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Who Is Responsible for the Welfare of Children?

Popularity 6Viewed 5368 times 2016-4-20 01:58 |System category:Life| Children, Question, Reading, Health, Public

Hello everyone, I hope you are all having a great week! Today I would like to write about a few issues currently being discussed in my country. I would like to pose a question for you the reader to consider while reading. Whose responsibility is public health, especially in relation to children? In one of my classes we discussed the obesity epidemic among children in my country. We took a look at all of the different effect of it on the children as well as whose job we believe it is to ensure the health of the youth. That discussion sparked another discussion about parental rights. While I am aware of the commonly held opinions on issues such as parental rights and freedom of choice in healthcare and nutrition for the children in my own country I am interested in hearing the perspectives of others! I encourage you to share your thoughts on the topic; I would love to hear what you think.


In our text we learned that if childhood obesity is not defeated before the 6th grade it is extremely unlikely it will ever be defeated by the child.  Some of the causes for this issue include poor eating habits and a lack of physical activity. For the purposes of writing about parental rights I will only be addressing the poor eating habits. I am unaware of the situation in other countries but here in the United States it seems that unhealthy food choices are more affordable than their healthy counterparts. This is backed up by the observations made by my classmates as well as myself that many obese people also live in poverty. I suggested that it in the best interest of the state to subside healthier food choices, or at least choices meant for the consumption of children. I hold the opinion that over a generation the savings on healthcare and disability expenses accrued by the state would be greater than what it would cost to offer healthy, affordable choices to its citizens.


If the situation does not improve after this or other less direct intervention I believe that it is the responsibility of the state to be directly involved in the family life. This is what led to the discussion about parental right, where they begin and end. Child neglect of any kind, especially in relation to healthcare and nutrition, is more than a sufficient reason to suspend if not revoke not only the rights of parents to their children but in some cases their right to procreate. This is an unpopular opinion, at least in my area of the country. To suggest that the state should get involved in the personal lives of people, especially children, in anything but life or death situations seems to be taboo here. I believe that the will and desires of the parents need to appear as nothing when taking the health and well-being of the children into consideration.

Although I briefly expressed my feelings on the importance of children I feel like I should devote at least a small paragraph to express myself a bit better. The children are the future of the state as well as some of the most vulnerable of our citizens, they need, and in my opinion, deserve the full attention of the state. I think that the health of the children is should be held up high in our priorities. They are essential to our future and should be treated as not only and investment but also a valuable resource. Any mistreatment of the children is tantamount to treason in my eyes. 

While I think it is a bit harder to make a decision when it comes to nutritional neglect I believe that health care is quite a bit simpler to observe. In my own country there is a movement of people refusing to vaccinate children; this has led to outbreaks of illnesses that were once thought eradicated. While this may sound terrible by itself it is actually much worse, because of the choices that were made by some parents many other uninvolved children were also put at risk. Putting the public in danger to such a degree is unacceptable and should be treated harshly. While it does not have as far reaching an impact as the refusal of vaccinations there is also an issue of parents refusing healthcare on behalf of their children based on religious or cultural grounds. In some cases this has led to the deaths of children.

In conclusion I would like to say that I believe the state must act on half of the welfare of its people regardless of the understanding, approval, or disapproval of the parents. The fact of the matter is we are all human and none of us have every single answer, therefore the idea that parents know what is best for their children in all aspects must be treated as the fallacy that it is. believe that I have thoroughly shared my opinions on the question "[w]hose responsibility is public health, especially in relation to children?" Now I would like to ask, what do you think? Do you agree or disagree with what I have written entirely or just in part? I am very interested in hearing the perspectives of others and I look forward to reading what you have to say! 

Have a great Thursday!

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)




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Reply Report voice_cd 2016-4-20 09:47
Thank you very much!!! we have highlighted your blog.
Reply Report seanboyce88 2016-4-20 11:56
I think all parties bare some responsibility. Be it the state (and the socio economic problems brought around by their economic policies and use of funds and the other myriad of ways the government is involved), the parents and their home education about health and eating, the schools and their education about health and eating (if private, if not then its back to state) and also some blame also lies with the child to a very very small extent. (I was a fat lazy kid...and I knew it. I wasn't willing to do anything about it because I had morrowind on my xbox and I just HAD to become nerevarine...)

I don't think it is so black and white to lay the blame at anyone's feet. It is better to understand that somewhere along the line all parties are responsible and so to tacle this issue, tackling one source of the problem may not ultimately solve the issue.

