Emmy Griffin / January 12, 2023

Big Medical Comes After Children Again

Obese children are a parenting failure, and physicians are going to profit from it.

Big Medical, along with Big Pharma, have teamed up once again to present to parents a solution to their child’s obesity. Instead of diet and exercise, pediatricians are being encouraged to recommend diet pills and weight loss surgery to children of a certain age in order to curb the childhood obesity epidemic. Obesity in children is a symptom, and with this move, doctors are failing to address the actual problems that lead to many children being severely overweight. In fact, they intend to profit from it.

For many years, the practice for treating obesity in children has been “watchful waiting” to see if they grow out of it. If a young child struggles with weight, pediatricians will intervene when they are older. However, this method is not effective, as patterns of diet and lifestyle that are trained into them as children are unfettered as adults. Dr. Ihuoma Eneli definitively states: “Waiting doesn’t work. What we see is a continuation of weight gain and the likelihood that they’ll have (obesity) in adulthood.” He should know. He is an expert and is the director of the Center for Healthy Weight and Nutrition at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.

Dr. Eneli also coauthored the American Academy of Pediatrics’s (AAP) new guidance that reframes childhood obesity. The guidance not only outlines at what age children are eligible to be prescribed diet pills and even stomach stapling — children as young as 12 or 13 could be subject to this more aggressive treatment — but it comes right on the heels of the new BMI chart expansion for obese children. It’s a move right out of the equity playbook.

Obesity is changed from “long stigmatized as a reversible consequence of personal choices” to “obesity has complex genetic, physiologic, socioeconomic, and environmental contributors.” In other words, personal and parental responsibility is irrelevant. If this language sounds familiar, that’s because it’s eerily similar to the language physicians have used for gender confusion in minors.

“Watchful waiting,” according to gender activists and faddish physicians and psychologists, is outdated and “harmful.” “Gender affirmation” is the way as well as getting these confused kids on puberty blockers and hormones and eventually surgeries. Perhaps Big Medicine and Big Pharma may even start calling this approach to treating obesity “weight affirming” or some other nonsense. Like with the gender-affirmation crew, the main motivation for pushing pills and surgeries on obese minors is the financial factor. These “solutions” are a Band-Aid and set kids up for a lifetime of medical dependance. One round of these pills — which insurance won’t cover — can cost $1,300 a month. Now multiply that by however long it takes to get to a reasonable weight. God forbid that child gains the weight back and has to go back on the expensive pill regimen.

Childhood obesity is a symptom of many problems, some induced by society and some induced by poor parenting.

Children of today are victims of technology. Screen time has become the best, most addictive babysitter in our modern era. Whether it’s being sucked into Roblox or the creative world of Minecraft, our children are constantly choosing to spend their time in front of a screen. Schools aren’t helping. Teachers are happy to use technology with the justification that students are going to use these tools when they enter the marketplace. This may be accurate, but it isn’t helpful.

Children quickly get addicted to the dopamine hits that a screen constantly supplies. Harvard Medical School states that screens provide a poor stimulation — “impoverished” was the precise word used — compared to reality. CNN had an article about a JAMA Pediatrics study, which demonstrated that children exposed to screen time had a lower development in brain structure and foundational skills.

Sitting in front of a screen is so much easier for a kid (and parents) than going out and playing in the backyard or with their toys. This lack of active play is extremely detrimental for a child’s health, especially in the arena of exercise. Lack of exercise leads to obesity. Parents, get your child off their screens and doing something active.

Children are also subject to the whims and choices of their parents when if comes to food. Parents, not the children, choose the menu, buy the groceries, and prepare the meals. The world of food and healthy eating is a fraught place. Sugar is hiding in all sorts of products, and the convenience of highly processed, quick foods is a temptation. Parents are also sometimes tired or financially strapped and it’s quicker and cheaper to feed their hungry family fast food. These habits of poor eating choices are developed in childhood, and when a child grows older, those poor food choices result in poor diet and obesity.

This generation also has the misfortune of being lied to by society. It is told that people can be “healthy at any size” or that taking care of their physical selves doesn’t matter; the only thing that matters is what’s on the inside. On the philosophical front, our society has turned away from the biblical model of viewing bodies as something sacred — “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20) — to demoting the body to a meat sack with a skeleton.

Interestingly, this guidance is a turn toward treating obesity “aggressively and early,” as the guidance puts it, which flies in the face of the body positive movement’s premise. Being overweight is, in the medical establishment’s words, a disease. In other words, it’s not at all desirable, and in the words of the body positivity activists, saying so is “fatphobic.”

Children are impressionable and subject to the dictates of their parents. If they are permitted to live on their screens, eat highly processed foods and excessive sugar, and be given the line that they are “healthy at any size,” the symptom of this lifestyle is going to be childhood obesity. Big Medicine and Big Pharma are happy to capitalize on this failure in parenting, and it reinforces a bad precedent for other issues like “gender affirming” care to be a justifiable form of treatment.

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