In It For Health

Where health and psychology intersect

Archive for February, 2007

Should parents lose their kids if they get too fat? The Brits think so!

Posted by Dr. Susan on February 4, 2007

In what seems like a drastic measure, British officials want to hold parents really, truly responsible for their kids health. In fact, apparantly, if children become extremely overweight and parents don’t show any signs of doing anything to fix the problem, they can risk losing their children to the state! It’s apparantly happened already! So, is this nuts or a good thing? I’m definitely not an advocate of kids arbitrarily being taken away from parents,  but actually I think it’s about time that parents be held responsible for the health of their children. Significantly overweight kids are at risk for scary and even life-threatening things like diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and heart disease. In addition they are teased, left behind in sports and otherwise ostracized by peers (of course they shouldn’t be, but the fact is that they are). The media, food industry and schools are definitely somewhat culpable of making it difficult, but I’m tired of parents constantly passing the buck. It’s time for parents to make the effort to keep their kids healthy. Parents can be held responsible if kids don’t go to school or if they break the law; they are punished if they neglect or abuse their kids–I think they should be held responsible if they allow their kids to become so overweight that their health is at stake. They shouldn’t lose their children to the state as a first measure of course, but maybe they should be expected to check in regularly with doctors or other health professionals until they are able to prove that they are keeping their child healthy, feeding them nutriously and making sure they have enough physical activity so their weight becomes healthy. Parents need to take responsibility, it’s time to stop passing the buck!

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Spa time for moms and daughters–The NY Times thinks it’s all about bonding…it’s not!

Posted by Dr. Susan on February 1, 2007

An article in today’s NY Times caught my interest –about moms bonding with their young daughters over spa experiences–manicures, pedicures and even facials and massages. I have two daughters and I’m all for the occasional manicure, but the idea of eight or nine-year olds getting facials and massages as a way to bond with their mothers seems problematic to me and I’m not talking about the cost or the general sense of “what’s left to look forward to if you do it all now” that the article talks about. But rather, the idea that a child’s body integrity can become extremely distorted if she has strangers massaging it and otherwise “caressing” it long before she is old enough to process the feelings evoked by such an experience. Girls need to know that their bodies are sacred and private, not to be shared until they are much, much older. Mothers should find ways to bond with their daughters that might be less likely to cause this type of confusion.

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