If the health of a child is being seriously damaged by obesity due to the bad lifestyle choices and diet of a parent is it ethical to turn a blind eye?
Recently we discussed controversy surrounding the appearance of child models in a ‘tough love’ approach advertising campaign from Strong4Life.
The campaign shows obese child models talking about some of the issues that living with excess weight has caused them. From bullying to serious medical concerns, there is no doubt that the real models featured in these controversial adverts have had to deal with very challenging issues that just wouldn’t have existed for children of their age just a few years ago.
Modelling agency Models Direct has always believed that an inclusive attitude towards different shapes and sizes should be embraced throughout society, and we continue to hold to those principles. We are extremely encouraged by recent trends where increased diversity is being represented in the media and modelling industries. However, if the health of a child is being seriously damaged by obesity due to the bad lifestyle choices and diet of a parent is it ethical to turn a blind eye?
Of course it isn’t always the case, but many children who are effected by obesity are suffering as a direct result of irresponsible decisions made by adults on whom they rely. When a child is left socially isolated and with debilitating problems like breathing difficulties, diabetes or liver damage – that are likely to cause premature death – one cannot help but wonder at what stage this becomes a situation that shouldn’t be tolerated. Diabetes alone can lead to heart problems, blindness and amputation. If a parent was damaging their child’s health to this extent in any other way the words ‘child abuse’ may spring to mind, and some feel that this issue should not be treated any differently.
Clearly many adults in the West need to be better educated in nutrition and health in order to make the right choices for their children and there is no time for delay. According to NHS statistics as many as 1 out of 3, aged 10-11, are currently considered overweight or obese in the UK – and the frightening truth is that this figure is growing every year. Accepting the magnitude of the problem and making a few changes in diet and lifestyle is often all it would take to turn things around. Meanwhile many children are vulnerable. Some are consuming up to 43% sugar in their daily bowl of cereal! It’s time to start reading the labels.
The jury is still out on the appropriateness of the Strong4Life campaign, but many in the Models Direct offices do feel that the subject of childhood obesity is one which needs to be faced with honesty, not avoided. Do you agree?