Reality check

I’m sure everybody has read or at least heard about the new article in the AMA Journal that hit today.

Here’s my response (behind the cut for triggers — discussion of abuse):

Before we take obese children away from their parents (just because they are obese), let’s actually get the children who are being physically abused out of their dangerous situations and into safe (foster or adoptive) homes. Let’s spend the money to have enough case workers in every city and county to make sure the at risk children (children who have actual signs of being really abused — like bruises, excessive broken bones, burns, etc) have the resources they need. Let’s identify the children who are being sexually abused and get them away from the creeps that call themselves “fathers” or “mothers”. And let’s get the children who are emotionally abused into safe loving families as well.

Let’s also spend enough money to have the resources so that all children who have truly been abused (and being obese does NOT equal child abuse by any stretch of the imagination) can have psychiatric care, competent councilors who can help them with the emotional problems that is an effect of abuse. Let’s make sure to figure out how to effectively treat PTSD, DID, Panic Disorder, Severe Depression, Suicidal Ideation, and all other consequences of abuse, so the children can be effectively helped.

Once we’ve done all that, when no more children are being abused, and those who have been are in effective treatment and in loving homes, then, AND ONLY THEN, should we give any type of thoughts about taking kids away from loving parents who’s only “crime” is that their kids are fat — for whatever reason!

Really? There are way too many ways parents are getting away with murdering their kids (literally) for anybody with any brains to seriously think we should add more work to an already overburdened system. Protect the kids who are truly being abused. Leave the fat kids alone (unless there are real signs of abuse in them, like the above mentioned bruises or broken bones or burns or other signals).

For the record: I am a survivor of long term physical, emotional, and sexual abuse when I was a kid. One of the ways my parents abused me was to STARVE me. Most parents who are abusive or neglectful AREN’T overfeeding their kids.

Seriously. There is no “obesity epidemic”. It’s been manufactured and propigated by the damn diet industry. If you look at the credentials of the idiots who wrote that article, it includes “Optimal Weight for Life Program” as one of their associations. Basically, a DIET program. Also, he states things that the American Diabetes Association debunks in their “Myths about Diabetes” page (namely, that being fat means you will get diabetes).

The government, federal, state, and local, don’t have enough money to make sure that children who are really being abused obtain the help they need.  If they do this hairbrained scheme, then children in real danger are going to continue being in extremely bad situations as resources are diverted to a modern day witch hunt.  Is this a wise use of our (the taxpayers) money?

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8 Responses

  1. I am shocked that someone would actually believe that taking a child away from their home, simply because they’re fat, is anything other than persecution. Because of the way they look. It’s unbelievable.

    And, seriously what’s more abusive, a parent who’s fat or a person who says “you’re completely unacceptable and wrong as you are; change to be something that suits me more.”

    What it mockery it makes of all those children who are actually in need of help.

  2. Plus let’s not forget that the foster care system is so overloaded already that there are a scary number of incidents on record of foster parents continuing – or even stepping up – the level of abuse the children suffer.

    I realize and appreciate that the vast majority of foster parents are decent people doing their best for kids coming from horrible backgrounds, but with so many children needing help, and so many case workers overburdened to the point where they cannot adequately observe every family they’re responsible for, a few monsters do slip through the cracks. There are people who do it for the money and don’t spend that money on taking care of the kids they’ve accepted responsibility for.

    What the system needs is better funding and more case workers to oversee how the foster parents are treating the children, AND better support for foster parents to do a good job. Precisely what it doesn’t need is more children ripped from loving homes and instructions to be abused in foster care.

    Putting aside for the moment that this idea simply isn’t going to work in the vast majority of fat kids, even in an ideal system, because genetics will out, and even putting aside for the moment the fact that there is no ‘obesity epidemic’ at all, how is this in any way a practical idea? There aren’t enough foster parents to go around as it is. There aren’t enough case workers to support those too few foster parents right now. The funding isn’t there to burden the already overloaded system further.

    And you know what that means? More. Broken. Kids.

    • I completely agree with you, although I wasn’t going to directly address how the system itself is broken.

      There’s not enough money to deal with the children already in the system, to give all of them the help they need. Then they are going to add to an already overburdened system children who are not necessarily being abused?

      Um. No.

