2

votes

feeding a child SAD child abuse?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created November 02, 2012 at 11:54 PM

im 21, and i would say for the past 4 months, i was inadvertently introduced to the paleo diet, supplementation, and overall good health habits due to extremely poor health.

before I go on I have to give some background so you understand the premise of my argument/rant. I was raised in an upper middle class household in one of the more affluent areas of the country. (united states)

I had to mention that so the argument of my socioeconomic status was the cause of my inability to purchase healthy food could not be raised. That being said, I contribute my poor bill of health directly to my diet from a small child (from the food i vaguely remember eating) all the way to high school. Now i guess one could assert some petty argument saying well that is your fault and you could have chosen to eat healthy, well yes, I could have. But I did not know any better, my parents fed me horrible food on a routine basis during the most critical years of my development. With what i know now, it disgusts me to realize the level of absurd negligence and utter incompetence that my parents had in regards to their nutritional choices for me.

i know all of you know this, and we all know you dont have to have a Phd to know this, but not feeding a child or allowing a growing young adult to have quality foods retards their growth in every facet of their health and well-being.

from what i remember, from the ages of 5-17, i would argue that 85% of my diet was either processed, traditionally raised food (pesticides, herbicides, etc..) and so on.

its ironic too, that these parents (baby boomers) who today feed their children bullsh*t food, more likely than not grew up eating a somewhat paleo-ish diet from what i hear my parents talk about

do you believe this issue could be related to inadvertent, modern day child abuse?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on November 04, 2012
at 05:47 AM

@ HN - In that case would it not have been more appropriate to edit the title rather than closing the question - or at the very least provide that option to the OP?

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on November 04, 2012
at 02:11 AM

This was closed because of the phrasing more than the subject matter, abuse is pretty strong term for parents feeding their kids less than optimal food, no matter what the reason.

Fd7b128cf714044a86d8bd822c7a8992

(4292)

on November 03, 2012
at 01:52 PM

This! I am so sick of people ripping into other people who are really just other victims of a massive systemic problem. It's very cruel and totally useless in terms of promoting systemic change.

Fd7b128cf714044a86d8bd822c7a8992

(4292)

on November 03, 2012
at 01:49 PM

"whole grains and low fat foods" doesn't necessarily have to mean processed packaged food though. My mother fed me the healthy version of the SAD when I was a kid; it involved a lot of fresh homemade bread and hearty vegetable soups straight out of the garden. That was not abusive. That was her trying to do the best for me with the resources she had available. I think you're misreading my point: abuse must be intentional. It has to be an action deliberately done in order to harm the child. Ignorance =/= abuse.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on November 03, 2012
at 04:20 AM

Why has this question been closed? On the one hand the consensus is that children should be allowed to use the site to obtain information on diet and on the other we cant talk about parents who place their children on inappropriate diets. Hypocrisy?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on November 03, 2012
at 04:17 AM

Why has this question been closed?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on November 03, 2012
at 04:16 AM

Voted to reopen.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on November 03, 2012
at 04:06 AM

Fair enough. Most kids are feed bread, pasta and sugar as staples. It does seem strange. But then thats also "normal".

Bdc4873264ec9dbec27505e678dabce0

(432)

on November 03, 2012
at 02:37 AM

@ thhq: Yes deformities. Including those of brain development - which helps to explain why I am so moronic. @ kashperanto: Most people believe that they themselves are good people. Therefore, nobody should ever be judged, right?

Medium avatar

(1097)

on November 03, 2012
at 02:24 AM

Exactly. We can't dictate behavior to others via attempts to label non-aggressive and non-malicious treatment abuse. It just won't work and in fact, it's wrong.

9b0310b623f8ed289c9571ab3a58a142

(384)

on November 03, 2012
at 02:22 AM

^ Yes deformities. A lack of good fats and fat-soluble vitamins has been linked to many developmental problems, even before the days of paleo-dieting. I may not have ever needed braces to straighten my teeth, or a "hurts"-appliance to correct my receded jaw, had I been properly fed. It is VERY wrong to judge someone who thought they were doing you good, however.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on November 03, 2012
at 02:04 AM

I feel bad saying this, but I bought my kids a giant piece of German chocolate cake just to watch them scarf it down....that was years ago, and their mother would NOT have approved....

Medium avatar

(10611)

on November 03, 2012
at 01:43 AM

I gave you one vote. Consider what I said. Mike's argument is the same.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on November 03, 2012
at 01:33 AM

What if your parents fed you nothing but grass fed beef? You'd rebel; probably become a vegan. And no doubt vegans consider such a diet child abuse. In a pluralistic society there's not much patience with authoritarianism. Paleos HAVE to live and let live.

Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823

(9402)

on November 03, 2012
at 01:31 AM

Though I am a little frightened at the thought that someone who considers having children to be a "nightmare" is trying to design policy on how the rest of us should raise ours.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on November 03, 2012
at 01:28 AM

Deformities? Because your parents didn't feed you?

Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823

(9402)

on November 03, 2012
at 01:27 AM

I'm curious to see the reason given for closing. While I don't love when someone asks a question just to insult people who give an answer he doesn't like, it still seems like a valid question.

5f6d15c9dd935b6fed3623caf984c14e

(439)

on November 03, 2012
at 01:24 AM

who said i had kids? lol im 21. wayyy to young for that nightmare.

Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823

(9402)

on November 03, 2012
at 01:24 AM

I am guessing from this exchange, you are not going to pick mine as the accepted answer. :)

5f6d15c9dd935b6fed3623caf984c14e

(439)

on November 03, 2012
at 01:24 AM

3 attempts to close, because i advocate children should be eating healthier, unbelievable.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on November 03, 2012
at 01:22 AM

Your kids must love having a paleonazi for a father.

Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823

(9402)

on November 03, 2012
at 01:22 AM

Sorry - didn't see a question in there. What do you mean by ok? Legal? Yes, it's legal for me to healthy. And, it's legal for my kids to eat unhealthy. And, it's legal for me to eat unhealthy. And, it's legal for my kids to eat healthy. It all should be legal. If not, how do you decide what is "healthy?" Who are you to decide that on behalf of everyone else? My comment may have been infantile, but it certainly wasn't an attempt at humor.

5f6d15c9dd935b6fed3623caf984c14e

(439)

on November 03, 2012
at 01:17 AM

isnt it funny, mike, that you dodged my question. and then tried to use infantile humor to turn it around on me so what is it mike, its ok for you to eat healthy but not your kids?

Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823

(9402)

on November 03, 2012
at 01:14 AM

I think at least in part because it would be very difficult to enforce.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on November 03, 2012
at 01:13 AM

I've often wondered why it is that we are required to obtain a license to drive a car, fly a plane or practice medicine - yet when it comes to raising a human being absolutely no demonstration of competence is required.

Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823

(9402)

on November 03, 2012
at 01:13 AM

I don't understand. Are you advocating that Jake should decide what all children can and can't eat? Or some kind of nutrition board made up of the highest ranking people on PaleoHacks should decide what all children can eat? Or the government should decide? Please leave my kids out of that at least. My three year old eats a lot of healthy food, but she did have some candy on Halloween. Am I to be put in prison?

5f6d15c9dd935b6fed3623caf984c14e

(439)

on November 03, 2012
at 01:07 AM

maria, i sense your are misreading my point or not understanding it, you say "feeding the kid lots of whole grains and low-fat foods" so mildly, feeding a kid processed, microwaveable, packaged food, on a daily basis during the critical years of physical and mental development, is negligent to such an extent, as to flirt with abusive, whether intentional or unintentional. there is just no excuse to deprive a developing human being of proper nutrients, the way it was evolved/designed to do.

5f6d15c9dd935b6fed3623caf984c14e

(439)

on November 03, 2012
at 01:00 AM

in one hand your in advocate of healthy eating and maintaing a extremely healthy lifestyle, but the second i bring up the well being of children, who cannot make nutritional decisions on their own or who are deprived of the ability to make those choices due to parenting skills that refuse them the knowledge of healthy eating, you suddenly advocate "no" "we will decide". as if you yourself can eat healthy, but the nutritional well being of the child, that is our decision! how dare you defy me otherwise! as if feeding the child poison is a potential option. you are a joke and u prove my point.

Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823

(9402)

on November 03, 2012
at 12:35 AM

no, children are people.

Bdc4873264ec9dbec27505e678dabce0

(432)

on November 03, 2012
at 12:27 AM

are children not people?

  • 5f6d15c9dd935b6fed3623caf984c14e

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9 Answers

9
Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823

(9402)

on November 03, 2012
at 12:09 AM

No. We can each decide for ourselves how best to feed our children. Let's not try to tell others how to feed theirs.

Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823

(9402)

on November 03, 2012
at 12:35 AM

no, children are people.

Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823

(9402)

on November 03, 2012
at 01:22 AM

Sorry - didn't see a question in there. What do you mean by ok? Legal? Yes, it's legal for me to healthy. And, it's legal for my kids to eat unhealthy. And, it's legal for me to eat unhealthy. And, it's legal for my kids to eat healthy. It all should be legal. If not, how do you decide what is "healthy?" Who are you to decide that on behalf of everyone else? My comment may have been infantile, but it certainly wasn't an attempt at humor.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on November 03, 2012
at 01:13 AM

I've often wondered why it is that we are required to obtain a license to drive a car, fly a plane or practice medicine - yet when it comes to raising a human being absolutely no demonstration of competence is required.

Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823

(9402)

on November 03, 2012
at 01:24 AM

I am guessing from this exchange, you are not going to pick mine as the accepted answer. :)

Bdc4873264ec9dbec27505e678dabce0

(432)

on November 03, 2012
at 12:27 AM

are children not people?

Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823

(9402)

on November 03, 2012
at 01:13 AM

I don't understand. Are you advocating that Jake should decide what all children can and can't eat? Or some kind of nutrition board made up of the highest ranking people on PaleoHacks should decide what all children can eat? Or the government should decide? Please leave my kids out of that at least. My three year old eats a lot of healthy food, but she did have some candy on Halloween. Am I to be put in prison?

5f6d15c9dd935b6fed3623caf984c14e

(439)

on November 03, 2012
at 01:00 AM

in one hand your in advocate of healthy eating and maintaing a extremely healthy lifestyle, but the second i bring up the well being of children, who cannot make nutritional decisions on their own or who are deprived of the ability to make those choices due to parenting skills that refuse them the knowledge of healthy eating, you suddenly advocate "no" "we will decide". as if you yourself can eat healthy, but the nutritional well being of the child, that is our decision! how dare you defy me otherwise! as if feeding the child poison is a potential option. you are a joke and u prove my point.

5f6d15c9dd935b6fed3623caf984c14e

(439)

on November 03, 2012
at 01:17 AM

isnt it funny, mike, that you dodged my question. and then tried to use infantile humor to turn it around on me so what is it mike, its ok for you to eat healthy but not your kids?

Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823

(9402)

on November 03, 2012
at 01:14 AM

I think at least in part because it would be very difficult to enforce.

6
Fd7b128cf714044a86d8bd822c7a8992

(4292)

on November 03, 2012
at 01:00 AM

You could theoretically abuse a child by malnourishing him/her. BUT, for this to be "abuse," it has to be intentional on the part of the parent. A parent who honestly thinks he's doing his kid a favor by feeding the kid lots of whole grains and low-fat foods isn't abusive. He's just misinformed. You can't label someone a criminal for making a good-faith effort to do what they think is right, according to all the nutritional guidance they've ever gotten from their own parents, public health officials, etc.

If a parent were deliberately feeding the kids a straight diet of Twinkies and Orange Crush specifically in order to make them sick, that would be abusive, but I'm not sure how common that actually is. I think it's more common that people just don't know or don't care. IMHO, the attitude of "Nutrition isn't my first priority for my kids" isn't admirable, but it's not criminal as long as the parent isn't intentionally trying to harm the kids.

On the other hand, you could make a case that leaving very young children (under 9 or 10) to fend for themselves nutritionally and not giving them any guidance at all would be neglect, but that would be neglectful regardless of what kind of food was in the house.

5f6d15c9dd935b6fed3623caf984c14e

(439)

on November 03, 2012
at 01:07 AM

maria, i sense your are misreading my point or not understanding it, you say "feeding the kid lots of whole grains and low-fat foods" so mildly, feeding a kid processed, microwaveable, packaged food, on a daily basis during the critical years of physical and mental development, is negligent to such an extent, as to flirt with abusive, whether intentional or unintentional. there is just no excuse to deprive a developing human being of proper nutrients, the way it was evolved/designed to do.

Fd7b128cf714044a86d8bd822c7a8992

(4292)

on November 03, 2012
at 01:49 PM

"whole grains and low fat foods" doesn't necessarily have to mean processed packaged food though. My mother fed me the healthy version of the SAD when I was a kid; it involved a lot of fresh homemade bread and hearty vegetable soups straight out of the garden. That was not abusive. That was her trying to do the best for me with the resources she had available. I think you're misreading my point: abuse must be intentional. It has to be an action deliberately done in order to harm the child. Ignorance =/= abuse.

5
E0e9255281093b2d518b56d5217a0955

on November 03, 2012
at 01:43 AM

Feeding your child the standard diet of any culture is generally not considered abuse in that culture. "Standard" means most people in that culture are eating the same things.

5
Medium avatar

on November 03, 2012
at 01:06 AM

No. Feeding to a child what is largely considered the healthiest way of eating has no malice or intent to harm involved. This is simply a matter of ignorance, not abuse.

