it all.

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"Emilys4Guppies" wrote:

Not 'will develop' but 'have developed'. The children who have been removed from their homes HAVE life-threatening conditions as a result of their weight.

Oh, I wasn't clear... I meant some sort of underlying emotional/psychological reason for overeating.

All the kids mentioned in the article no doubt already have serious health problems as a result of their weight.

ftmom's picture
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[QUOTE=elleon17]With my previous post stated, I do believe in healthy-home cooked foods.

I'm a traditional cook and make alot of foods based on heritage (which are hearty dishes) and I'm a foodie, so I just enjoy cooking in general. I keep us on a $450 - $500 a month budget for ALL food Breakfast, Lunch & dinner for 2 adults and a toddler(with the exception of 1 breakfast out and 1 dinner out)

We eat fresh meats, fruits, and I buy frozen veggies (because they are frozen at the peak of season).

it can be done, but it really takes planning. I work full-time and inorder to stick to the budget I shop sales and coupon clip. I can see that if you weren't dedicated to it or hated cooking that you wouldn't want to put all the time and effort it takes to eat healthy, homecooked and well. Also, the time it takes to plan the meals ahead, cook ahead so that you are not eating dinner at 8pm.

I'm not excusing Mcdonalds every night for dinner, but from experience it is REALLY hard to try to do it all.[/QUOTE]

I see it as a time issue (are we really going to fault the mother who works 2 or 3 jobs to keep food on the table and a roof over her kids heads) and an education issue. Most of the really fast meals are not really healthy, but there are things you can do. For example, my grocery store sells roasted chickens. Pair that with a bag salad from produce, some minute rice or even the microwave mashed potatoes and you have a way better, cheaper meal than hitting a fast food, and it doesn't really take more time, and will even feed lunch to my family with the addition of some whole grain bread. Lots of times people see it as eating organic fresh homemade food, or eating fast food. It is not so dichotomous as that, but it takes information and choices to help people see it.

ETA: Oh, and I think I am agreeing with you, just adding my 2 cents:)

elleon17's picture
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I'm wondering if Foster Care is even a viable option. Wouldn't that just cause a traumatic experience (seperation from a parent(s)) and possibly trigger a need for emotional eating to fill the void?

No one is assuming that these parents are not loving or attentive to their children. So without the "abuse" of feeding them bad foods, the child would likely feel loved and cared for, therefore removing them from their home enviroment could cause permanent psychological damage to the child.

I think cooking classes should come back to schools. Teach kids how to cook healthy, yummy foods and maybe they can inspire a new generation with the knowledge and skill of cooking.

elleon17's picture
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"ftmom" wrote:

I see it as a time issue (are we really going to fault the mother who works 2 or 3 jobs to keep food on the table and a roof over her kids heads) and an education issue. Most of the really fast meals are not really healthy, but there are things you can do. For example, my grocery store sells roasted chickens. Pair that with a bag salad from produce, some minute rice or even the microwave mashed potatoes and you have a way better, cheaper meal than hitting a fast food, and it doesn't really take more time, and will even feed lunch to my family with the addition of some whole grain bread. Lots of times people see it as eating organic fresh homemade food, or eating fast food. It is not so dichotomous as that, but it takes information and choices to help people see it.

ETA: Oh, and I think I am agreeing with you, just adding my 2 cents:)

Wink
I agree and think people just need help seeing what's out there. Roasted Chicken is much yummier than a Mcdonald's burger, IMO.

fuchsiasky's picture
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"ange84" wrote:

It's not healthy, but in taking the child away how much will change, yes the child would lose weight in care but unless you did extensive work with the parents on health, nutrition and food preparation reunifcation wouldn't work, you would again end up with an obese child. If you are putting those resources into a family anyway why not do it with the child in the home and let the parents work as a family to help their child and change all their lifestyles. Some, not all, parents don't know how to prepare food properly and turn to take away because in their mind at least their child is fed.

Exactly! The whole family needs to learn to eat healthy, not just the kids.

