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Is having overweight kids child abuse?

(1001 Posts)
Mummyme1987 Mon 28-Mar-16 11:52:04

A friend posted on Fb that parents with fat kids are child abusers. Except for kids with medical problems. It started with comments on how it's awful that there's a generous fit section in clothes shops. I'm shocked that people think this. I think the majority of parents don't just feed their kids crap, and some kids are bigger than others, and unless it is a very extreme case it's not child abuse. Thoughts?

Mummyme1987 Mon 28-Mar-16 11:54:44

For fairness I will say I have 3 kids, one was skinny as anything until she left school, one chubby but then grew very tall and lost it, other medical problems with genetic illness and mess that cause weight gain. All ate same food.

Mummyme1987 Mon 28-Mar-16 11:56:19

Dd that should say one very chubby with meds that cause weight gain.

boopsy Mon 28-Mar-16 11:57:57

Not abuse but maybe bad parenting if u notice weight gain and don't sort it before it becomes a problem. Medical issues aside parents control their children's diet so ate responsible if they are overweight

ilovevegcrisps Mon 28-Mar-16 11:58:45

It does make me feel sad to be honest when I see fat kids. I don't mean children who are a tiny bit chubby but really overweight children is a shame.

ovaryhill Mon 28-Mar-16 11:59:37

I agreed that having a very fat child is abuse, there's no excuse for feeding your kids rubbish and setting them up for a lifetime of ill health, misery and bullying
Lack of money is no excuse either, a few vegetables for soup and some wholemeal bread is cheaper than burgers and chips and a bag of oats is cheaper and lasts longer than chocolate cereal

GreatFuckability Mon 28-Mar-16 11:59:48

My youngest is on the chubby side, not massively so, but noticeable next to ger extremely skinny siblings. Am I only abusing that child? They eat much the same food!

Mummyme1987 Mon 28-Mar-16 12:00:59

It not great parenting and it's not ideal but to be branded a child abuser I think is a step too far. Maybe I'm sensitive as I'm thinking maybe people are thinking this about me, without knowing anything about her medical things. I was shocked to be honest.

ovaryhill Mon 28-Mar-16 12:01:59

I speak as someone who's mother used to add two teaspoons of sugar to a ski yoghurt and would butter fried bread

curren Mon 28-Mar-16 12:01:59

I think it can be abuse. It can be neglect.

Some people can be helped to make better choices for their kids, they need help and aren't bad people.

Some just don't care.

Mummyme1987 Mon 28-Mar-16 12:05:39

If don't fry foods, I don't buy biscuits, sweets or chocolate, crisps or do puddings at home, ( mostly as I would eat them!). I serve loads of veg with their meals, still one was chubbier, one was skinny. I didn't know what the ate at school but same food at home.

ovaryhill Mon 28-Mar-16 12:08:09

I'm not talking about a wee bit of puppy fat, I mean obese kids, I'm thinking of one in particularly a know who used to be allowed to eat three magnums at a time aged eight and now as a teen is colossal
Her parents are morbidly obese so you would think they would do everything in their power to avoid inflicting that misery on their child

Arfarfanarf Mon 28-Mar-16 12:09:12

I think it could reasonably be considered to be neglectful of the implications of obesity on their physical and emotional health.

But people get extremely aggressive on this issue.
It wont matter if the statement excludes medical condition people still leap on 'what about medical conditions'. And others get very angry because they feel defensive or critisised.
I have one healthy sized child and one overweight one. Both have asd and food issues that present differently. I try and try and try but it's still my failure that i havent been able to successfully address it. It's easy to get defensive but its the wrong thing to do because if you put barriers up you may miss out of support that might make a difference.

escapedfrommordor Mon 28-Mar-16 12:09:17

If I'm honest I think it's negligent to their health. Unless they have a medical condition or a disability that really restricts their activity, they're overweight because they're eating too much.
I have a "bigger" child but by big I mean he's got huge feet and he's 98th percentile for his height but he's slim. If I'm totally honest I'd be embarrassed if my child was really overweight because it reflects on the parent.

Mummyme1987 Mon 28-Mar-16 12:14:30

My chubby one is now inches taller than me and the tallest girl in her year and the year above with size 9 feet! Have to buy adult clothes as she also has child bearing hips. Still growing too.

WorraLiberty Mon 28-Mar-16 12:15:21

I think it's neglect.

Even with a poor diet, most kids who get enough exercise will not be hugely overweight or obese.

I live in one of the UK's poorest boroughs and it has a huge obesity problem, for both kids and adults.

Yet whenever I've gone to one of my DC's sports tournaments...involving around 120/160 children, you'd be very hard pushed to see a single overweight child. Because these children are very active.

You'll see loads of overweight parents and grandparents though.

Buzzardbird Mon 28-Mar-16 12:15:42

What is the AIBU? I don't know whether to say you are, or you are not. grin

NeedACleverNN Mon 28-Mar-16 12:17:35

I think yes and no.

If a parent makes poor diet choices to the point where a child is severely over weight and it has an impact on their life then yes it is very neglectful.

If a child is just a bit over weight where they are growing and are otherwise healthy and active then no it's fine.

There is a woman round here who has her child in a stroller. He is at least 5 years old and is as round as he is tall. She is not exactly small herself either.

I haven't passed judgement though as I'm not totally sure if the child is SEN or not. He still has a babies bottle to drink juice from.

Mummyme1987 Mon 28-Mar-16 12:18:47

I'm always reasonable buzzard! Lol

Thornrose Mon 28-Mar-16 12:20:09

My dd was always very slim until she started taking medication for depression and other issues. Prior to this she had no interest in food, little appetite and was very fussy.

She developed a ferocious appetite and has become quite obsessed with food. She has also become an emotional eater as she has nothing else in her life that gives her pleasure currently.

Her weight gain has been so fast and it is really hard to manage. She also has AS.

I do feel guilty, she's not obese but she isn't a healthy weight currently. She won't exercise, she's 16, I can't force her.

I need to change her diet, it's my responsibility but I'm struggling. I guess the answer is it's not always abuse.

WorraLiberty Mon 28-Mar-16 12:21:03

The thing is, when people say they have one child that's overweight but they all eat the same, obviously it means the overweight child either shouldn't be eating the same/same amount or they should be taking a lot more exercise than their siblings.

But it would be cruel to feed them differently/less than their siblings, so for me it would be a case of more exercise for all the kids.

Mummyme1987 Mon 28-Mar-16 12:21:56

Maybe people judge without knowing the background far too much. My daughter couldn't walk at 4, or talk. So many people stopped me in the street and said things like she's far to old to be in a pushchair.

ReallyTired Mon 28-Mar-16 12:23:13

I think that social services have bigger concerns than going after billy bunter's mother. You do realise that there aren't enough social workers to investigate all the allegations of serious child abuse.

Rather than screaming child abuse why not look at ways of supporting people.

UmbongoUnchained Mon 28-Mar-16 12:24:01

I appreciate that weight gain can creep up but yes it's very neglectful. There's no reason for a child to be overweight excluding medical conditions where they can't exercise. But even medications that cause weight gain aren't always an excuse. I was on a medication that caused weight gain as a child so my parents made sure I was always active and ate a healthy diet.

Muskateersmummy Mon 28-Mar-16 12:24:24

I agree with both curren and worrel. A chubby child is one thing but seriously over weight with no medical issues, yes that's neglectful.

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