We all know that obesity is an epidemic, and we know that its repercussions are serious and widespread. Its direct costs on the healthcare system in America have passed 190 billion dollars in a year. Childhood-onset diabetes is rising at an alarming rate. Obesity has overtaken smoking as the leading cause of preventable death in the States..
We know this, and yet we don’t often ask ourselves when we watch shows like Here Comes Honey Boo Boo if the kinds of eating habits that Mama is giving Honey Boo Boo at such a young age could be considered abuse. Smoking in close quarters, doing drugs, or otherwise putting the health of her daughter in jeopardy would be cause for outrage — but giving her a cocktail of Mountain Dew and Red Bull followed by cheese puffs and not a single vegetable? Par for the course, it seems.
Should there be repercussions for this kind of behavior? What more could we do to protect children who cannot yet have a real say in what they eat and how their body is being formed?
Is it society’s responsibility, or is diet and exercise a family affair?