ClairesMommy's picture
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"elleon17" wrote:

I'm wondering if Foster Care is even a viable option. Wouldn't that just cause a traumatic experience (seperation from a parent(s)) and possibly trigger a need for emotional eating to fill the void?

You make an excellent point. However, I would hope that there's some kind of psychological counselling available to these kids to help them find alternatives to dealing with the trauma by overeating. The weight and health repercussions are, IMO, just one part of the equation. The mental issues are equally at issue, at least that's what I think.

zefroim's picture
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"culturedmom" wrote:

Man I don;t kow what kind of places the poor people you know live, but they seem pretty darn swanky. If you think a family of 4 can grow enough food in a window planter to make that much of a difference then you are one hell of a gardener.

whatever, I'm not arguing which food is cheaper. Y'all think it's cheaper and accessable to eat healthy food in the 'hood. OK.

How are dried beans, rice and frozen veggies not accessible, cheap and healthy? The whole "healthy food is too expensive" is a major excuse.

culturedmom's picture
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"zefroim" wrote:

How are dried beans, rice and frozen veggies not accessible, cheap and healthy? The whole "healthy food is too expensive" is a major excuse.

OK. Again, I refuse to debate this with anyone. You think it is an excuse, then so be it. I agree that individuals need to be accountable for their lot in life and excuses only get you deeper in the hole. But I also have very very strong feelings on the plight of the poor and especially minorities living in the hood and in the barrio and I just cannot sit in my nice house with my organic veggies and free range eggs from my clean and friendly grocery store and point my privileged finger at anyone. I just don't feel like I have the right to tell anyone in a harder situation then me, that they are making excuses, whether they are or not.

OK, I lied about the organic veggies. I don't believe in grocery store organics. Change that to locally grown. Smile

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"zefroim" wrote:

How are dried beans, rice and frozen veggies not accessible, cheap and healthy? The whole "healthy food is too expensive" is a major excuse.

How is rice healthy?

zefroim's picture
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"culturedmom" wrote:

OK. Again, I refuse to debate this with anyone. You think it is an excuse, then so be it. I agree that individuals need to be accountable for their lot in life and excuses only get you deeper in the hole. But I also have very very strong feelings on the plight of the poor and especially minorities living in the hood and in the barrio and I just cannot sit in my nice house with my organic veggies and free range eggs from my clean and friendly grocery store and point my privileged finger at anyone. I just don't feel like I have the right to tell anyone in a harder situation then me, that they are making excuses, whether they are or not.

OK, I lied about the organic veggies. I don't believe in grocery store organics. Change that to locally grown. Smile

I'm not talking about free range chickens and organic produce or locally grown produce. I'm referring to basic choices in your run-of-the-mill crap grocery store. And I'm also not talking about families that may be slightly overweight to overweight because they might eat too many processed, convenience foods because mom and dad are both working their tails off. There is zero reason for a teenager to be 500 lb. poor or not. Hell take all the money spent on food to get that kid to 500 lb and you could probably buy a small organic farm.

zefroim's picture
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"blather" wrote:

How is rice healthy?

Brown rice is a million times healthier than any prepackaged, processed crap. And it's cheaper too!

culturedmom's picture
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"zefroim" wrote:

I'm not talking about free range chickens and organic produce or locally grown produce. I'm referring to basic choices in your run-of-the-mill crap grocery store. And I'm also not talking about families that may be slightly overweight to overweight because they might eat too many processed, convenience foods because mom and dad are both working their tails off. There is zero reason for a teenager to be 500 lb. poor or not. Hell take all the money spent on food to get that kid to 500 lb and you could probably buy a small organic farm.

OK.

b525's picture
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"blather" wrote:

How is rice healthy?

http://articles.sfgate.com/2006-02-15/food/17280422_1_grain-foods-beans-refined-grains

The more we learn about healthy diets, the smarter our ancestors get. They cooked beans and lentils and tofu, not 16-ounce steaks, for protein. They ate dark bread and porridge for breakfast, not sugary cereal.

Long before anyone had ever heard of the glycemic index or government food pyramids, they were putting beans and grains together in some of the most delectable dishes imaginable.

