Dr. Oz vs Childhood Obesity

Yesterday Dr. Oz asked a very controversial question: Is Child Obesity a form of Child Abuse?

And for a big health & fitness geek like myself, it was must-see tv.

  • We had “experts” blaming the parents,
  • We had parents blaming society,
  • We had experts advocating that courts should remove obese kids from their parents’ care,
  • We had other experts arguing that this would mess the kids up even more.
  • They talked about penalizing “bad” parents by removing child tax credits.
  • They talked about the hypocrisy of overweight adults telling other overweight adults that they are bad parents because their kids are overweight.
  • We even had one mom who felt that she shouldn’t have to stop eating bags of M&Ms just because her kid was fat.

In short, Dr. Oz took an incredibly complex issue and compressed it neatly into one hour of self-help tv. Not exactly enough time for a thorough examination of the issue, but it was a start.

And luckily for some parents, Dr. Oz has found a solution for America’s overweight children – The Wellspring Academy

Where for $78,000 per year, your obese child can:

  • learn all about healthy nutrition,
  • get plenty of exercise
  • receive psychological & lifestyle counselling
  • and lose a ton of weight

Too bad about the $78,000 per year pricetag.

If only some smart guy like Doctor Oz could think of a way to lower the cost and make it more accessible for those Americans without gold plated health insurance or a spare $78,000.

How about this?

  • What if we start by taking one public school in each big city and turn it into a charter school focused on promoting a healthy lifestyle and reducing the obesity levels of their students?
  • What if we re-install P.E. class?  We used to have teachers who knew how to teach P.E.
  • What if we re-install Home Ec class? – focusing on the most effective diet for weight loss and improving health.  We used to have teachers who knew how to do that.
  • With those two bases covered, all we need to add is the psychological/lifestyle counselling component of the Wellspring program. Perhaps the good people at Wellspring would be willing to make a few hundred million dollars by rolling out this part of their concept in public schools all across the country.

We already have the infrastructure.

We already have (or used to have) the P.E. and Home Ec teachers.

We’re already paying for the medical costs associated with childhood and adult obesity.

Why not redirect some of that medical spending towards prevention?


Let me know what you think


If you’re interested, I have added links to the videos from Dr. Oz’s show.


Is It Child Abuse to Have a Fat Child? Pt 1.

Is It Child Abuse to Have a Fat Child? Pt 2.

Is It Child Abuse to Have a Fat Child? Pt 3.

Is It Child Abuse to Have a Fat Child? Pt 4.

>Is It Child Abuse to Have a Fat Child? Pt 5.

Win the Fight Against Child Obesity, Pt 1.

Win the Fight Against Child Obesity, Pt 2.



  1. “What if we re-install Home Ec class? – focusing on the most effective diet for weight loss and improving health.”

    I think that no one will be able to agree on which diet that is.

  2. All of this is skirting the real solution. Families and parents. Adults know what’s not healthy for us. But we don’t always act on what we know. Money won’t help where there isn’t the will. Just like we spend more money per capita in our schools but rank well below other countries in terms of performance. Here’s my heartfelt plea to parents about what we need to do and why:

  3. Obviously, I would choose Paleo or some version of Japanese, Chinese, Indian or Mediterranean cuisine, but to start out, I would follow the Wellspring cirriculum

  4. I know that YOU would say these new Home Ec classes should teach the Paleo diet. But someone else would adamantly insist on the vegetarian diet, while someone else would want low fat, while someone else would want to follow the glycemic index, or the raw food trend, or Atkins, or South Beach, etc. No one agrees on what is best.

  5. That’s okay – give me enough time and I’ll convince them that they’re wrong

  6. Or they could be like me, and not be able to give up their favorite foods and then feel like a failure whenever you talk about it.

    Sorry, not in a good mood today.

  7. […] Oz show about childhood obesity and child abuse, but Doug from Health Habits wrote a pretty good summary of it. Then he came up with a pretty good blueprint for getting our kids on the road towards […]

  8. I didnt see the show, but I seen clips of it on the internet. My son is very obesed and just was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes on August 1, 2011. i did not know that he had it and he almost passed out and by the time he went to the emergency room his glucose level was 1085. He could have died. For a person that knows, it is that parents responsibility to teach the children at a young age how to eat and excersise. That is our duty as a parenst as with anything else. I do not not believe that it is child abuse. Is is child abuse when you teach your child right from wrong and he still does wrong. No it is not. You cannot watch or control your child 24 hours a day, but you can instill the right habits and until they are the age to do for themselves, the parents have to do fot the children. If is my fault about my son to an extent. When he was younger, I should had instilled in him the right nutritional habits. Now, he is paying. I still need help for my son. He is 500 pounds at 16 years of age.

  9. You need to limit the time sitting on the couch in front of the magic box called a TV and go do something active with your children! Eating right is important to learn and practice, but shut off the TV so they aren’t bombarded by the mainstream marketing of places like McDonalds and kick the ball around the yard or play tag. Don’t have the sugary so called ” fruit” snacks around. Have an actual apple or peach or some carrot sticks. Make them drink water instead of pop or gatorade. They are simple items to change and you will develop a great parent-child bond with all the fun you are having together!

  10. Hang on . . . your telling me that theres no cooking or PE classes in the majority of schools at all??? No bloody wonder america is having such a problem with weight.

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