As for party with biggest blame, I would say government and re distribution of wealth. The poor are taxed more than the rich these days and many work their ass off and have no time to cook or simply do not have the money to buy anything other than cheap ready meals. This also leads to problems like lack of access to education etc...However, we cannot blame only the government, it's not like all working class people are fat or anything, they are just one part of a bigger issue
Reply Report samlam 2016-4-20 17:07
Personally, government should take the responsibility when talking about public health.
Reply Report teamkrejados 2016-4-21 17:00
" ... the best interest of the state to subside healthier food choices, or at least choices meant for the consumption of children." In theory, that is what happens, Josh. Low-income families receive 'foodstamps' - called EBT (EFT?) these days. Expectant mothers receive WIC, and that benefit continues until the child turns 5. With WIC, one can buy milk, cheese, juice, eggs and cereals. While the WIC beneficiary is limited to specific brands and a relatively narrow range of foods, foodstamp buyers can buy anything edible. You'd think that people would naturally opt for fresh produce and lean meats, right? Wrong! It's convenience foods: box dinners and frozen meals that usually fill shopping carts.  
The problem, in part, is foods marketed to kids: sugary cereals, candied fruits - either in syrup or dehydrated, yogurts with 27 grams of sugar. True, there are healthy choices: Cheerios, shredded wheat and the like, but honestly: what kid is going to eat Mini-Wheats unless they are frosted, or unless they could dump a ton of sugar in their bowls?
Another, bigger part of the problem is lack of education: what constitutes a nutritious meal? Although recently, the government has mandated food labeling, a significant portion of the population doesn't bother. Most anything you buy has sugar and salt in it. Convenience foods - frozen dinners and the like, are especially guilty of harboring excessive sodium. And we're not even talking about fast food! Drive-thrus, so that you don't even have to get out of your car and walk a few feet to the restaurant!
In China, the problem stems from a different source: newfound affluence, and a bevy of products. It seems  that, every day, a new  'treat' hits the shelves - and I don't mean tofu chews, either.    Another aspect of China's growing waistlines is wheat consumption. It has skyrocketed in the past couple of years! Sedentary lifestyles also play a part.
I believe that China, as a whole, still advocates personal accountability, in spite of the growing number of lawsuits and claims of blamelessness. Here's me, hoping that China will soon put a stop to people demanding compensation for damage they've done to themselves or their children.
Reply Report JoshShoemaker 2016-4-21 18:45
teamkrejados: " ... the best interest of the state to subside healthier food choices, or at least choices meant for the consumption of children." In theor ...
Ha I made a mistake, I meant to put "subsidize" I will have to figure out how to edit this. I was thinking more along the lines of paying a portion of the cost of healthier food choices before they reach the local stores. Perhaps hiking up prices on unhealthy choices by taxing it heavily would be a good idea as well. Essentially I am advocating for protectionist policies for nutrition. Of course I believe it is important to remember you cannot have one without the other. If we try to increase the price on unhealthy food and do not drop it on healthy the state will only succeed in making the poor poorer. I believe that human greed is stronger than human taste buds, we will go with the cheaper option.

I have heard of WIC but I have never seen it before. If it works the way that you claim perhaps perhaps EBT should be similar.  I disagree with being able to buy things like soda with EBT. I agree with the lack of education, I am unsure how we could solve this efficiently. That is actually something that was brought up by the professor. It is for that reason I believe that it is perfectly acceptable to step over parental rights to ensure the health of the children. Bad eating habits have a more long term effect on children so it is a bit harder to gauge. I did not mean for that to become the focus of the discussion.

I am a bit shocked to read what you said is going on in China, I rarely hear about something like that here. When it does occur I notice parents tend to blame unhealthy food choices offered in schools. I believe that if parents forfeit responsibility for their actions than they forfeit their ability to make their own choices.
Reply Report JoshShoemaker 2016-4-21 18:49
seanboyce88: I think all parties bare some responsibility. Be it the state (and the socio economic problems brought around by their economic policies and use of fu ...
Helle Sean!
Aside from the redistribution of wealth you mentioned do you believe there are other was the state can help? I do not believe money can solve all problems, if you give someone with bad habits money they will just have more power to continue them. I believe government aid needs to be well structured and regulated.
Reply Report Dracarys 2016-4-22 10:11
It's a problem that child themselves、parents and this whole society all need to work on ..
Reply Report shelley_filming 2016-5-14 20:18
seanboyce88: I think all parties bare some responsibility. Be it the state (and the socio economic problems brought around by their economic policies and use of fu ...
the poor are taxed more than the rich?you mean the percent ?
Reply Report seanboyce88 2016-5-17 23:51
shelley_filming: the poor are taxed more than the rich?you mean the percent ?
Look up tax evasion.

Many rich people do not even pay taxes. There are many clever ways to hide your money.
Reply Report shelley_filming 2016-5-18 10:39
seanboyce88: Look up tax evasion.

Many rich people do not even pay taxes. There are many clever ways to hide your money.
i got it

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