One of the chapters in my book Choices for College Success (Pearson, 2011) provides a broad view of the six dimensions of life (social, occupational, spiritual, physical, intellectual, and emotional). Titled “Treating Yourself with Respect,” its premise is that we have to care for all aspects of our being for a balanced life. When we discuss this chapter in class, part of our discussion addresses nutrition, exercise, and general physical fitness. Pretty basic stuff–at least for some of us. We spend some time looking at dietary labels and nutrition numbers for some typical fast food menu items. We also look at a couple of video clips concerning obesity; one of which addresses childhood obesity. Invariably, my students shake their heads, let go with a “tsk-tsk-tsk,” and generally agree that this epidemic in our country is costly in dollars, lost potential, and lives. Yes, there may be medical and pharmaceutical reasons for obesity, but in so many cases it appears to be a case of too many calories in and not enough time on the treadmill. The students are almost all of one mind on this conclusion.
Video recommendation for the week:
A look at obesity and one approach to deal with its consequences.
The last few semesters I have posed this situation to my classes: If a child is obese, should the parent be arrested for child abuse?
Whoa! Does that get them talking! The responses are all over the road. From “You bet! The parents definitely negligent.” To: “That is no business of the government!”
Last week, an article titled “Should Parents Lose Custody of Super Obese Kids?” (by Lindsey Tanner http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_MED_OBESE_KIDS_CUSTODY?SITE=KYB66&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT), reported that the Journal of the American Medical Association said “putting children temporarily in foster care is in some cases more ethical than obesity surgery.”
(You may find this video clip of interest as well.http://youtu.be/bSj9d1P72sc While it is not connected to the news article, it is connected to the topic.)
So the questions this week are:
- · Is this (taking an obese child from his/her parents) appropriate or would this be considered government overreach?
- · Is this (obesity) any different than any situation in which a child is neglected or abused?
- · Or more simply, if a child is obese should the parent be held accountable? If so, how? If not, why not?
[Thank you for taking the time to read my blog post. Please pass it (and any of the archived posts on this site) along to friends and colleagues. You can also follow me on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. If you get a chance, visit my Facebook page and click on the “LIKE” button. Also, if you have suggestions for future posts, leave a comment. Have a wonderful week!]
© 2011. Steve Piscitelli and Steve Piscitelli’s Blog.