7 year-old girl weighs 400 pounds: child abuse?

Filed under: Just For Moms, Big Kids, Just For Dads, Health & Safety: Babies, Media

The epidemic of child obesity in North America has been devoured and spit out by the media a million and thirty two times. We already know that so many of our kids eat too much and play too little. It's easy to offer a black and white opinion, like I have in past: it's up to us as parents to feed our kids healthy meals and make sure they get their exercise. Let's do it.

It's easy to say, in theory, and it's simple to retain a vague view of kids affected by severe obesity. They are other people's kids, often, not our problem. But when you see it close up, in living colour, it's often hard to feel that lofty idealism and not feel heartbroken for the child.

I came across a video last night of a 400-pound 7-year old girl. When I read the title, I clicked on the link with hesitant suspicion. Is that even possible?

Sadly, it is. 7-year old Jessica weighs 400 pounds and is so obscenely overweight that she needs to scoot rather than walk, and has difficulty breathing when she talks. The footage is stunning, and as I watched the hurting little girl ask for popcorn even as her desperation breathed through every pore, my heart plummeted. How does this happen?

In the comments section of the video, you'll see some cruel comments, and many proclamations of blame. Some say Jessica's obesity is child abuse, inflicted by her parents. The video doesn't go into details, but it does say that Jessica is now under medical supervision and struggling to lose some weight.

Frankly, I do believe this is child abuse. The girl is seven years old and her parents are wholly responsible for monitoring what she eats. At seven, Jessica is incapable of making her own healthy decisions. What do you think?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.