Whole grains appear to protect us against a range of diseases, nutrition researchers say. In the carbohydrate realm, they are the heroes. And dried beans provide the ultimate "protein package," in nutritionist lingo, supplying protein without saturated fat.

Beans lack an essential amino acid that grains have, and vice versa, but the two together provide complete protein -- hence the pairing of rice and beans in many cultures. So it follows that bean-plus-grain dishes deliver a hefty dose of what's good for us, and some remarkably good eating as well.

The kitchens of Italy, Greece, Turkey and the countries of the Middle East are rich sources of these recipes, many based on farro, cracked wheat or bulgur (cracked wheat that has been precooked and dried) mixed with chickpeas, split peas or lentils. Stews, pilafs and soups in these countries often incorporate both beans and whole grains. Turkish bulgur and chickpea pilaf; Tuscan farro and bean soup; and the Lebanese makhlootah, a soup of beans, lentils, chickpeas, bulgur and rice, are just a few of the many happy marriages.

The Mexican table, with its reliance on dried beans and tortillas made from whole corn, also provides inspiration to health-conscious diners. A savory pot of pinto or black beans with a steaming stack of corn tortillas would get high marks from any nutritionist, especially if you replace the traditional lard in the beans with olive oil and serve a salad or cooked greens alongside.

Last year, the USDA's new Dietary Guidelines for Americans included a specific whole grain recommendation for the first time. "Make half your grains whole" is the agency's new catchphrase for consumers; more precisely, the guidelines advise consuming at least 3 ounces of whole grain foods -- such as whole wheat pasta, brown rice or oatmeal -- every day.

elleon17's picture
Joined: 01/26/09
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Absolutely agree with pp! Rice and beans is a complete protein and terribly healthy.

I feed my some several times a week a mixture of sweet potatoes, northern beans & spinach mixed together. He loves it! Its terribly cheap for the amount it makes.

I think it is all in moderation. Pasta is not horrible (plenty of very healthy cultures eat a lot of pasta, rice etc) and it is a very accessible item price wise. Make some tomato sauce ($1 a canx2), puree some frozen veggies ($1 a bag), add some pasta ($1 a box) and you have a meal that feeds 4 adults for $5. and some chicken or lean ground beef and now its only $10.

It can be done and you can have variety, but I DO NOT want to be the food police. I don't want the government getting into my pantry and telling me what I can or cannot have in there or in what amounts because they are trying to protect my child.

Anyone consider that childhood obesity isn't 100% the food, but the lack of physicality in children today? Maybe the government should ban tvs, computers and video games (sarcastically joking of course) so the kids can go outside and play. But then that's dangerous too! Look at the poor kid from Brooklyn and what happened to him when he was walking home.

My grandmother cooked, every day. It wasn't "healthy" foods, but good foods. Pot roast, fried fish, roasts, meat sauce, lasagna, and god forbid bread and butter with every meal! But the kids walked to school, they played sports, they played with the other kids in the neighborhood until the street lights came on. I grew up this way too. I don't think a piece of brown rice or tofu ever came into our kitchen until I was in my 20s.

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"zefroim" wrote:

Brown rice is a million times healthier than any prepackaged, processed crap. And it's cheaper too!

Brown rice is pretty healthy, but I know no one who eats only brown rice irl, other than my family. There's a reason why East Asia has the highest rates of diabetes and stomach cancer in the world, and it's white rice and all that salt in their pickles. White rice has absolutely no nutritional vlue.

ftmom's picture
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"blather" wrote:

Brown rice is pretty healthy, but I know no one who eats only brown rice irl, other than my family. There's a reason why East Asia has the highest rates of diabetes and stomach cancer in the world, and it's white rice and all that salt in their pickles. White rice has absolutely no nutritional vlue.

There is middle ground. We eat parboiled rice which is missing the fiber of brown or wild rice, but keeps most of the nutrients, due to the process of parboiling. It is also quick to cook, 20ish minutes, and is a really yummy, firm rice.

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"elleon17" wrote:

I think cooking classes should come back to schools. Teach kids how to cook healthy, yummy foods and maybe they can inspire a new generation with the knowledge and skill of cooking.

