Responsibility 199, what is it?

Responsibility 199 is a belief; I believe that to be healthy and to increase my longevity I need to weigh 199 pounds or less...
Responsibility 199 is a need; I need to reduce my weight, reduce my percentage of body fat, and the elevated threat of disease my present condition presents...
Responsibility 199 is a mission; I recognize that achieving 199 will be a challenge, perhaps the hardest I have ever undertaken...
Responsibility 199 is a commitment; I acknowledge that I must commit to action, commit to change, commit to myself and those I love to achieve this mission, to increase my longevity...
Responsibility 199 is ME.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Day 115 - Happy Meal Hornets

Is feeding kids fast food child abuse? Is over feeding kids abuse?

Good morning everyone, some heavy questions huh. I suppose you could say my day started out heavy, at least mentally. On the drive into work I heard a radio commentary where consideration ought to be given to legislating that smoking around kids is a form of child abuse. Now, let's hit the brakes for a moment. It is not my intent to debate smoking as a topic. Certainly if you'd like we can dabble in that direction, go for it. However hearing this commentary gave me cause to wonder similarly about how we feed our kids.

Let me spit ball some thoughts at this blog page, I used to be the champion spit-baller in the 3rd grade, you've been warned.

Parents/Guardians are responsible for feeding their kids...

Not everyone is in an economic situation which allows them to feed their kids perfectly balanced/portioned meals daily...

So is it ok for those with less economic means to feed their kids lesser food while holding those with greater economic means to a different standard of care for feeding their kids?...

Not everyone accepts the notion that fast food is as absolutely unhealthy as many would have us think...

Fast food is unhealthy, my opinion, there just is no way to consider the core menus of the most popular fast food joints as healthy; but some do try...

Leave Ronald McDonald's clown alone, he is not a pusher akin to the dope dealer, is he?...

Abuse is to treat in a harmful, injurious, or offensive way according to the dictionary...

But legally, what constitutes abuse?...

How can feeding your kids be considered abuse?...

Feeding your kids is smart, feeding them well balanced/portioned meals is preferred...

Feeding your kids fast food is certainly choosing to feed them lesser quality of food, but isn't it just that, a lesser choice made?...

Over feeding kids into obesity, say 6,781 calories a day diet; is that abuse?...

If not that amount, what amount of over-feeding is where it becomes abuse?...

Addicting, by feeding our kids fast food are we providing them with an addiction that they will have to live with or break someday?...

If exposing kids to over feeding, or fast food, is equal to pushing them into addictions; then what about video games, violence on screens, and sunshine?...

And I can go on...

So, there is a big hairy dose of fried fury for thought.

Myself, I don't think there are easily definable boundaries for abuse when it comes to feeding our kids. Beating our kids, surely that is more easily definable as to what is abuse.

Feed your kids, start with that; get them fed any way you can. Then if you can feed them healthier choices you should. But mandating via legislation that you have to feed them as healthy as you can or else you are abusive; I am not ready to go there.

It is a blurry set of lines that separates what we as parents/guardians of kids have to do and what we should do. In general where it is blurry, I tend to want to leave it up to the parent to make the decision, not a legislative body whose purpose is too often blurred by interests that are far from the point of the matter being legislated.

Ok, enough from me. If I go any further this will become all too political and I try to not get into political debates here. Why I deviated on that guideline today I do not know.

Feed your kids, love your kids, laugh with your kids, and buy them Chicago Blackhawks Stanley Cup Championship t-shirts for crying out loud!

Responsibility 199 - Gotta Do It!!


  1. There is no question in my mind that parents of obese kids need to be investigated for abuse. They are starting their kids out in life with health issues because the heart is not meant to sustain so much weight. Same with smoking. If you wish to kill yourself by all means have at it. But it is just wrong and definitely abuse when subjecting kids to cigarette smoke. It is medically proven that second hand smoke has been linked to health issues just like first hand. Go ahead and kill yourself but why subject your kids to such unhealthy activities and give them a disadvantage in life before they are old enough to be able to make their own decisions and be responsible for themselves...

  2. Definitely food for thought! I definitely think this type of legislation can lead down a slippery slope, which you touched on.

  3. I am against any legislation that delves into what we feed our kids or do around our kids as long as it is not illegal. The government does not have to get more involved in our lives.

    That being said, fast food is not good for kids or adults. I didn't realize how bad it was until I started on my journey. I'd gaurentee there are many other parents out there that have no freaking idea. Let's educate people instead of making it a crime on how they feed their children. It all starts with education.

  4. The whole topic is just a big fat sad!

    Have you ever seen Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution show? It was infuriating how the public school lunch system feeds the kids..and then he was working with some families too.

    I battle with this on a personal level. My children are not even close to obese..they are string beans! BUT I feel very guilty when I let them eat crappy food, including McDonalds. While I work hard to get them to eat fruits and veggies and three meals a day, they still have their share of poor eating habits and days and if I'm feeling guilty and irresponsible for letting them eat too much junk food, than I should listen to that.

    As far as child abuse, I've never really gone that deep into thought about it, but you bring up excellent food for thought in this post.

