Parents Who Let Their Kids Get Fat Face Huge Fines

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Having overweight kids isn't easy on parents -- or the kids -- yet in Puerto Rico, it just got worse: if a bill gets passed, parents with obese children will be fined up to $800. Yikes!

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Here's how it would work: school teachers would report obese kids to a counselor, who would work with the family to implement a diet and exercise program with monthly check-ins. If the pounds don't drop in six months to a year, the family could be fined between $500 and $800.

To me, this just sounds awful -- and unfair. I'm not against levying the lure of money to encourage kids to lose weight: for instance, I do think junk food and soda should be taxed heavily to deter parents from buying them. Still, that's a whole different ball game than punishing parents whose kids don't drop 20 in six months!

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Plus, obesity is typically more of a problem among the poor, and this fine will just make them poorer, and their kids would suffer... all because they didn't whittle their waistlines fast enough. Talk about pressure!

That said, the one part of this bill I do approve of is the counselor offering these families help. If you must implement some sort of financial incentive, why not reward families for losing weight instead of punishing them when they can't? Haven't these government officials ever heard that positive reinforcement works far better than the negative variety?

How do you feel about parents facing fines for 'fat' kids?

 

Image via Olga Kovalenko/shutterstock

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