All of our local public and private schools have excellent cooking programs. It's like the old home ec, but now called Family Consumer Science.

I don't think that anyone can logically argue that many healthy foods are extremely cheap. The problem is, they take more work and more knowledge. Many people don't have the time, inclination, or knowledge that it might take to procure and create such cheap yet healthy foods. It is an awful cycle and my heart goes out to kids who grow up in homes where they have no idea what healthy eating even looks like.

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"Potter75" wrote:

I don't think that anyone can logically argue that many healthy foods are extremely cheap. The problem is, they take more work and more knowledge. Many people don't have the time, inclination, or knowledge that it might take to procure and create such cheap yet healthy foods. It is an awful cycle and my heart goes out to kids who grow up in homes where they have no idea what healthy eating even looks like.

I agree with this. Especially in situations like the one described in the article about the mom who worked several jobs and admittedly eats fast food because it is easier. In many of those situations it is a matter of recognizing that healthy eating (and budgeting funds) is important. It is not that hard to make solidly "ok" meals that are cheap (forget about being all organic and fancy). Educating parents is so vital.

I'm working tonight and for the next 5, my DH has been putting in 14 hours days for the past few weeks, we are in the midst of moving - take-out would be easier. But, I'm making a big pot of spaghetti while I've got time to cover the next two nights. I've got a cheap, filling, kid-friendly dinner that is reasonably healthy... and costs a whole lot less than dinner at McD's.

That mom could probably almost quit one of her jobs for what she would save by cooking cheaply and buckling down on portion control (which is undoubtedly a problem too).

momW's picture
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"Potter75" wrote:

All of our local public and private schools have excellent cooking programs. It's like the old home ec, but now called Family Consumer Science.

One of the programs we have been trying to get funding for at a local pregnancy center in town is for nutritional classes for the teen moms. Our school system makes the old home ec classes optional in high school and does not offer them anymore in junior high. We were told that they had to cut the budget somewhere. Yeah, something every single child will eventually need to know about, uh huh, cut that. :rolleyes: We're still working on it though!

I'm an FCS major, so I find nutrition not only important but incredibly interesting.

Starryblue702's picture
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I think this is a fabulous idea. I get so peed off when I see children that are overweight. I don't understand why more people don't see this as a form of child abuse. Why would they allow their children to just stuff their face with whatever they want to eat, only to end up unhealthy, getting picked on at school, not being able to find clothes that fit, developing social fears and insecurities? I swear this topic makes me livid... I say absolutely take the children away.

Minx_Kristi's picture
Joined: 01/02/09
Posts: 1261

I think this is ridiculous! What good would it do??

Yes, kids are OW and it's sad, BUT I'm sure not all parents are feeders. A LOT of kids refuse to eat anything remotely healthy so sometimes it's a case of 'as long as they're eating something!'

How can anyone judge someone because of the weight of their child? If the kid was underweight then people would have something to say about that too! Again, some kids just don't eat much - my daughter included. Luckily she is still healthy, BUT, I understand the frustration of trying to get her to eat well.

Teenagers should know better. They can make choices of what they eat, they don't have to put the food in their mouths.

My niece is autistic, 16 and overweight. My sister does not feed her junk all day, everyday. When she was still in school, my sister would give her money for lunch and she would choose to get unhealthy food. See, she doesn't understand either.... she thinks if she has a McDs for lunch and then an apple afterwards, she's being healthy. Okay, I am going off track. What I am trying to say is that sometimes there are reasons behind the weight of a child.... it's not just because the parent is feeding them constant rubbish.

I know my niece would not benefit from being taken into care!

xx

elleon17's picture
Joined: 01/26/09
Posts: 1981

"Starryblue702" wrote:

I think this is a fabulous idea. I get so peed off when I see children that are overweight. I don't understand why more people don't see this as a form of child abuse. Why would they allow their children to just stuff their face with whatever they want to eat, only to end up unhealthy, getting picked on at school, not being able to find clothes that fit, developing social fears and insecurities? I swear this topic makes me livid... I say absolutely take the children away.