  5. It's illegal to smoke in a car with children under 16 in the car here!!
    While i can't say i'm for legislating what we feed our children. I must say someone i know comes to mind and honestly what they need more is some kind of intervention. They need to learn what better food choices would be and how to implement it. How to deal with a child that whines and has temper tantrums if they can't have two donuts and a hot chocolate with whipped cream. It just frustrates me when i see this child who is not yet in school but can't climb on a chair because he is overweight who already waddles when he walks and he's only 4!!

  6. I think everyone is missing the point. We are talking about obese children NOT what we are feeding them. Obesity can be objectively measured. Children should go through health exams every year at checkups and parents should be held responsible for the level of obesity of their kids.

  7. Maybe "we" are not talking about it - but "I" certainly am!

  8. I'm not for legislation against anything that isn't already illegal. I'm not saying obesity amongst children isn't a big (no pun intended) problem or that smoking around your kids isn't harmful but eating is necessary and smoking isn't illegal. There you have it as far as that goes. Someone else mention the "Food Revolution" show and I think that show proves that a lot of the problems with food in this country is just ignorance. I would be for making nutrition classes mandatory for parents with kids going into kindergarten. There should be mandatory classes for parents expecting (diaper changing 101, etc.), elementary school (nutrition, bullying, etc.) and high schoolers (how to talk about sex, etc.). Let's educate our parents...not just legislate their behavior. Just my 2 cents.

  9. My mom as been saying for years we should tax sugar. If fast food wasn't so cheap it could cut down on obesity. That's my major problem with society/economy cheap food is bad for you and healthy food is expensive!

    As far as children go, I understand when your out and about fast food is the only option, or if you have low economic means. To counteract that those kids need to be taken outside to run and jump and play. Kids need attention and follow by example. Whenever I would work out my nephew would come in with 2lb weights and work out too.

    Then as far as legislation goes how do you tell? The parent rushing off to a soccer game just getting some fries so the kid isn't hungry ok? The parent with an overweight kid is not ok? Where do you draw the line: after the kid is obese or when the signs are present?

    Definitely a slippery slope. my brain hurts too much for a Tuesday morning!

  10. I agree with AFG -- the last thing we need is more government interfering with our lives, more laws, more rules and regulations, etc.

    That being said, I wonder -- would the answer lie in how long the parents have a disregard for a child's health? If the parents starve a child to the point where the child is emaciated, the parents can get put into jail. I think if parents over-feed their child, or give the kid shit food to the point of malnutrition, then that should also be classified as jeopardizing the welfare of a child. A once-a-month run to McDonalds isn't going to hurt anyone. However, feeding your child McDonalds Happy Meals four times a day is likely to create a health risk.

  11. Obesity can be measured objectively - just like blood alcohol levels. If a child goes over a certain BMI (that BMI being established by doctors as morbidly obese) then these parents need to be prosecuted. This is abuse just like physical attacks on children.

  12. I do think that how a child views food & how they eat starts in the home. We need to educate better on that because when we start them young with the worng stuff, it leads to not good things as many of us that get fat can attest to. Kids learn from watching & listening to their parents at an early age. That is the best we can do & there are ways to feed a family healthy food & not break the bank.

    As for smoking... UGH! I hate when I see parents smoking around their children! Just like the bad food. It is proven that second hand smoke kills, like too much of the wrong food leads to disease & at times death. I will not even sit near a person that smokes & I close my window in the car when I get near a car with a smoker in it.. I hate that smell!

  13. We aren't allowed to beat kids ? Cmon, where is the fun in that ? If you agree with caning, maybe that will take the heat off me.. Be a pal, advocate spanking...

  14. My Mom cooked every meal & we seldom ate fast food yet ALL the family members (including myself) on her side are obese, most have diabetes which is the reason I decided to begin my journey. Point being, you don't have to feed your children fast food to make them obese, I am perfect example, I have battled obesity my whole life.

  15. Hi, it's Tracy,

    Wow, you really threw a hocker of a spit ball out there. Honestly, I think every parent out there could be accused of abuse...I joke with my kids about what type of therapy sessions they will need from my parenting. We love them, we feed them, we protect them, and we try to teach them to the best of our knowledge. We don't know everything, and we make mistakes. Usually we catch them years after they are made.

    My parents drank, smoked, sent us to Mickey D's for dinner, made us watch soap operas and Dallas on TV. We had corporal punishment in my home. I am alive and well, and quite frankly, I would find it an absolute contradiction of terms to call them anything but good parents. They loved us and did what they thought was best at the time.

    Most parents do the best they know with their kids. There is little I like less than a know-it-all giving me advice on how to raise my kids, let alone legislate what I feed them. So if we want better parents, we need better information to parent with. When we know better, we act better.

  16. indeed it is a tough one.
    FOR US we do eat fast food (hello CHICKFILA) but rarely.

  17. Great discussion, when kids are at the topics center passionate input usually follows. Education is a strong theme of the responses here; getting parents educated on eating healthy so they can pass that knowledge on to their kids. Seems so easy but we lag on that responsibility as a society. No magic dust of a solution that'll change society as a whole over night~ Get the word out, start at home, within your own circles.