Childhood Obesity and the Government

State intervention in removing obese children from their homes seems to me to completely miss the point of the problem of childhood obesity.

What is it with the ‘experts’ in this country comprised of people completely incapable of looking past the symptoms, to the cause of the symptoms? Much of this obesity, as noted by the numerous comments from struggling parents, is that they were working so hard to make a living that they either hadn’t the time to make healthy dinner, or hadn’t the money to buy healthy food, or both. So they were forced by urban desertification and working multiple jobs to rely on fast food as a staple.

Where is the responsibility of the businesses in these neighborhoods which often sport a plethora of liquor, cigarette, and fast food joints, and not a single grocery store? Where is the responsibility of the government to provide programs that will allow these families alternatives to working unrealistic hours and feeding their families with garbage?

I am not Republican, but there are ways in which I agree with the original tenet of Republicans in terms of laissez fair government. In my opinion, removal of kids from their families will effectively punish them all for being poor, and in this I believe the government has no business. This would be a completely inappropriate use of government regulation, targeting the weakest link: the struggling families, when the cause of their struggle is higher up the power chain and therefore more difficult to challenge. If the health experts and the government wants to help these kids, give their parents back their unemployment, or help them get decent jobs that realistically support an average family, or help them get a grocery store on the corner walking distance from their homes, instead of a McDonalds!

There seems to be a shift in our consciousness, a decline following the New Deal in which symptoms like obesity, unemployment, poverty, and homelessness are seen as wholly the responsibility of individual citizens and indeed, the more powerless and vulnerable of those citizens. There is no longer any responsibility taken at all for the factors contributed by poor government policy decisions and requirements laid on these individuals, or a nation’s collective failing to act with shared responsibility for the poor and sick, and for finding solutions that cause the least harm to all involved. Instead, the solution put forth here, removing children from their homes because their parents can’t keep the childens’ weight down, respresents an expedient and immediately visible political decision that will cause great harm to the people whose wallets aren’t as loud. Decisions like putting obese kids in foster care seems to me to be grandstanding to appear to solve a problem, to ‘show progress’ on an issue rather than actually solving the ‘lifestyle’ problem for real, by connecting the frequent and also well-documented link between poverty and obesity.


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