How on earth is it a fabulous idea? Even if you think that OW children is indiciative of child abuse, wouldn't taking them from their families at least be tragic?

Being OW is not the only thing that kids are made fun of for. What about wearing glasses? or being too skinny? or being tall? or having a name that is unconventional? There is no safe guard for kids against being teased. I was none of these and skill got teased and sent home crying almost every day for a year in school.

Ok, yes being OW is unhealthy, but being skinny doesn't mean you are healthy either. Should we test ALL children to see if their nutritional needs are being met and those who eat cocoa puffs, cookies, and hot dogs (OW or not) and send them all away?

Ok, take all the kids away if they don't fit into a social norm and lets see what horrible psychological toll it takes on these children to be pulled from the families that love them and placed into the 'wonderful' and 'non-permanent' world of foster care.

culturedmom's picture
Joined: 09/30/06
Posts: 1131

I agree the word "fabulous" was the wrong choice of words, IMO.

I can see how it would be a neglect issue for morbidly obese children. But I really feel it needs to be based solely on the idea of neglect. Neglect assumes in the definition some sort of ill intent. For instance, it is hard to argue that you didn't know a child needed to eat. So starving a child and not providing food would be very hard to argue ignorance or anything other then neglect. However, I don't know of any cases where kids are taken away from parents for not eating healthy because I would guess that though it's common knowledge people need ot eat, what to eat is a whole other issue.

So unless one can prove that the parents are feeding the child for the purpose of making the unhealthy, it would be hard for me to agree with taking away obese children from their parents and placing them with strangers. It would have to be a very extreme case. And I definitely would not see it in any way as fabulous.

ETA: and I agree that the argument of being picked on is not and should not be part of the discussion. yes, fat kids get picked on. So do poor kids, kid with gay parents, kids who don;t wear expensive clothes, kids who are disabled, etc.

Joined: 06/04/07
Posts: 1368

"Minx_Kristi" wrote:

I think this is ridiculous! What good would it do??

Yes, kids are OW and it's sad, BUT I'm sure not all parents are feeders. A LOT of kids refuse to eat anything remotely healthy so sometimes it's a case of 'as long as they're eating something!'

How can anyone judge someone because of the weight of their child? If the kid was underweight then people would have something to say about that too! Again, some kids just don't eat much - my daughter included. Luckily she is still healthy, BUT, I understand the frustration of trying to get her to eat well.

Teenagers should know better. They can make choices of what they eat, they don't have to put the food in their mouths.

My niece is autistic, 16 and overweight. My sister does not feed her junk all day, everyday. When she was still in school, my sister would give her money for lunch and she would choose to get unhealthy food. See, she doesn't understand either.... she thinks if she has a McDs for lunch and then an apple afterwards, she's being healthy. Okay, I am going off track. What I am trying to say is that sometimes there are reasons behind the weight of a child.... it's not just because the parent is feeding them constant rubbish.

I know my niece would not benefit from being taken into care!

xx

I agree with this. Doctors can't even say parents are solely responsible for what their kids eat. It's ridiculous how some public schools (seventh grade on up) allow fast food restaurants to come to the schools and sell their products yet the schools flat out refuse to give parental control on what their child's food choices are limited to when the parents pay into their child's lunch account. But when they're eligible for the lunch program, their choices are limited. So when the child's lunch account gets completely depleted from eating unhealthy, expensive fast food and the parents either can't afford or refuse to put more in the account for their child until their next budgeted payment, the school frowns upon the parents because they don't understand that the child chooses not to bring a cold lunch.

I absolutely don't agree with automatically putting a child into the foster care system if they are found to be morbidly obese. They should be investigating exactly what the child's eating habits and exercise regime includes before automatically assuming it's the parent to blame. And if changes need to occur, a plan should be developed and the family should follow the plan. At that time, they should be made aware (child included) that if they refuse to cooperate with the plan, the child is at risk of being placed into foster care. I think that would be more of a wake up call and willingness to make changes with the goal of being healthier and their family remaining intact.

