Is Child Obesity a Reflection of Parental Negligence?
The growing number of child obesity cases is quite alarming and intriguing. Studies have covered the factors, causes, and effects of the epidemic. Most of them have directly and indirectly stated and concluded the main reason for the problem: parental negligence. Is child obesity a reflection of parental negligence? According to the World Health Organization, “in making healthy foods and beverages available at home and in providing, supporting and encouraging opportunities for physical activity, parents can influence their children’s behavior. Simultaneously parents are advised to live and promote a healthy lifestyle because children’s behavior is often shaped by observation and adaptation.” The importance of guidance, advice, suggestion, and constant monitoring of parents to their children should not only be limited to education, finance, values, and behavior. Parents tend to forget the most basic and important factor that needs proper attention: health. In today’s generation, there are obvious factors that cause parental negligence, and parents should be able to admit it and do something about it.
One important factor is the time-management of the parents. They work so hard to earn for the benefit of the whole family, and that is given. Parents manage everything from the biggest to the smallest decision inside their household. Parents are trying to do their best in everything, but they are not perfect. They give attention but they lack in supervision, and these two things differ a lot and should both be done accordingly. “Examples of neglect include a parent not showing enough affection to the child due to preoccupation with his/her own problems, not taking a child to the doctor when he/she needed it, and leaving a child at home without the proper supervision” (Temple University).
Parents are complacent and in denial. Most parents display a wide smile in their faces every time they witness how fast their kids eat, and how specific foods give them a happy vibe seems like more than enough for them as parents, but it’s faulty behavior and needs to be corrected. Parents should never think of how much food they can give but instead of what the proper foods their child should eat. The child’s eating habits must be well-monitored by the parents to reduce the possible negative effects of complacent parenting. According to Olga Khazan, “a recent meta-analysis published in Pediatrics found that two-thirds of parents underestimate the BMIs of their children, especially when their children are overweight or obese.” They’re in denial. To make matters worse, parents think that an obese child is cute and adorable.
One small thing can grow bigger without proper action. I strongly believe that every little thing starts at home, and parents are the ones to be held responsible for the actions and situations of their children. Poor time-management and complacent parenting are solid proofs that parental negligence is the most convincing reason and the clearest reflection of obesity in children. Other contributing factors are possible, but they are not highly accountable.
Khazan, Olga. “Can Your Family Make You Obese?” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 12 Feb. 2014, https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/02/can-your-family-make-you-obese/283757/.
Temple University. “Higher Risk of Obesity for Children Neglected by Parents.” ScienceDaily, 16 Nov. 2007, http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071113100319.htm.
World Health Organization. “The Role of Parents.” World Health Organization, 6 Mar. 2015, https://www.who.int/dietphysicalactivity/childhood_parents/en/.
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