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Is giving Junk food to kids child abuse?

We live in a world where children obesity is growing in large numbers, and yet very few parents seem to be doing anything about it. One can argue that children can really not be to blame as these food choices and lifestyles are made for them from early ages. So my question is whether the habit of constantly getting children used to junk food should be deemed as child abuse or not and what do you think should be done about this.

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  • Aug 5 2011: eating junk food in small quantities is not bad ...but this small quantities is provided daily like routine work to children may drag them under addiction..children may addicted to only those junk foods and in future they may increase their doses and as said eating one is not bad but eating 100 is the issue.. so yes i think its an child abuse....
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      Aug 5 2011: You are correct that junk food addiction may occur if feeding gets out of hand, but I don't think a little every day is harmful. Developing a routine where you give children for example 3 cubes of chocolate after dinner daily allows the child to understand that this is an appropriate quantity. These three cubes of chocolate need to be regularly labeled as a treat that is not to be abused. Children are capable of making their own eating decisions pretty much from the beginning of elementary school. If they don't receive junk food at home, they will get it elsewhere. Trust me, I was one of those kids who always traded in their carrot sticks for rice krispy treats. If junk food is available at home, children won't be as drawn to indulging in candy every opportunity they get.
      • Aug 8 2011: Would you also give your children cigarettes. Pardon the hyperbole because of course, as a responsible parent, you wouldn't do that. But the additives in junk food are dangerous to long term health.

        For example, did you know that refined white sugar effectively shuts down the immune system (stops it from responding) for up to 4 hours? (I'm pretty sure about the 4 hour window time bu my usual source for all things research related, our clinics medical director, is out of the office today). So in a way, if you give your child refined sugar daily, then you are indeed increasing their exposure to disease as well as increasing their likelihood of developing diabetes or insulin resistance and the usually associated hypertension and obesity driven diseases.

        This toxin load is a new thing in human genetic history and while we don't yet understand the complete picture, we do know that the trend is not encouraging.

        For more research related info I would suggest the institute of functional medicine.
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          Aug 9 2011: I think that I understand your point but am not so sure I agree. You are right that a responsible parent wouldn't give their children cigarettes, just like a responsible parent wouldn't give a child excess sweets. However, just like a responsible parent wouldn't always forbid all junk food, a responsible parent wouldn't completely block off exposure to cigarettes. If they were to completely forbid cigarettes, they would make them that much more attractive to children. In my opinion, the right thing to do is to educate children on the harms of cigarettes, maybe even let them try one in a supervised environment, and then let them make their own decision.

          You are right, junk food is dangerous on the long term. Nonetheless, there is no reason to be extreme. In the right environment where junk food is given in moderation the risks are severely decreased. There are many risks in this world and those induced by a bit of sugar don't need to be dramatized. There are also studies that show that sweets in moderation can actually be beneficial.

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