The British Medical Association is soon to debate whether child obesity can be seen as a form of abuse. This comes following a rise in protection orders placed on children who are obese.
Do parents have a responsibility for the health of their children? Of course they do. But this must be weighed next to the growing influence, on children, of advertising and lifestyle issues.
When burgers are thrust into the face from images all around them – when peer pressure increases this influences dramatically – the time comes when parental authority is bound to wane, suggesting a touch of scapegoating in the above debate.
This said, I think we should have a crime of obesity child abuse. After all, we have corporate manslaughter now, so why not curb the food industry in the same way. The crime of ‘burger pushing’ comes to mind.
© Anthony North, Jun 2007
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