      • And then there are the people who try to keep perfectly loving couples who just are same-sex and single people out of the system of adoption…

  3. quote: “Most parents who are abusive or neglectful AREN’T overfeeding their kids.”

    Thanks for speaking up, and thanks and kuddos for sharing your own abuse. That being said please don’t erase other people experiences like that. just to make a point. Some abusive parents overfeed they’re kids. You have no way to know what most do.

    • “That word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

      “Most” does not equal “all”. “Some” (the word you used) does not equal “most”.

      By saying that most people don’t whatever, that doesn’t erase the fact that SOME people do. By saying MOST, that really does imply there are SOME, right?

      Really? You’re going to come to a blog you’ve never posted on since I’ve began posting just to try and chastise me about “most” v. “some”?

      You have no idea how much research I may (or may not) have done on what is more prevalent in abuse cases, starvation or feeding. Your assertion that I have no way to know what most do is faulty, since you start on the assumption that I’m erasing people’s experiences. You know, unless you’ve figured a way to follow me into libraries and infected my computer with spyware so you can track me online, you really have no idea what I can possibly know or not know. (And if you have infected my computer with spyware, I hope you’ve been having fun with some of the sites I’ve recently gone to.)

      Oh, if you are going to chastise me, please do it with correct English. “Some abusive parents overfeed THEIR kids.” They’re is a contraction for “they are”, while “their” is the possessive and therefor the correct choice in this case.

      • I am sorry you are taking it this way, it was not my intention. I know it is an emotional subject for everyone. I did not mean to chastise you. In fact I did command you for your courage and thank you.

        You cannot know what most abusive parents do because in most of the world this data just does not exist. I honestly don’t know if it even exist in the U.S.

        Your point here is that it is ridiculous to say that parent who overfeed their kids are abusive because it is highly improbable. That is damaging to someone who is trying to come to term to his or her own abuse.

        That doesn’t make you a horrible person. I still enjoy your blog !

        oh and English is not my first language.I do what I can which is pretty darn good most of the time, but I do get emotional around these issues. I assure you that I am educated though, and do not need grammar lessons !! Checking your privilege there my be a good idea.

        • I apologize for my assumption of English being your first language. You write so well, that you appear to be a native English speaker.

          The problem with a written forum is that we don’t know more about other people than what is put before us. You have more information about me than I have about you (since I have almost 3 years of posts and you have these two, responses). Therefor, I have only what I can see.

          Do I come at the world in at US-centric viewpoint? Yes, I do, and I have never hidden that. I am a US citizen. For better or for worse, US English is my only language. While I do my best to be sensitive to people from other places, I am still a US citizen. And when I’m talking about specifically US things (in my mind, as the guy who authored this article is a US citizen, talking about other US citizens, and the magazine that published it is a US publication), I’m going to be US-centric in my viewpoints and in what I say. If that’s privilege, I don’t know how I’m ever going to be able to change it, as that is my world.

          The thing that really set me off was how, right after you gave me kudos, you stated, “however”. In my world, in my reality, when a person says “however” in that manner, that really means “the former doesn’t really matter, it’s the latter that is important. The former is there just to soften the latter.” There was a book written once that defined it using “but” as an acronym which stood for “Behold the Underlying Truth”. “However”, used in that manner, is the same as “but”.

          Since what you wrote after the “however” seemed to take away from the compliment, yeah, you touched a nerve.

          And actually, the point I was making was that we (the US child protection system) don’t have the money or manpower necessary to take care of kids who are beaten, cut, burned, almost murdered daily. We don’t have the money or manpower to get them into places that are not toxic to them, that are supportive of their healing, nor do we have the money or manpower to get even just the physically abused children into good counseling to help them deal with the issues they have from being so abused. Much less identifying and helping the children who are being sexually abused. Much less identifying and helping the children who are being emotionally abused. And this jerk is wanting to take kids away from their parents because the *only* sign of abuse is that they are obese? We (the US child protection system) just don’t have the resources for it, and I was trying to point that out. If it did not come across, then I apologize.

          My secondary point (which still does not erase the experiences of those whose parents did overfeed as a way of abuse) is that just because a child is obese, that does not mean a child is being abused. This assertion in no way erases the experiences of any child who is or was overfed in abuse. It is, however, countering the assumption in the original article that obese children DOES mean the child is being abused, based SOLELY on the fact the child is obese.

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