Controversial fine for having obese children considered in Puerto Rico

A very controversial bill could be passed in Puerto Rico that will condemn the parents of obese children as child abusers.
The bill has not been passed, but is being considered. It will allow the government to fine the parents of extremely overweight children if they do not get them to lose weight.
Although very harsh, and potentially damaging for the parents who get branded under this bill, there is a severe problem of childhood obesity in the island country.
Up to 30% of the children there are obese. In comparison, 17% of American children are obese, showing a much more concentrated obesity rate in the smaller population.
With all the health concerns that come with being overweight, particularly from a young age and throughout life, such as type 2 diabetes or heart disease, the government are right to be worried about the rates of obesity.
However, fining parents up to $800 is not the way to do it in many of the locals’ eyes. “I could lose my daughter because I feed her?” said one mother.
“It’s ridiculous. It’s the culture in Puerto Rico. You see a skinny baby and people will say it needs feeding up. Is that really child abuse?”
Furthermore, experts have commended the effort, but are disgusted by the method being suggested. “The good thing is that [Senator Gilbert Rodriguez Valle, who is promoting the bill] is identifying the problem and trying to do something about it; the wrong thing is how he’s doing it,” said Dr Ricardo Fontanet.
Fontanet apparently said that Senator Valle didn’t expect the bill to be passed, but that he wanted to “shake the tree” and expose the issue to the public eye.
Obesity is a growing problem across the world, and many people need educating on a balanced and healthy diet, and the way that they can look after their own health as well as their children’s.

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