Joined: 12/10/05
Posts: 1681

"culturedmom" wrote:

I agree the word "fabulous" was the wrong choice of words, IMO.

I can see how it would be a neglect issue for morbidly obese children. But I really feel it needs to be based solely on the idea of neglect. Neglect assumes in the definition some sort of ill intent. For instance, it is hard to argue that you didn't know a child needed to eat. So starving a child and not providing food would be very hard to argue ignorance or anything other then neglect. However, I don't know of any cases where kids are taken away from parents for not eating healthy because I would guess that though it's common knowledge people need ot eat, what to eat is a whole other issue.

So unless one can prove that the parents are feeding the child for the purpose of making the unhealthy, it would be hard for me to agree with taking away obese children from their parents and placing them with strangers. It would have to be a very extreme case. And I definitely would not see it in any way as fabulous.

ETA: and I agree that the argument of being picked on is not and should not be part of the discussion. yes, fat kids get picked on. So do poor kids, kid with gay parents, kids who don;t wear expensive clothes, kids who are disabled, etc.

I disagree with the bolded. I work on a mat/peds unit. I've seen some parents who love their children desperately, but are horrible, neglectful, unfit parents. They may have the best intentions, but are failing their child and those children deserve more than good intentions.

culturedmom's picture
Joined: 09/30/06
Posts: 1131

"kris_w" wrote:

I disagree with the bolded. I work on a mat/peds unit. I've seen some parents who love their children desperately, but are horrible, neglectful, unfit parents. They may have the best intentions, but are failing their child and those children deserve more than good intentions.

Well, I didn't imply that kids only need good intentions and love. Obviously that is not the case. However, intentions and knowledge play a huge role in the how DCF handles cases with families. And I cannot imagine any official taking children away from good families because they are ignorant on nutrition and only have the best of intentions for their kids....in this issue.

mom3girls's picture
Joined: 01/09/07
Posts: 1537

If there was an adequate number of quality foster care homes available then this may be a good idea after all other measures have been exhausted. But the reality of it is that there is just not. Weight loss, at least permanent weight loss, is such a complex issue that I dont believe that temporary foster care will fix it.
I do believe that these parents need help, in the form of education, or somebody planning and executing meal plans with them. I dont know if all parents would be willing to put the effort into making their kids follow a healthy eating plan, if not then there may be a case made for foster care.

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

I'm sure I'm going to get crucified for this, but honestly I can't see a 550 child in a "good" family (barring some sort of proven medical issue which is creating the extreme situation).

A "good" family would have taken the necessary measures to help this child (a 14 year old is a child) get things under control. 550 LBS. 550. That is not even remotely okay. A situation like this goes way, WAY beyond being ignorant about nutrition.

momW's picture
Joined: 09/29/09
Posts: 5634

"Potter75" wrote:

I'm sure I'm going to get crucified for this, but honestly I can't see a 550 child in a "good" family (barring some sort of proven medical issue which is creating the extreme situation).

A "good" family would have taken the necessary measures to help this child (a 14 year old is a child) get things under control. 550 LBS. 550. That is not even remotely okay. A situation like this goes way, WAY beyond being ignorant about nutrition.

See, I agree with that. We're not talking about overweight, we're talking about SEVERELY OBESE. This is a life threatening situation, not just some extra weight!

Joined: 12/10/05
Posts: 1681

"culturedmom" wrote:

Well, I didn't imply that kids only need good intentions and love. Obviously that is not the case. However, intentions and knowledge play a huge role in the how DCF handles cases with families. And I cannot imagine any official taking children away from good families because they are ignorant on nutrition and only have the best of intentions for their kids....in this issue.

Come on... You think these parents honestly don't know that being 500lbs is a problem? Or 90lb 3 year old? Everyone knows what being "too fat" is. I mean, we aren't talking about a kid who is a little chubby and needs to eat a few more fruits and a few less carbs.

I don't think they would be taking kids away from "good" families. I think they would be taking sick kids away from neglectful (albeit possibly well intentioned) parents. And yes, hopefully while the kid is in foster care they parents would be attending nutrition and parenting (ie how to say "no") classes.

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