Yes, Schools Should Help Students Who Are Obese &, No, Their Parents Should Not Get Fined

Puerto Rico has announced a plan to have schools help students who are obese to lose weight and become more healthy. Much of it sounds good.

However, I don’t think fining parents whose children don’t respond positively to the program is a “bridge too far.” I don’t

You can read more about the program at:

Puerto Rico’s controversial proposal would fine the parents of obese children is from The Washington Post.

Could fining parents cut childhood obesity? is from The BBC. Here’s an excerpt from the BBC article:

Hill dislikes the Puerto Rican proposal. “We need to move the argument away from saying it’s all about individual responsibility and ‘it’s you to blame’. People do have some responsibility but we must recognise the power of environment and how difficult it is to change for the rest of your life.”

Philadelphia – the most overweight of America’s major cities – has cut the obesity rate among children. The city authority has persuaded shops to stock more fruit and vegetables in areas once described as “food deserts” because of a lack of nutritious offerings. It has also banned full-fat milk from school canteens, as well as deep-fat frying, while sugary drinks have disappeared from vending machines.

“None of these efforts involved stigmatising or penalising parents,” says Rebecca Puhl, deputy director of the Connecticut-based Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity. “In contrast, these changes exemplify ways to support and empower parents to make it easier to improve the health of their children.”

Puhl argues that a more integrated approach. involving schools encouraging better eating and more exercise, is needed.

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