On the opposite end, feeding a child with the intent purpose of making him or her obese is abuse, no matter what diet. The only option, in my opinion, where SAD would be an abusive case, is where a parent feeds their child an SAD diet strictly to make them feel miserable.

As frustrating as it is that our parents didn't 'know better,' we can't blame them for their ignorance. They do, after all, come from the 'fat is evil and grains are ah-mazing' period of America's dietary recommendations history.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on November 03, 2012
at 01:33 AM

What if your parents fed you nothing but grass fed beef? You'd rebel; probably become a vegan. And no doubt vegans consider such a diet child abuse. In a pluralistic society there's not much patience with authoritarianism. Paleos HAVE to live and let live.

Medium avatar

(1097)

on November 03, 2012
at 02:24 AM

Exactly. We can't dictate behavior to others via attempts to label non-aggressive and non-malicious treatment abuse. It just won't work and in fact, it's wrong.

4
Medium avatar

on November 03, 2012
at 02:35 AM

It's not your parents' fault, it's the government and big business we should punish!

Fd7b128cf714044a86d8bd822c7a8992

(4292)

on November 03, 2012
at 01:52 PM

This! I am so sick of people ripping into other people who are really just other victims of a massive systemic problem. It's very cruel and totally useless in terms of promoting systemic change.

3
76211ec5301087de2588cfe3d6bccba9

(1178)

on November 03, 2012
at 01:49 AM

I think when judging something as abuse or not, INTENTION is something worth considering. Most people either don't know what foods are healthy, why foods are healthy, and how much healthy food matters. I imagine most people don't intend to cause harm, or at least serious harm.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on November 03, 2012
at 02:04 AM

I feel bad saying this, but I bought my kids a giant piece of German chocolate cake just to watch them scarf it down....that was years ago, and their mother would NOT have approved....

2
9b0310b623f8ed289c9571ab3a58a142

on November 03, 2012
at 02:36 AM

I get your argument, but it is wrong to judge based upon anything other than intentions. Your parents may have thought they were doing you good - giving you a better life than they had.

I know my parents tried to do right by their children, but it is a fact that I have had all kinds of health problems that can be directly related to malnourishment. I would likely never have needed an appliance to correct my receded jaw, or braces to correct for messed-up teeth, if I had eaten enough fats and vitamins as a child. I have had acne for a long time, and I have always been underweight for my age.

Some of this was my own doing. Sometime after high school I tried to eat the "healthy" diet: rich in whole grains, high fiber, low-fat, lots of dairy. I did quite a lot of damage. At one point I thought I had Raynaud's disease (highly stress-related).

Who holds the blame for any of this? Do you honestly believe people think they're permanently damaging their children, and do it anyway?

Most of the blame lies with society. Doctors should know better. The government should be told better. It will never happen.

2
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on November 03, 2012
at 01:03 AM

Obesity in young children can be legitimately classified as "neglect" and as grounds for taking action against parents who knowingly overfeed their children.

Whilst overfeeding can be considered a form of child abuse there is no precedent for considering the type of diet a child is on as neglect/child abuse unless a parent knowingly feeds a substance that their child would be clinically harmed by, as for example feeding a child suffering from phenylketonuria high amounts of animal protein, which is high in phenylalanine.

0
Bdc4873264ec9dbec27505e678dabce0

(432)

on November 03, 2012
at 12:37 AM

My life might have been very different had my family fed me at all. To feed your child garbage is one of the worst forms of child abuse. Psychological abnormalities brought on by verbal abuse are overcome every day, whereas physical deformities are rarely set right.

(This is a paradox. I don't like much government intervention in our lives, but shouldn't children be protected from those parents who are no better than their child's worst enemy?)

9b0310b623f8ed289c9571ab3a58a142

(384)

on November 03, 2012
at 02:22 AM

^ Yes deformities. A lack of good fats and fat-soluble vitamins has been linked to many developmental problems, even before the days of paleo-dieting. I may not have ever needed braces to straighten my teeth, or a "hurts"-appliance to correct my receded jaw, had I been properly fed. It is VERY wrong to judge someone who thought they were doing you good, however.

Bdc4873264ec9dbec27505e678dabce0

(432)

on November 03, 2012
at 02:37 AM

@ thhq: Yes deformities. Including those of brain development - which helps to explain why I am so moronic. @ kashperanto: Most people believe that they themselves are good people. Therefore, nobody should ever be judged, right?

Medium avatar

(10611)

on November 03, 2012
at 01:28 AM

Deformities? Because your parents didn't feed you?

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