Child obesity: whose fault is it?
Writing about web page http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/6402113.stm
Several weeks ago 8-year-old Connor McCreaddie hit the headlines as a result of his excessive weight: he weighs over 14 stone AFTER having recently lost some weight and social services were threatening to remove him from the care of his mother, Nicola McKeown.
In her defence Ms McKeown said, “He refuses to eat fruit, vegetables and salads – he has processed foods. When Connor won’t eat anything else, I’ve got to give him the foods he likes. I can’t starve him.”
Brian Dow, from the School Food Trust, said, “Of course there’s an element of parental responsibility here, but it’s hard for a child to go out of the school gates now without being bombarded by messages about the wrong kinds of food. We also have an awful lot of peer pressure as well. I think what you see there is a child who’s probably addicted to the kinds of food that are making him obese.”
So, whose responsibility is it? Should his mother force him to eat healthily, or should he get to eat what he wants? Does Ms McKeown’s treatment of her son constitute maltreatment in any way? Is it worthy of him being removed from her care? Should we pile the blame on the adverts that ‘bombard’ us so frequently nowadays, or are they just a far-too-easy scapegoat?