How would you like to be fined if your child doesn't lose weight and someone else thinks he/she needs to?
Tomorrow, public hearings begin in Puerto Rico on a bill that would consider doing just that. According to this article, if the measure passes in the legislature, public school teachers would make a list of students they consider to be obese. Those students would then be referred to a counselor or social worker. A health department worker would then meet with the parents to determine whether their child's obesity was the result of poor nutrition or a medical condition. They would then work together on a diet and exercise plan. IF, after six months, the health department evaluates the child again and determines no improvements were made, the parents could face a fine of between $500 and $800!
According to the CDC, 17% of children between the ages of 2-19 are considered obese in the U.S. While no one can debate that eating a balanced diet and exercising is good for children and adults, for that matter, is this really the best way to encourage a healthier lifestyle?